Christian Group Regards Nativity Flop As Setback
The disappointing box-office performance of The Nativity Story represents a "very serious setback" for people of faith who were hoping that Hollywood would produce more films for them, according to Ted Baehr, chairman of the Christian Film & Television Commission. Baehr, who also writes film reviews for his self-published Movieguide, told the conservative WorldNetDaily that Hollywood generally makes "extremely bigoted, anti-Christian movies" because they do well at the box office. He cited such films as Borat and Jackass 2. He blamed New Line marketers for failing to get the word out early to churches, pointing out that Mel Gibson had begun promoting The Passion of the Christ nine months before it was released and that Disney had distributed Narnia study guides to nearly ever church before that film opened. As of Tuesday, The Nativity Story, which cost $35 million to make, had taken in only $25 million in ticket sales. Meanwhile, conservative Christian groups have launched a "Stand Up for Christmas" campaign to encourage churchgoers to support the film by going to see it this weeke.