Religious Viewers Give 'Noah' Thumbs Down

Friday, 28 Mar 2014 11:10 AM

By Melanie Batley

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"Noah," the Hollywood epic with Russell Crowe being released in theaters Friday, is drawing critical reviews from faith audiences who give it a thumbs-down, indicating the film may flop with a key target audience.

Faith Driven Consumer, a group that tracks the commercial viability of major Hollywood films among faith audiences, has released ratings that show that Paramount Pictures' $125 million movie gets just two out of five stars in its Faith-friendly Film Reviews.

"In the run up to the release of 'Noah,' we asked our Faith Driven Consumer community whether or not they would be satisfied with a Biblically-themed movie – designed to appeal to them – which replaces the Bible's core message with one created by Hollywood, and 98 percent responded that they would not," Chris Stone, a certified brand strategist and founder of Faith Driven Consumer, said in a statement.

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Stone says the film "misses the boat."

"'Noah' is a significant departure both from the Biblical narrative and message, and Faith Driven Consumers are likely not going to spend their hard-earned dollars on an entertainment product that fails to resonate."

This year has been dubbed the "Year of the Bible Movie," with the release of other movies such as "Son of God" and "God's not Dead."

Stone said that the recent successes of those films demonstrate that there is a significant, largely untapped market for faith-friendly films, something that Hollywood now recognizes.

"In the case of 'Noah,' Paramount has left untold millions of dollars on the table. This movie will be remembered by the faith community as an epic missed opportunity," Stone said.

The organization uses five specific criteria to measure the compatibility of entertainment products for faith-based audiences. The movie scored two out of five stars for its overall faith and/or Biblical relevance; faith-compatible depiction of characters and character relationships; and family viewing suitability.

It scored 2.5 out of 5 stars for faith-compatible depiction of situations, and just 1.5 out of 5 stars for entertainment value.

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