Christian Moviegoers Feel Hollywood Distorts Religion, New Survey Reveals

( [email protected] ) Jun 17, 2014 11:58 PM EDT
According to a a new poll, many Christian moviegoers feel Hollywood producers distort Biblical accounts and misrepresent Christians in their films. However, the survey also found that more Christians have a favorable impression of Hollywood than unfavorable due to the many faith-based films released this year.
"Son of God," co-produced Roma Downey, achieved massive box office success within just a few days of its release. associated press

2014 has been dubbed "the year of the faith-based film," with multiple Christian-themed movies finding great success at the box office.

Therefore, it came as no surprise when results from a poll conducted by American Insights discovered that more Christians have a favorable impression of Hollywood (49%) than unfavorable (32%).

"People would like to be optimistic, but they have been disappointed over the years. This year has given them some hope," Russ Jones, president of Christian News Service, told Variety.

According to Box Office Mojo, "Noah," "God's Not Dead," "Heaven Is for Real," and "Son of God" are all within the top 20 highest grossest movies of the year. This fall, "The Song" and "Exodus: God and Kings" will also be released into theaters.

However, the poll also revealed that more than 40 percent of Christian moviegoers believe that the major studios do not accurately represent their faith on screen.

The survey found that historical and biblical fidelity are key factors for Christian moviegoers, as the majority only want Hollywood adaptations of Biblical stories which "adhere strictly to the details of the original story."

Jones, who runs the media organization the Christian News Service, partnered with the producer of "Nicaea" in creating the poll to better understand the desires of a faith-based audience.

"The biggest lesson we saw was that historical and biblical accuracy is really important to Christians," Jones said. "That should give folks a stern warning that it's crucial to use historical data, historical facts and biblical themes as accurately as possible."

Brett McCracken, film critic and author of Gray Matters, questioned what exactly the majority surveyed meant when they indicated they wanted a movie that followed the specifics of the Bible.

"Does that mean that we expect the film to not have anything above and beyond the actual words in the story?" McCracken told The Christian Post. "If that's the case, in the case of 'Noah,' there would be no words spoken by Noah in the movie, because he doesn't actually speak in the biblical story, except for one verse in the end when he gives the curse story of Canaan after Ham sees him naked and drunk."

The American Insights poll surveyed 1,200 American adults via cellphone, landline and online survey between May 1 and May 8. 63 percent identified themselves as Christian. The margin of error for their study was plus or minus 2.8 percent.