The point of predictions is to do them before the event occurs. This way, if I am correct, I can gloat about it later, saying, “See? See? I told you this would happen!” And if it turns out I am completely off the mark, I can bury it with some blog entry about Paul not being a Pharisee and hope my gaffe is quickly forgotten.
I predict Expelled the Movie will be both a colossal failure and a resounding success. Seems a pretty safe prediction, doesn’t it! *grin*
First—the colossal failure. It will bomb financially. It will obtain the most financial success in its opening weekend (not breaking the top 10 movie-makers) and then will quickly fade to oblivion by the next weekend. Out on DVD by Memorial Day 2008, I should think.
The reason for this? I know my (former) fellow Christians. They are cheap and this is as uninteresting to them as it is the rest of the world.
I am sorry, but Christians are cheap. My proof on this point is my interaction with numerous wait staff. Ask any person who has ever waited on tables for a living and ask them the worst tippers. Invariably they will tell you it is the Christian crowd on Sunday afternoon and worse!--the Baptists on Sunday evening. (The only ones left with a Sunday Evening service.)
As humans, we are cheap enough. There is a reason the number of sales of movie tickets have declined for the past years—DVD’s. Compare (for me):
Movie Tickets: Three Adults ($24), Two kids ($10)
Popcorn & Pop: Three Super Saver Package ($24)
Candy: Four ($10)
I can take my family and easily spend $68 without blinking. Now consider waiting a month or so:
Pizza: Two ($11)
Pop: 24 cans ($5)
Candy: 3 bags ($9)
Microwave Popcorn: 10 bags ($8)
I have stuffed my family, with pop, popcorn, and pizza left over for $50. AND I can watch the movie again whenever I want. AND I can pause it and go to the bathroom. (See “Pop.”) How many Creationists are thinking of seeing this moving and then thinking of all the “stewardship” points they get for waiting for it to come out on DVD?
Secondly, I wonder how many Creationists are really interested in this movie. Let’s face it; the third worst killer word for a Movie is “Documentary.”* As a teenager, did you want to get together with your friends and see a…documentary? Naw—you wanted “Prom Night!” There the Creationist will be…clutching their $68 and thinking “’Expelled,’ which I know I should see, and would earn me God-points, but gosh-darn-it, ‘Leatherheads’ is showing at the same time. And God wants me to have a laugh. I will get it on DVD when it comes out…”
Not to mention this is April—spring is in the air, lawn work needs to be done, soccer games attended. Maybe next week. If it rains…or when it comes out on DVD.
I don’t see the excitement generated to go out on a spring day to see a documentary. In which the narrator is infamous for speaking in a monotone!!
Yes, I know every Christian film-maker is hoping to replicate “The Passion of the Christ.” They won’t admit it out loud (Pride being one of the seven deadly sins) but the desire is still there. This is no “Passion.”
“The Passion” was a phenomena. A rare occurrence. In the Christian community, it become more than a movie, it became “AN EVENT.” People were buying blocks of tickets and holding get-togethers afterwards. People were talking in church about movie times. Pastors were telling people to go in bulletins.
People who would never darken the door of a movie theater 10 years ago were buying movie tickets for friends. Tales were spread across e-mails about murderers confessing crimes after seeing the thing. And people openly weeping and becoming Christians right there on pop-sticky floors. Rumors had it Satan even went to see it! (And objected to his portrayal in the movie. He thought Jack Nicholson was more suited for the role.)
Is that sort of hype being generated about Expelled? I am a bit out-of-touch, but I haven’t seen the e-mails (I’m still on the mailing list.) I haven’t seen the hype. Because it is a documentary.
Plus, in “The Passion” people knew the story. They knew the happy ending. They knew this was the triumph of Christianity, with all its gore and pain. Here they know the story (face it—they know all creationists are being terribly persecuted by the science community. They’ve heard there is talk of bringing back burning at the stake…) but how interesting IS the story? Movies are about pictures and presentation and blood flying and grimaces and pain in the eyes and glorious Color. A story with a monotone narrator about some Ph.D. who we don’t care whether they obtained tenure—is that the making of a movie?
And THAT is why it will be a resounding success. Creationists don’t need to go see the movie. All they need is to know it was made. That some “smart” people somewhere said something which aligns with what the creationists thinks is justification enough to ratify the Creationist’s position in their mind.
This movie will become the proverbial “they” in statements such as “They don’t let creationists become professors” or “They have a conspiracy to keep the failed theory of evolution alive” or whatever else ”They” need be accused of.
How do we know it’s true? Because there is a movie about it! Sure, the creationist won’t actually see the movie, or study the other side which is presented, or look things up, or read a book. Oh, no! None of that is necessary. Why? ‘Cause some smart people said it, so it must be true.
I’ve watched this happen over and over. When discussing topics surrounding the Bible, I will ask a question of the Christian. And many times it has been said to me, “People smarter than YOU have studied it, and remained Christians.” True enough—but what have they studied? What is the argument? What are the competing claims?
All many Christians want is the reassurance that somebody, somewhere studied something and that somebody has an I.Q. or a degree or a talent, and that is good enough to satisfy them.
And this movie is just that “somebody.”
So my prediction? Bomb financially; haunt us for decades.
*The second worst is “Indie” and the worst of all time is “Sub-titled.”