Paramount Targeting Christian Audiences With 'Justin Bieber: Never Say Never'

7:35 PM PST 02/09/2011 by THR staff
Paramount Pictures
"Justin Bieber: Never Say Never"

The studio has held screenings for faith leaders and distributed spiritual discussion guides for the movie, in which Bieber's faith is on full display.

It's pretty much a given that most tween girls are already planning to go see the new 3D biopic-concert hybrid Justin Bieber: Never Say Never.

But Paramount is targeting another, more specific audience in the days leading up to the movie's Friday bow: Christians.

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The studio has held screenings for faith leaders around the country and also handed out spiritual discussion guides, according to the Religion News Service. That's the same tactic that was taken to promote Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ and Oscar winner The Blind Side, starring Sandra Bullock.

Bieber has made no secret of his faith, which is on full display in Never Say Never. He was singing Christian songs on YouTube before fame hit, and sings about his beliefs on his November single "Pray."

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And Never Say Never features several scenes with Bieber praying before concerts.

"People will walk away (from the movie) knowing faith is very important to him," said Scooter Braun, Bieber's manager and one of the film's producers. "As a Christian, he's someone to look up to. ... When (fans) are getting the real person is when they can connect to that person."

Paramount's discussion guide says the movie "provides an opportunity to teach our children about the power of hope, prayer, faith and family." It also offers some Bible verses that relate to the movie.

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One pastor told the Religion News Service that he may use the as a starting point to discuss "how authority and responsibility go hand in hand."

Meanwhile, Braun shot down the suggestion that Bieber's faith is being used as a marketing tool.

"There are some stars who speak their faith because they're trying to do outreach to that audience and there are others who share that side of their lives because that's who they are," Braun said. "And I think that's just who Justin is."

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