Thursday, October 6, 2011

Morgan Freeman Comments Hurt Dolphin Tale Box Office

A poll was just released on how political perceptions impact Democrat and Republican moviegoers.  The results:
35 percent of Republicans and 45 percent of Tea Partiers consider a celebrity's political position before paying to see their films, compared with 20 percent of Democrats.
The recent aspersion that Tea Party members were racists by Dolphin Tale star, Morgan Freeman is a prime example. The Hollywood Reporter admits it is difficult to calculate exactly how badly his comments impacted opening weekend but said they, "did have an effect."

THR further said,
"The timing wasn't ideal, considering Dolphin Tale had opened that day and the film was tracking particularly well among conservatives...  After the remarks, 34 percent of the conservatives who were aware of them, and 37 percent of Tea Partiers, said they were less likely to see the film -- but 42 percent of liberals said they were more likely.

For years Dr. Ted Baehr of MovieGuide has released a report to Hollywood analyzing the impact of films that ran counter to Judeo/Christian values.  In his 2010 report, he specifically drew the correlation between conservative values of Tea Party members and a film's box office revenue.
"...movies with conservative values averaged $84.76 million per movie in 2010 in the United States and Canada, an increase from 2009’s average of $83.11 million. Conversely, movies with liberal, leftist content and values such as socialism, communism, radical feminism, Anti-Americanism, anti-capitalism, political correctness, and secular humanism or atheism declined from $25.85 million per movie in 2009 to only $17.94 million per movie in 2010."
2010 Political Content
Avg. B.O. 2010
All Conserv/Moral Categories
All Liberal/Leftist Categories

2009 Political Content

Avg. B.O. 2009

All Conservative/Moral Categories

$83.11 million

All Liberal/Leftist Categories

$25.85 million

The real kicker is that it holds true for overseas markets as well.  Dr. Baehr summarizes:

"...conservative movies with strong traditional moral and political values earn three to five times more money than liberal/leftist movies with strong non-traditional, secular humanist or statist values."

(Author's Note & Disclosure: I am a personal friend of Dr. Baehr and have worked with him on various projects. Also - PLEASE SUBSCRIBE AND SUPPORT Movieguide for the work they do.  Each opening movie is reviewed by both quality and content against values.)

Among other findings in the report:
► Democrats are bigger moviegoers This is likely fueled by Hollywood's reputation -- among both parties -- for churning out movies that promote liberalism (Avatar was named by the most moviegoers as having a liberal agenda). During the past six months, Democrats have seen on average 5.7 movies in a theater, while Republicans have seen fewer than four.
► Republicans are more likely to wait for home video Democrats are likelier to see movies on opening weekend, while GOP members prefer waiting it out. Republicans assume their values will be assaulted onscreen -- so why pay the big bucks? -- while Democrats embrace pop culture more and want to be "in the know," says Penn.
►  Republicans prefer family films; Democrats like edge From hundreds of Oscar winners and classics, Republicans were far more likely to name as favorites The Sound of Musicand It's a Wonderful Life; Democrats favored Bonnie and Clyde and The Silence of the Lambs. Among recent films, Republicans were likelier to choose Soul Surfer and Secretariat. Democrats? The Social Network, Bad Teacher and Easy A.
► Republicans tsk-tsk sex, violence and cursing While majorities of both parties think movies contain too much of all those, the numbers are greater for Republicans. A majority of Democrats think Hollywood films are generally inspiring and morally uplifting; a majority of Republicans don't.
► Democrats think America is portrayed well While 62 percent of Dems say Hollywood shows America in a positive light, only 39 percent of Republicans concur. And 44 percent of Republicans think Hollywood portrays the U.S. military negatively, but only 21 percent of Democrats agree. "Typically, when you see a movie, it will reflect a Democrat's values," says Penn. "Republicans aren't getting the films they want."
►  Not everything about movies is partisan Dems and Republicans say comedy is their favorite genre, popcorn is their favorite theater snack, Forrest Gump is their preferred blockbuster and Indiana Jones is their favorite action hero.

With 20 years of Movieguide data and annual reports to Hollywood, and the voice of their industry now publishing the same - it is certainly time for shareholders of these media companies to begin demanding more conservative films.
Movieguide published an article, "Tinsletown is on a Mission to Sexualize Young Girls." Why would an industry INTENTIONALLY take a course contrary to their own economic benefit?  And how selfish of Morgan Freeman to decide to use his free speech liberties at a time it would most hurt his employers and the shareholders that gave him the luxury of his vocation.

Read the full story and poll here:
Democrats vs. Republicans: Stars they Won’t Pay to See; Movies They Hate and Love (Poll) - The Hollywood Reporter

Full MovieGuide 2010 Political Content:

Avg. B.O. 2010
Strong Anti-Communist Content
Strong Pro-Capitalist Content
Very Strong Biblical Morality*
Strong Patriotic/Pro-American Movies
Strong Anti-Capitalist Content
Strong Anti-Patriotic/Anti-American Movies
Strong Pro-Communist Content
Strong Politically Correct Content
Any Pro-Socialist Content
Very Strong Pro-Atheism
Very Strong Pro-Homosexual Content
Very Strong Feminism
All Conservative/Moral Categories
All Liberal/Leftist Categories


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