When The Passion of the Christ crashed into Hollywood's closed universe last year, it smashed cherished assumptions about the Christian moviegoer, primarily the ones about those folks not existing. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe appears poised to inter the charge that Mel Gibson's 2004 blockbuster was an anomaly. The big question that ought to be at the center of every meeting this month and next in the nation's film studios: What are we doing to get this market?
Jonathan Bock of Grace Hill Media, one of the firms involved in introducing the Narnian adventure to the public, put it well: "Not making movies for Christians is, quite frankly, bad business." Mr. Bock is among the most respected of the cross-over gurus who help movie-types understand church-types, and he's got the right angle from a shareholder's perspective: Studios that aren't trying to hit this bullseye aren't serving their owners well. Indifference to profits is not what distinguishes great management.
The Christian community has a question to answer as well: Can it wholeheartedly embrace a movie project like LWW that provides exactly what's been desired for so long, even when it comes from a studio and a corporation, like Disney, that has often disappointed in the past? Those who would welcome more and more breakthroughs like The Passion and the Narnian adventures should hope the answer to that question is a resounding yes.