Poll: Majority of 'Son of God' Ticket Buyers Plan to See 'Noah' (Exclusive)
The vast majority of faith-based moviegoers buying advance tickets to see this weekend's Son of God also plan to see Darren Aronofsky's controversial Old Testament epic Noah, or 76 percent, according to a poll of 1,000 consumers by online-ticketing service Fandango.
Aronofsky's Noah, which Paramount and New Regency open in theaters March 28, has sparked debate among some Christians because of the intensity and darkness of the character. However, Paramount believes that the vast majority of Christians will embrace the film, also intended for mainstream moviegoers.
According to Fandango's survey, 94 percent want to see more biblical stories brought to the big screen. There also is high interest in seeing Greg Kinnear's upcoming Christian drama, Heaven Is for Real, (83 percent) and Ridley Scott's Christmas event film, Exodus, (82 percent) starring Christian Bale as Moses. (The poll didn't ask if moviegoers planned on seeing those two films, as it did when broaching Noah.)
If the country's faith-based population is underserved by Hollywood -- resulting in infrequent trips to the multiplex -- 2014 is something of an exception, beginning with Son of God, adapted from Mark Burnett and Roma Downey's hit television miniseries The Bible.
Son of God, chronicling the life of Jesus Christ, opens in theaters Friday and could gross anywhere from $15 million to $30 million in its debut.
While Son of God, Noah and 20 Century Fox's Exodus are getting plenty of attention, they aren't the only films targeting faith-based audiences. Directed by Randall Wallace (Secretariat), Sony's Heaven Is Real opens April 16 and recounts the real-life story of a four-year-old son of a Nebraska pastor who said he experienced being in heaven during emergency surgery.
And on May 9, Sony's TriStar label debuts Moms' Night Out, a Christian comedy starring Sarah Drew, Trace Adkins, Sean Astin and Patricia Heaton.
Fandango's survey revealed that 68 percent of those buying tickets to Son of God consider it a special event and attend only a handful of movies a year. (It said that 30 percent have seen Frozen, while 38 percent have seen Gravity.)
And 63 percent will bring their entire family to see Son of God, while 56 percent watched The Bible.