Can Christians Really Change Hollywood?

    During a recent panel discussion workshop at the San Diego Christian Film Festival, filmmaker and media consultant Phil Cooke suggested that Christians have the power to change the nature of Hollywood.

    How? By demanding quality movies with moral standards, such as Fireproof.

    How? By supporting the exact types of movies we want to see more of.

    Cooke believes that if Christians attended quality Christian movies on opening night, the ticket sales would send a message to Hollywood movie executives that there’s a high demand for Christian films. Therefore, they’ll be prompted to produce more like flicks.

    As Christians, we’ve done a bad job of voting at the box office. We boycott movies we don’t like. We criticize movies we don’t like. Hollywood couldn’t care less about boycotts…With 71 million evangelical Christians in America, if we actually went out on opening night to movies we support I just think we would change Hollywood tomorrow. That’s what gets [movie executives’] attention – box office. Yet, we don’t. (Phil Cooke)

    PI girls, do you agree?

    Can Christians change Hollywood?

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    1. No thanks. I’ll stick with my Quentin Tarantino, Chris Nolan, and Guy Ritchie films. Those are much more appealing to me than Fireproof and October Baby. Cussing, sex, and violence aren’t necessary for a quality film, but they do help. ~_^

      • @eurydice……what do you mean by “quality film”? Quality really means excellence and cussing, sex, and violence are definitely not excellence! One of the Ten Commandments God gives us is “thou shalt not misuse the name of the Lord your God”. Ephesians 4:29 also says, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Another of the Ten Commandments also says that we shouldn’t commit adultery……..although we definitely cannot keep the rules of the Ten Commandments (this is why Jesus came to die for our sins), we should honor and obey what God says and repent when we disobey him. I’m not perfect and I do admit that I have watched movies that have the things you said, but I would not have watched those movies if I had known what was in it. Movies like Fireproof and October Baby may not have the best acting, but it truly teaches God’s Word and the actors clearly love God. Maybe this will change your mind the next time you go to see a movie!

        • I look for artistic integrity, not Christian values in my entertainment. It’s a personal preference. You said it right there, they “might not have the best acting.” I don’t watch movies that sacrifice good performance in favor of a moral message.

      • I don’t mean to be rude but from some of your past comments and specifically this one, I don’t think that you’re being a good role model to young girls on this website. This comment brings secular and worldly views as opposed to views that come from the Bible or a relationship with Christ.
        You should not undermine Christian movies just because they have ‘bad acting.’ They still have powerful stories to tell and you should really give them a chance. And as far as supporting movies that have cursing, sex, etc. , the Bible says to guard your heart because your heart becomes what it hears and sees. Do not let the world conform you and please be careful about what you say. It can impact younger site viewers in a negative way.

        • I agree. I was kind of surprised to see that someone would want to see sex and hear cursing and so on just to say that it was a good movie. Soul Surfer was an EXCELLENT Christian movie that didn’t have cursing or sex, and it still managed to keep the attention of everyone who I let watch it. Showing viewers real life testomonies and miracles of God is all every movie should show these days because everything else is becoming just too outrageous.

        • I’m merely expressing my opinion that I don’t think Christian movies are much of an achievement or much to be proud of. I mean, if you’re okay with second-rate just because it has a “good message,” that’s your lookout. It’s a personal preference. I’m not okay with second (and most often third) rate films, and I don’t bother with them. Film is an art, and I don’t bother looking at art I think is rubbish.

      • Hey Eurydice with all respect those are not quality films. Quality means ” The standard of something as measured against other things of a similar kind; the degree of excellence of something” those movies show no excellence with all the cussing and sex which it is glamorizing. I’ll be praying for your heart to change directions because as bridgittku said we shouldn’t conform to this world.

        • It’s art. The content only means as much as you allow it to. I find Christian film to be a snore fest…if not a laughingstock. Again, it’s a personal preference. Frankly, I don’t think it’s fair to claim I conform to the world. Just because I don’t like the things you like doesn’t make my life any less wholesome. Life is not tame, so why should our art be so? Just because certain elements are part of a film does not mean its creators are promoting them; it’s part of expression. I view films with a critical eye, looking at what works and what doesn’t. Excitement and passionate performance work, but sappy Christian messages and novice caliber acting don’t. At least, they don’t work for me.

        • I do agree film is an art. Maybe you haven’t seen some of the new Christian movies, but some are very good quality. And the good morals make the art of film even more beautiful.

        • Conforming to the world is not holding God’s standards as your own. If Jesus lived in this day and age, He probably wouldn’t watch the things that you seem to promote on here. And if you disagree with that, (which the Bible talks about) or disagree with the parts of the Bible that say these things, then you’re creating for yourself an Idol god…meaning you are not believing in the God, or Jesus of the Bible. I’m praying for you, because as I read your comments on here I feel very concerned for you.

        • It’s amazing I’ve had to say this so many times: People interpret things differently and are on different places on the Christianity spectrum. Every point along the spectrum has a common origin- belief in God and acceptance of Christ. Just because I’m at a different place on that spectrum doesn’t mean I’m not a Christian. Just of a different sort. I don’t appreciate your condescending prayers one bit. I just happen to not define my Christianity by what I abstain from…though this definition does seem to be something oddly promoted on PI.

          (Though, I really could picture Jesus eating popcorn and watching Kill Bill…~_^)

        • I should probably clarify that I don’t actively LOOK FOR violence, sex, and cussing. I just don’t go out of my way to avoid it either. :p

      • I do agree with you that some Christian movies really aren’t very good quality. Some of them are low-budget, and look like it! But some of them, at least in my opinion, were really good quality and had a good message. Courageous, A Shine of Rainbows, and Amazing Grace were all, I thought, very well done as well as having a good message. I’ve also heard that The Passion of Christ was really good in both senses, but as I’ve never seen it I won’t say anything of my own about it. 😉

        • Passion of the Christ is the one film I will not see on moral principle. Congrats, you found a film that tugs my tail of my spiritual morality. I allow a lot of things into my home (besides Christian films), but I feel as if Passion touches on something too sacred to mess with. Yes, I’ll look at paintings of the Crucifixion at a museum, but I don’t think it’s appropriate to reenact it on stage or on film. That’s just a personal thing.

        • Funny, I actually feel the same way… That’s why I’ve never seen it. I thought I was the only one who thought that!

          What I was really trying to get with that was that there ARE some Christian movies that are well done in the artistic sense. I mean, I may not agree with reenacting it, but they didn’t ask my opinion. =P I’m simply saying that it, as far as I’ve heard, was a really well done movie, and has made a lot of people think about what a huge price Jesus paid for us. What He suffered so that we could live. One of my friends said it reminded her that Jesus didn’t have it easy. So even though I haven’t watched it for pretty much the same reason as you dislike it(although maybe not) it has touched and changed lives.

      • I just want to say first of all, I admire your honesty.
        I understand that artistic integrity is a big thing for you, and I agree that there’s an importance to it in film making. However, I just want to say that it isn’t always the “christian” movies that have bad acting… For instance, I watched the first Twilight movie, and honestly thought the acting was horrid. However, I thought the actors in fireproof did a great job!
        Second, I want to touch on another aspect of what you said. You said “cussing, sex, and violence aren’t necessary for a quality film, but they do help.” While I don’t think that every film that has cussing, sex, and violence is necessarily bad, I have to WHOLEHEARTEDLY disagree with the statement as a whole. I don’t think that they in any way help to make something a “quality” film.
        That is my opinion, and I have a right to my own opinion, and you, your own. I don’t want you to feel that I’m attacking you, because I don’t mean it that way. But I just wanted to explain my concerns about you possibly stereotyping movies, because each movie may or may not display all aspects of the “type” of movie it is.

    2. I love it when I see Christian movies and actors in Hollywood. God is definately working through them. The encourage and inspire me. Hollywood is just like an uncivilized village that doesn’t know God. When missionarys go it can change completely. Christian actors are kind of like that. 🙂 Great article!

    3. i need help. has anyone had so much doubt to the point that they thought that they stopped beliveing. because i feel like i stopped believeing. i mean i want to believe and i think i do but then again i keep on thinking that i don’t. and i already asked God to come into my heart. and now whenever i think of Jesus and His love i feel these aweful in a way sort of hatefull feelings and i do not want to feel this way. please someone help me! i feel like that i am about to die spiritually, like God is gonna let me go. i don’t want him to let me go! help!!! /:

      • Hi, I seem to have noticed from a lot of yur comments that you are going through feelings that I have experienced before. If you would like, I would be more than happy to give you my perspective, advice, beliefs, and testimony. If you EVER want to reach out to someone, feel like you need help, advice, or even just a friend to be there for you, email me at
        Don’t lose faith! God has a plan for you!

      • He’s not gonna let you go. If your doubting you’re saved, ask your pastor. I used to wonder if I was for real saved, but I renewed my faith a few years ago. Now I’m trying to walk with Jesus, but it’s really hard. If you’re a Christian, your life is not gonna be easy.

    4. Man I’m wishing I went to go see Fireproof when it came out. I hear that Kirk Cameron wouldn’t kiss the leading actress in the movie, stating that he would only ever kiss his wife. So they had his wife in real life come in with a wig on for the kissing scene. That’s super epic and romantic of him. Thumbs up to Kirk Cameron. : ) And Christian movies are awesome!

    5. I personally love Christian movies. If Miss Eurydice doesn’t like them, that’s her issue or perception or what ever you want to call it. I don’t watch movies with immoral values because it can really leave a mark on your heart, soul, and mind. It can also scar you for life if your not careful, and it can become apart of who you are. Eurydice, thank you for being honest, but I’d rather see you post more constructive critisizm then opinionated critsizm. Also, you’re not bad at all for liking whatever movies you like. You have the freedom to do that, and it doesn’t make God love you anymore or anyless!

        • Hey, if you spend your time trying to understand it, you will get messed up in the head. Let Eurydice like what she wants. If she gets convicted than hurray for her! If she doesn’t, then love her anyways even if it’s not what you want her to do, and move on. 🙂

    6. No, Christians are not going to change Hollywood. We are just people, but I believe God can change Hollywood. Also, Christians cannot change people by people pleasing the world or by arguing with them. The only way to do it is with pure LOVE in your heart, and you can only get that from God. I might have misinterpreted what you said…But it’s all good. I’m also sort of sick of debates on here about what Christian values are right and what Christian values aren’t right. -_-

    7. We can chage Hollywood by the Christlike things we do,and going to a christian movie is a Christlike thing,and that should send the message that God can be involved in Hollywood and it can still be succesful! 😀

    8. In my opinion, Christian films are of the best quality, because they promote Godly standards, and abstain from wordly attractions and stumbling blocks…. My favorite movies are the ones that I feel I can honor God by watching 🙂

    9. i definitely agree with Eurydice, I’ll start seriously watching “Christian” movies when they start being more than vehicles for morals painfully bad acting and directing. I watch movies for good, entertaining art, currently, most movies that aren’t blatantly christian seem much better than those that are IMO.

    10. I believe that Christians can change Hollywood, but I don’t believe that making more Christian movies is the way to do it, per se. I want to see more Christians making mainstream movies and directing where Hollywood is going, instead of building their own group of movies that are not really part of Hollywood. Christian movies tend to, on the whole, be low quality and only get people to watch them because the movie is “Christian”. I don’t want more “Christian” movies; I want more movies that honor God. (That being said, some Christian movies are really good. I just saw October Baby recently and I was shocked at how good it was, considering it was a Christian movie. :)) I personally try to watch moral, high quality movies (primarily older movies and animated movies) and not worry about whether they’re “Christian” per se or not.

    11. Here’s the thing: I support Christian movies, but I end up watching a lot of secular movies. But the movies I watch are basically Disney movies or movies excluding morals I do not support. Is that okay?

    12. I believe that we can make hollywood what we want ti to be. I think it’s important to remember that not all secular movies can be bad. For example I believe that most Disney movies are great for kids.
      However I don’t believe that we should be watching movies that directly contradict God’s words. For example people should watch explicit sex scenes because you’re exposing your self to a certain level of desensitization to things that God purposefully wants to you be sensitive to. Also no where in the bible does it say that it’s ok to curse as long as your acting. We are suppose to honor God with all of our actions no matter what the situation is. The bible also says that we should not expose our self willingly to temptation, so if you watch a movie with sex and swearing while you know that they’ll be there then that’s a bad thing in my opinion.
      That being said I don’t think that all secular movies are bad, just ones that are too explicit. I know a lot of great secular movies that aren’t boring just because they lack those things. And I’m sure that there are a lot of great Christian films, but I don’t really like films that are set in the 1900s and beyond. I really like period dramas. If anyone knows some good christian period films could they please recommend them to me?
      God Bless!

      • Hey, so here are some of my favorite period Christian films
        – One Night with the KIng-( It’s about Ester in the Bible)- My Favorite!
        – The Nativity Story
        -Prince of Egypt-( You can never go wrong with a cartoon, lol 🙂 )
        – The Love Comes Softly Series- (Takes place in around the mid to late 1800’s)

        • My favorite is Narnia! even though it is fantasy it is definitely a good film with christian morals and good acting all at the same time!!!

    13. Eurydice, are you implying that someone who puts in the time and money to make a good Christian film hasn’t made an achievement? Not the low quality ones, but the ones that someone actually put their heart into. Even with those, doing something for Christ is the biggest achievement all of us will ever accomplish in our life. You say film is art, and yes I agree with that. But the art that you are appreciating is worthless. You’re watching these secular movies for action, thrill, or whatever, but what’s the message that’s going to be stuck in your head for years? If you don’t want to watch a Christian movie, then at least let it be something uplifting. Even uplifting Christian movies such as To Save A Life has a second of sex leading to a pregnancy, kids questioning their faith, weed, drinking and partying, and even a curse word or two if that’s what you need to see in a movie to keep you interested. But the overall message is that through it all, God is with you. We’re not trying to say you’re not a Christian, we’re not praying for you to seem like we’re better than you. We’re just here to tell you that you don’t have to, and you shouldn’t want to settle for putting that secular garbage in your mind and in your heart to affect the way you look at life. Film is much more than art, it’s an influence.

      • Whether the art I enjoy is worthless or not is a matter of opinion. Frankly, I find most Christian films to be worthless; that’s my opinion. I don’t actively look for violence and whatnot in films, but I don’t go out of my way to avoid it either. I’d rather settle for “secular garbage” as you put it than settle for artistic mediocrity for the sake of an “uplifting” message. The world influences you only as much as you let it, and I happen to have a lot of confidence in myself as a grown woman to decide what to take in and what to keep out.

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