A Letter to Mark Burnett: Faith-Based Films Vs. Culture Wars

Mark Burnett Religious Film Producer
Craig Larotonda

Memo to: Mark Burnett

Apparently you are not content just to be television’s most prolific producer, Mark, so you have now committed yourself to a new career as a film producer — one with a specific mission. You want Hollywood to give God a comeback.

To this end, you’ve mobilized tens of millions of dollars to turn a string of outtakes and re-edited footage into a motion picture, “Son of God,” which opened to $25.6 million on 3,254 screens last week (of course, you and your allies pre-bought many of the tickets).

The film is not really new; much of the footage came from your 2013 TV miniseries, “The Bible,” with some new scenes added. While its box office numbers have made you an instant folk hero in the evangelical Christian community, you might also note that the picture is opening in the middle of a culture war that will impact the fortunes of several spiritual epics due to be released.

The problem, Mark, is that when you encourage pastors, among others, to buy out multiplexes for “Son of God” in their communities, some would accuse you of a form of spiritual bullying.

Here are some big picture realities to ponder, Mark: Battles pitting faith-based voters against same sex marriage and the legalization of pot are heating up across Middle America. Many states are weighing legislation permitting businesses to refuse to serve presumably gay customers on “religious grounds.” So while you may take pride in “evangelizing” your film’s message, as you put it, you should also be aware that you are politicizing the Mark Burnett brand.

Tensions between the religious and secular communities are stirring problems for “Noah,” a $125 million Old Testament epic set to open March 28. Reactions to initial screenings have reminded marketers that conservative filmgoers often are disturbed by Hollywood’s depiction of biblical plots and themes. (Footage from “Exodus,” a planned December release starring Christian Bale as Moses, has not yet screened.)

Indeed, your own biblical interpretations, Mark, have been challenged in some circles. “Taking Jesus into your life these days has become another form of instant gratification, one that avoids acknowledgement of denominational conflicts,” says producer John Heyman, whose Bible-informed television specials recently earned him a visionary award from the faith-based Movieguide organization.

To be sure, religious films have performed well in the past: Mel Gibson’s 2004 “Passion of the Christ” took in $612 million globally. And Hollywood successfully played to the faithful back in the ’40s with films like “The Song of Bernadette” and “The Bells of St. Mary’s,” and in the ’50s with “The Ten Commandments.”

But given the potential for controversy, will religious films today still soar? Backers seem to be worried enough to try to rate the game. When Movieguide proclaimed two weeks ago that movies with conservative spiritual values outperformed those displaying “liberal or leftist” content by a margin of 4 to l, these conclusions were heralded on Fox News. Of course, Movieguide’s labels were murky: “Iron Man 3,” “Man of Steel” and “Lone Survivor” were identified as “conservative,” while “The Wolverine,” “The Lone Ranger” and “Blue Is the Warmest Color” were cited as “leftist-liberal.”

Ted Baehr, founder of Movieguide and of the Christian Film and Television Commission, explained these results by pointing out that the vast majority of the world’s 7 billion people were religious by nature. But even if that’s true, does that necessarily make them prospective filmgoers?

You and your financial supporters, Mark, are banking that you will reach a wide audience that embraces your spiritual message. You might be right, but you might also be surprised by the pushback from those who feel that elements of the faith-based community, in advancing their cause, seem insensitive to the priorities of dissenters.

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  1. Rambo says:

    I can’t help notice that Mark and Roma’s Survivor has an extreme disproportionate amount of lgbtqtwbqxyzs. At first it was Richard Hatch, big surprise, he won, showed he’s a big ol’ tax cheat. Later Mark became a Christian and kept stacking the deck with about 15 to 20% gays per season. As nice as people are to them, they play the victim and are so nasty, what are you doing Mark? Just make your Gayvivor show so we can skip that season!

  2. andydoerksen says:

    I’m getting *really* tired of people claiming that Christian business owners “refuse to serve gays.” That simply isn’t true. What they’re refusing to do is to *contribute to specific events* that compromise the business owners’ conscience. Bakers are a prime example: Christian bakers DO serve gays – as people who just want pastries, cakes or whatever. I.e., if you’re gay, and you want a birthday cake, a Christian baker will be happy to do that for you.

    What they don’t wish to do, however, is *contribute to gay weddings*. This isn’t about gays as people. The refusal is event-specific. So it’s NOT like, say, being prejudiced against another race and refusing them service because you don’t like that race.

  3. God doesn’t need a ‘comeback’ as you say, Mr. Bart. He never has. But I do. Everyday I need a comeback and the only place to get it, is through my Lord. Too many people go to sleep longing for a ‘comeback’ and wake up the same way. Those of us who have experienced our comebacks want others to have their own, to feel that peace. That is the Good News. That is why we share the story of Jesus Christ.

    • TheBigBangOf20thCenturyPopCulture says:

      To keep your God honest and make him scientifically credible, you need to go back in time and ask the prophets who wrote his fairy tale book to make the world 4.5 billion years old instead of only 6000. They just found the earliest blood north of Africa 5000 years old in Italy, not the Middle East. And so ye who claim your invisible old man in the sky is the only true myth, have got some serious splainin’ to do.

      • Donna Morrow says:

        You know, we Christians tend to get pushy, I’ll agree, and that offends folks. I believe that’s because we take Jesus seriously when He said, “Go out into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” You guys, we don’t want you to go to hell. Plain and simple.

        In 1 Corinthians 9:19-23, the apostle Paul said, ” ……I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” That’s love, guys. That’s saying, “I’ll try my hardest to see things from your point of view, in order that I might show you why you must believe.”

        We definitely tend to be self righteous, absolutely. And we are WRONG to act or think that way. Many of us don’t know the scripture that plainly states that NONE of us is better than ANYONE, saint or sinner: “For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?” In other words, “What makes me think that I am better, stronger, purer, wiser, etc, etc, etc, than anyone else? I didn’t do anything. God did it. Not me.”
        1 Corinthians 4:7

        When that happens, you are looking at the ugliness of PRIDE, nothing else. I know that, because of a verse that says, “Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.” Proverbs 13:10

        God Himself does not believe in pushing, shouting, forcing, ANYONE into His kingdom. I realized that when I read in Revelations 22:11, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.”

        God states the rules, and leaves it up to mankind to choose. Because if He has to drag me kicking and screaming into heaven, He does not want me there. Neither would you.

        BigBang, God does not have to explain anything to anyone. You can take Him or leave Him. Our scientists are stumbling upon things that the Lord did, and using a human’s brain to figure out how/when/etc. No wonder 2+2 does not equal 4. They are missing too many equasional components, and they can not open their minds to their limited ability to understand without a revelation that they may never receive.

        So I apologize for all the pushy, loudmouthed, obnoxious, hypercritical christians who may have offended you. I have been one of them. We’re just imperfect people, trying to get you to God by our own strength any way we can, instead of praying and fasting for God to show you how real He is.

        There are explanations online, by scientists, of God’s existence, and explanations for many of the discrepancies you mention, if you want to honestly go looking for them, by the way.

  4. Ryan Izay says:

    I love this article. Not because it is well written or even for any of the views expressed by Peter Bart, but because of the pushback from extremists on each side. I find the entertainment provided by many of these views tantamount to the drama provided in reality television, which is quite fitting considering Mark Burnett spurned this debate by attempting to branch out from that particular medium.

    First off, let me say that I agree with Mr. Bart on the fact that the handling of Son of God was far from admirable, though this has nothing to do with content and everything to do with questionable business practices. The repurposing of previously used material is tacky, as was also the case with DisneyNature’s re-cutting of “Planet Earth” to create Earth, among other releases. The Christian film market has been known to make questionable decisions with their evangelical releases, with simultaneous theatrical and home entertainment releases in the past, showing an unwillingness to work within the established system of Hollywood. Also, I find it irritating how aggressive the marketing campaign has been in religious groups, but I don’t think church is an appropriate place to sell any products, however positive the content may be.

    But none of this seems to be Mr. Bart’s main point. He holds Burnett responsible for the impact a film like Son of God will have on the release of this year’s blockbuster biblical epics, and in a giant leap of logic he also believes that this will have an impact on a culture war now occurring in our country, specifically remarking on the legalization of gay marriage and marijuana. On the first point, I agree. But doesn’t the success of Son of God, regardless of who bought the tickets or how many were “bullied” into the seats, ultimately aid in the success of future biblical epics such as Noah and Exodus? Won’t high box office numbers encourage more confidence in the release of the films that follow? Or is that the problem? Mr.. Bart, do you hope for the failure of these biblically themed films, and if so, is it truly because you believe that Christians going to the movies will somehow result in a ban on gay marriage and recreational drug use?

    Here’s where I am lost by your argument, Mr. Bart. If you were to insist on labeling and pigeonholing me, you would be accurate in calling me a Christian. You could also call me a liberal. Neither of these things mean that I am forced to believe everything eitherr Christians or liberals believe, and no amount of biblical epics at the top of the box office is likely to influence my views on either of the topics you single out in the current cultural war. The only way to find out my views on each of these matters would be to ask me. I am a unique and delicate snowflake, Mr. Bart, as are you. My views aren’t a result of the labels that can accurately be attached to me. Don’t box me in.

    With that being said, I must address the many crazy religious extremists adding plenty of entertainingly ludicrous responses in this comment board. Your knee-jerk reaction to Mr. Bart’s thinly made argument only encourages his belief that it will take very little to inspire religious fervor and emotionally irrational responses. I would say more, but let’s face it; you aren’t going to hear a word I have to say unless I am agreeing with you. The internet is too easily a safe place to dissent the views of others without ever attempting the same amount of vulnerability it takes to provide views of your own. But, alas, in writing this response I have made a hypocrite of myself. So, feel free to visit my website with comment and criticisms wielded as weapons. I am sure that I have liked films with homosexuality and/or hated plenty of poorly made ‘Christian’ films, so that should give you plenty of ammo. Have fun!


    Ryan Izay

    • TheBigBangOf20thCenturyPopCulture says:

      His point is that too many Biblical movies fuel the hate machine of the religious right. It’s like feeding speed freak flicks to car racing fans to ignite a recipe for them to joy ride and crash.

      • TheBigBangOf20thCenturyPopCulture says:

        Don’t overestimate the intelligence of the American public. They live more so in pop culture than they do in real life and we see it every day in the news. And it is not religion per say but what followers do in the name of it that is analogous to the joy riders. Only the preaching of hate and division is no joy in prayerville.

      • Ryan Izay says:

        Oh, okay, that makes sense. Wait… no, it doesn’t. A racing film may be a bad example of behavior for maleable viewers and could result in urges to duplicate the illegal driving techniques learned. What is there negative to be learned in the story of Christ? The only lesson is of love, so there is a major gap in logic to think this narrative will influence views on the legalization of gay marriage and marijuana. Because extremists may be among the target audience does not make the film at fault any more than The Dark Knight Rises was responsible for the shootings that occured in the theater screening it.

  5. Kaseyk says:

    This article is pure garbage. Utter nonsense.

  6. TheBigBangOf20thCenturyPopCulture says:

    Bart is a giant from the days when moviegoers would line up around the block to see films instead of pirating them online for free. And controversy attracts more readers than fluff. But Burnett who is a reality TV crossover guy doesn’t have the credits to merit judgment as serious cinema heavyweight in the first place.

  7. jshanleyny says:

    Are you serious? ” … you might also be surprised by the pushback from those who feel that elements of the faith-based community, in advancing their cause, seem insensitive to the priorities of dissenters.”

    Of course ‘dissenters’ are never insensitive to the beliefs of those who disagree with them, are they?

  8. Get him……. I want a #UnofficialRevolution for this same reason… please visit my page on FB if you agree with this letter… follow the link please§≈======> https://www.facebook.com/OccupyEARTH2

  9. John says:

    This is one of the silliest letters I’ve ever read. Essentially he’s whining about Burnett advocating his world view, because we all know secularists hardly do such things (as I roll my eyes).

  10. TheBigBangOf20thCenturyPopCulture says:

    Don’t miss the forest for the trees, Bart. Non patronizing media respect for entertainment consumers went out with the heyday of Louis B. Mayer. We got carpet bag foreigners running our pop culture now. So new age content is all about agenda. They want to bring religion back to idiot boxes so that robot sheep will be fixated on the invisible man in the sky and not worry so much about climate change or economic chaos. Same goes for all these dystopian nightmare films that they make for kids. If bad new days trump good old ones, the millennial will just think it’s cool like something they saw in the movies.

    • TheBigBangOf20thCenturyPopCulture says:

      As a tabloid sidebar to this story, it is said that Burnett’s wife Roma Downey is a Jesus freak. And so therein lies the faith based connection.

  11. You don’t have to read far in this obviously biased article from Daily Variety about Christian film producer Mark Burnett and his film SON OF GOD to see that we on the production team at Higher Ground Films have job security responding to such drivel with our films, now and in the future. Currently we are producing ABDUCTED TO KILL. http://www.indiegogo.com/…/abducted-to-kill…/x/335142

  12. Mr. Peter Bart… a well versed “hater” … Hater as in, if you can do it better, give it a try. There is space enough for you “brand” of film and entertainment too. Give it a try? Don’t slug so hard at the other guy who try as he may will never please everyone.

  13. ChuckLew says:

    And I guess Ryan Murphy’s mediocre homosexual-filled TV shows have no agenda at all, right Variety?

  14. CharlesKL says:

    This article stinks of bigotry. Is bashing people of faith okay with the people running Variety? The worst thing I’ve read here in a long time. Pathetic.

  15. Brian Thomas says:

    Mr. Bart, I am wondering about the masses of Hollywood stars and producers like Harvey Weinsten and Michael Moore who continually politicize their craft to the point of them being propagandists. No one in the entertainment industry to my knowledge has leveled the same criticism at Weinsten, Moore, Cher, Jimmy Fallon, or Samuel Jackson, et al I wonder about the closet Christian stars, producers, et. al, who hide in the shadows to avoid being blacklisted. Please post your postal address so we can send you an RPM gauge for your moral compass.

  16. CHL says:

    This is certainly one of the stupidest articles I have read on Variety in 20 years. This is pure buffonery. Mark Burnett can make films on whatever he wants, make as much money as he wants, from whatever audience he wants. What about people who are against violence? Or don’t want to see two gay men have “feelings?” People PAY money to see what they want to see. EVERY single film ever created has an agenda, it’s called marketing.

  17. Karen moore says:

    I just left a comment 2 minutes ago. Put wrong first name on person. I meant to be Dr John MacArthur. I put James I think. Oh we’ll, just had to tell you. John MacAthur is the pastor and radio teaching “Grace to You”.

    Thanks. Karen moore

  18. Edward17 says:

    This guy needs a lobotomy. If there’s any bullying going on it’s the endless toxic hostility toward Christianity evidenced in idiocy like this. What’s next? detention camps because its our fault? sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

  19. rocky-o says:

    dear julienne…i am a christian…i am also, what you would call, a ‘dem-lib’…and just as much as i rebuked mr. bart for lumping all christians in with ‘righteous right-wingers’, so too should you not lump all ‘dem-libs’ as hypocrites…

  20. Tony says:

    Peter, the whole purpose of the movie was to spread the “good news” that Jesus brings to us all. If Mark wanted to lead a campaign in buying movie houses out for this movie with churches and Christian organizations and distribute them to the masses, he has done what Jesus has told all who believe in him to do: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” Mark 16:15.

  21. rocky-o says:

    i love ya’ bart, but…i am a christian and please do not lump me in with those who ‘ban gay marriage’ and watch phony news from ‘fox’…we’re not all like that…having said that, i liked his mini-series and will probably see this movie when it hits dvd…at least it’s gotta be better than anything starring tom cruise or jennifer aniston…

    • Steve says:

      a) no one who supports sexual immorality is a Christian.
      b) gay marriage is banned nowhere, anymore than polygamy is banned somewhere. Please don’t associate yourself with Christ.

      • themarkmitchell says:

        When asked what the most important 10 commandment was, Jesus replied, “to love The Lord God with all your heart … and the second is like it, to love your neighbor as yourself.”

        Take it to heart… Your post, along with many other Christians’ posts are far from love. ” Mt 22:37-40
        He also goes on to say that the rest of the laws and commandments depend on these two commandments…

        Telling someone to not associate themselves with Christ??? That’s horrible!!! And the reason many people feel so strongly against Christians, because they have been burned by (supposed to be loving and caring) people like you. Please go read James and rethink your beliefs.

        Either way, please don’t post about Christianity in a hate-filled light anymore!

        To people who have been burned by Christians: I am deeply sorry, and assure you that some of us do love everyone, and care about people.

        Thank you,
        and God Bless


    • Julienne says:

      Bart sounds just like Nancy Pelosi. She said, “I had a Republican colleague that told me that they don’t see poor people…poor people to me are invisible” REALLY NANCY? Got a name? Didin’t think so.

      Pelosi actually said that. She also said, “We have to pass the Bill…before we will know what’s in it.”

      You catching my drift…she’s freaking nuts man. I don’t think she has a clue what she’s saying. Kinda like Bart. By the way, I was a Democrat until Bill Clinton got caught defaming our Presidency and then lied about it. I realized that they will lie to get whatever they want…and what they want is power and control.

      “You can keep your Doctor & your Insurance, if you like them.” Sound familiar.

  22. GKN says:

    What this article is simply pointing out is that Burnett fudged the B.O. numbers, by bullying pastors, into buying out multiplexes for their flock, etc. by and including films like “Iron Man 3” in his statistics – instead of letting the film work – or not – on its own. And that all these tricks are meant to fool investors, etc. into thinking they need to go with the pretended ‘faith-based’ flow.

    I don’t know why only Michael got it – out of 15 comments posted. Geez! Pretty simple really, if only you could clear your heads of passions long enough to hear anything.

    I would mention another point always fudged int these debates. Perhaps ‘the vast majority’ of the world’s 7 billion are religious (however difficult that seems to determine…), but even in this country, much less the rest of the world, it doesn’t mean they’re Christian. Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims and countless other ‘believers’ can also be ‘religious’. Another example of how the soap-box artists cheat like mad.

    • Dan says:

      You have NO idea what you’re talking about. Pastors don’t get “bullied” to take entire congregations to movie theaters. Your “point” is idiotic. Do gay bars Bully their patrons to all get together and go see gay films?

    • David says:

      I’m pretty sure everyone “got it” just fine, it’s just that the assertion is ridiculous. How can Mr. Burnett “bully” anybody into buying a ticket or block of tickets? I’d seriously like to know (and so would all the studios, I’d assume).

      • GKN says:

        It wasn’t MY point, Dan. Just summarizing the article, since everybody was (and is) running off in all sorts of beside the point directions. The usual proof that they all ‘got it’.

  23. Chester Wolfe says:

    I think Mr. Bart has a serious hate on for Christians. Period. But it would appear that he’s afraid to come right out and say that. So this rambling diatribe is merely his best effort at venting that anger without actually having the stones to say what he really wants to say. The very fact that this article was even published suggests that Variety doesn’t care what you write, so pull out the pen again and come right out and say what you’re thinking. “Christians don’t support gay marriage. I do. So Christians shouldn’t be allowed to make movies, even if those movies have nothing to do with gay marriage.” See, that’s not so hard. I’ve done all the work for you. Just copy and paste that, and put your name on it. You’re welcome.

    • Tony says:

      This is all expected and Jesus has already said as much: “If the world hates you, just remember that it has hated me first” John 15:18 (GNT).

  24. johntshea says:

    But of course ‘The Lone Ranger’ is leftist-liberal! It was after all produced by that notorious lefty-liberal, Jerry Bruckheimer, wasn’t it?

    Oh, wait…

  25. Natalie says:

    Is this the quality of writing we can expect from the Variety Editorial Director? Are you banking on the fact that we liberals will simply agree with your unhappiness about Christian films without noticing that you never get to a point, Peter?

    Apparently you are not content just to be Variety’s Editorial Director, Peter, so you have now committed yourself to a new career as a culture critic — one with a specific mission. You want Hollywood to shut down Mark Burnett and his financial appeal to church audiences.

    Concern trolling — we can all do it. Raising a bunch of questions without offering any real opinion or conclusion is lazy writing and gets you off the hook. No wonder the church audiences think we hold them in contempt. Your condescending tone has illustrated that some of us most certainly do.

    Well done.

  26. David says:

    Wow, that’s a whole lot of concern trolling in one little letter.

  27. Paul Perry says:

    I don’t think God is relying on Hollywood for a “comeback.” It is clear though that Mark Burnett is simply showing the marketing savvy that has made him successful all along. Not to mention the fact that he was wise enough to shoot a full length movie within the footage he shot to do a TV mini-series.

    You chose to criticize him for exercising his First Amendment rights and made some truly disconnected argument that he is somehow stepping on gay rights and starting a God stampede in Hollywood.

    Pretty weird column, Peter. But hey, you’ve got a right to express your opinion, Burnett has a right to make and market his movie, and the public has a right to ignore both. If the public didn’t want his Jesus movie it wouldn’t be so successful and if you weren’t writing for Variety it wouldn’t be such wacky fun to read.

    Thanks Peter, and thank you Mark Burnett for reminding us what this NSA infected, CIA riddled, tea party bruised country is all about. Freedom.

    Now take a zanax, pal, and give us a column about nymphomaniac.

    • Michael Anthony says:

      There’s one main reason Son of God was successful. The large amount if tickets bought by churches and preachers and given to their flock to see. Without that, the pics numbers would have been so so on opening weekend. Its rare that a Christian or faith based film makes money. Faith based audiences just aren’t there with wallets open. Sure, they’ll go to Frozen or Iron Man. But the film that had its Oscar nom yanked? It bombed big time. Guess they should have had pastors buy tickets!

      Its also time to lay off the meds, Paul. Its Xanax, not Zanax. Guess that faith based education didn’t work for you. Ha!

      • jshanleyny says:

        Gross: $50,875,000 (USA) (14 March 2014) That’s a whole lot of “tickets bought by churches and preachers and given to their flock to see.” Amazing how the “tolerant” crowd can never quite believe that those they disagree with are capable of making intelligent, independent choices.

      • jshanleyny says:

        “The large amount if tickets”, I think you meant to say “of tickets”. I guess your public education didn’t work for you buddy.

      • Chester Wolfe says:

        Well Michael, your education may not have been faith-based, but that didn’t help you learn the difference between “it’s” and “its”. If you’re going to criticize someone’s education, I suggest you hire a proofreader.

      • Paul Perry says:

        Didn’t have a faith based education but I guess I should get my “X’s” and “Z’s” straightened out.

        Other than that, I think you missed my point.

  28. Roger says:

    I can’t tell if I agree w Bart or not because I can’t really figure out what he’s saying. Does he think Burnett shouldn’t make his movie because some conservatives don’t support gay marriage? Huh?
    Is there a connection? Or does Bart just want to ban/stop anyone who may not support Bart’s politics.
    Didn’t want to see the movie, now I feel I have to so the Barts of the world don’t win.

  29. Sam says:

    Looks like the author is more pissed off that the film is being made (and its success) then actually taking a subjective view point from an industry insider. Plenty of ideas and films are remade and sold to core audiences. And Mark just wants to use his craft and talents to explore what he personally cares about. I would say that is “article” is just a hate on Mark letter. Sorry, but such things should be kept to your own personal blog / social media…

  30. Stacy Nelson says:

    Hey Peter…you seem ignorant to the fact that many of us who are believers do support gay merrage. At no time durring THE BIBLE was that an issue. We follow Christ and his teachings of love and acceptance. We are saved through faith NOT through politics, right or left! It is wonderful to have movies with positive uplifting messages. We all need more of that! Acceptance goes BOTH ways.

  31. ovillegator says:

    So films can only be made if they give the bully pulpit to what you believe in, Mr. Bart?

    Very tolerant of you.

    Alex, very good point.

  32. Alex Bannister says:

    Filmmaking is art. I don’t think any of us should have any say on what an artist wants to create. If Mark Burnett wants to make Films based of the oldest and still most practiced religion in the world, let him. No one told Michelangelo that he couldn’t paint the Sistine Chapel. Let artists practice their craft, and you Mr. Bart, please let the man do his work.

  33. mchasewalker says:

    Peter, you have been and continue to be an intrepid cultural hero and voice of reason in an industry that has lost its way and a culture delusionally bent on following it.

    • Vic P says:

      So exactly what is your issue, and what should Mark do differently?
      By the way I have no desire to see his movie.
      Are you trying to get him to think about the implications of making a religious movie and how the box office results will encourage more religious movies? I guess my thought is that to market a movie successfully is not bullying, its just good business. Movies are made all the time; majority of them have content that someone is going to object to. It’s America, its a free country with free market and free speech. That is why I am curious, what is the issue? What should be done differently? Thanks

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