In the article Rottenberg honestly addresses the issues that after the success of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, film executives and studios became aware that Christians were "a market" that could be targeted.
In fact, there has been a lot of effort to try to re-capture this audience.
The article discusses the "Christian-marketed film" success stories are limited to Passion of the Christ and Disney's Chronicles of Narnia. In terms of percent profit, Fireproof was very successful grossing $33 million in theaters, with a production cost of 1 million dollars.
And I believe, in many ways, the low budget Christian film Fireproof connected with Evangelical audiences largely because the authenticity of the project, being written, produced, and performed by Christians. (Including Kirk Cameron, pictured left).
Yet...even with the vast Christian support, this film "only" grossed $33 million.
Match the success of "The Passion" marketing to Christian audiences...it won't happen.
There's so many great stories from the Bible that could transition into really compelling film stories. Yet I think what studios might learn first, is when it comes to Biblical stories, no story is as important to the Christian faith then the the death and resurrection of Christ, and while Mel Gibson's passion focused on the brutality of this passion, this is the part of the story that church Easter services might not capture.
When it comes the story of the Nativity, the movie "The Nativity" offered little different that what had been presented in church performances and other Christian videos.
Honestly, it's too bad that more Biblical stories aren't produced with the love, care, budget, and audience-focused presentation placed in the Passion but there will not be another Passion of the Christ.
If there are other Christian success stories in recent years, lower-budget films like Fireproof will probably be the most "successful."
But I think that when it comes to "What Movies Do Christian's Want?" it hardly ends with The Passion of the Christ and Fireproof. In fact, to answer the question in this way is hardly sufficient, and maybe part of where studios have gotten it wrong.
[That's why this post is simply "Part I." More to come. Stay tuned.]