Paramount Disputes 'Noah' Religious Audience Survey

Wednesday, 19 Feb 2014 10:35 AM

By Melanie Batley

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Paramount Pictures is disputing the validity of a report suggesting that Christians are virtually unanimous in their dissatisfaction with the soon-to-be released Hollywood film "Noah."

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Paramount issued a statement saying it "strongly disputes" an article posted on Variety.com citing a Faith Driven Consumer survey which indicated 98 percent of respondents were "not satisfied with a biblically themed movie — designed to appeal to you — which replaces the Bible's core message with one created by Hollywood."

"The survey question that had the 98 percent response rate did not contain any reference to the film 'Noah,' despite the fact that the Variety reporting implied that it did," the studio said in a statement, according to the Reporter.

It added that "research from industry-leading firms about the upcoming epic paints a very different picture."

Paramount cited its own research in disputing the claims.

"Nielson's National Research Group [NRG], the industry's decades-long standard for measuring prerelease tracking of feature films [and other entertainment offerings], is tracking 'Noah' and has gauged, with still six weeks to go before the film's release and from self-defined 'very religious' moviegoers, that 83 percent of those aware of Noah in the prerelease tracking have expressed interest in seeing the film," Paramount said.

The studio also cited data from another survey firm, which showed that 86 percent of the Christians surveyed who are aware of the film said they would recommend "Noah" to their friends, according to the Reporter.

Paramount researched Christian audiences during the filming of "Noah," according to a recent report by the Reporter, and was eager to ensure it would appeal to religious audiences.
 
The organization that conducted the disputed survey was behind the petition to reinstate Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson. The company continues to stand by its findings.

"We sent an email introducing our survey that squarely mentions 'Noah' and that links to an extensive article in The Hollywood Reporter, and 5,000 people responded, which is significant," Chris Stone, founder of Faith Driven Consumer, told the Reporter.

"I don't know how much clearer we could make it that it was about 'Noah' unless we got in their face and screamed it at them. I mean, we did everything but speak from a burning bush and say, 'This is about "Noah."'

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