If you happened to stumble across a devout Christian in Hollywood, you’d likely assume he was one of two things: He must be Mel Gibson, or he must be lost.
But, in fact, you just might have run into a Christian businessman named Philip Anschutz. Philip has just spent $150 million to film The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the first of the Narnia books by C. S. Lewis. Anschutz is showing us what we’d find at the box office if Hollywood gave Americans the kind of films we really want to see.
When he first considered bankrolling films, Anschutz—a billionaire from Colorado—asked the first question any smart businessman asks: What do the people want? After all, with filmmaking, as with all business ventures, the idea is—or should be—to make money.
The answer was not difficult to find. Of the twenty top-grossing films of all time, not a single one is rated R. Of the top fifty films, only five are rated R. Clearly, Americans want family fare they can take the kids to.
And yet, as Anschutz noted in a recent speech, since the year 2000, Hollywood has “turned out more than five times as many R-rated films as it has films rated G or PG or soft PG-13. . . . Don’t these figures make you wonder what’s wrong with Hollywood just from a business point of view?”
Read the rest of this BreakPoint commentary, Lighting a Hollywood Candle.
And if you are among those (like me) eagerly awaiting the December 2005 release of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, visit the Disney Narnia movie site. It’s a beauty.