Showbiz Sandbox 350: Hollywood Has Faith in Religious Marketing

January 9, 2017


Organized religion and the film industry have traditionally not played nicely with one another. Recently however, movie studios have been courting Christian filmgoers, in hopes of increasing audiences for certain titles. Brooks Barnes, a staff reporter for the New York Times, joins us to discuss one of Hollywood’s latest marketing trends.

The Writers Guild and the National Society Of Film Critics have both weighed in with end of the year honors. But will any of their choices matter come Oscar time?

The same question could be asked about the Golden Globes which were held last weekend. “La La Land” and “Moonlight” walked away with the top prizes as they continue to march through awards season as this year’s front runners for a Best Picture Academy Award.

Of course we also cover the week’s top entertainment news including why Kodak is bringing back celluloid (sort of), how talk show host Conan O’Brien is going viral and Norway ditches FM radio.


comScore Announces Official Worldwide Box Office Results for Weekend of January 8, 2017

Final Box Office: ‘Hidden Figures’ Beats ‘Rogue One’ With $22.8M

Studios’ 2017 Forecast: Big Bets, Franchise Fears and Executive Intrigue

Apple’s iPhone “Theater Mode” Patents Kick Off New Speculation

‘Deadpool,’ ‘Moonlight,’ ‘La La Land’ Nab Writers Guild Nominations

‘Moonlight’ Named Best Picture by National Society of Film Critics

TV Ratings: 2017 Golden Globes Climb to 20 Million Viewers

‘La La Land’ Breaks Record for Most Golden Globes Won by a Movie

Golden Globes 2017: Complete List of Winners

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden – BookFilter

A Really Good Day by Ayelet Waldman

Dish Debuts AirTV Device to Bring Free Broadcast Television to Sling TV

Hulu Live TV Service to Be Priced Under $40

‘Sunday Night Football’ Wraps Its Season Only Slightly Humbled at No. 1

Apple Removes New York Times Apps From Its Store in China

Norway to Switch Off FM Radio in Risky, Unpopular Shift to Digital

Fox Taps Tucker Carlson to Replace Megyn Kelly

Tucker Carlson Takes Megyn Kelly’s Primetime Fox News Slot

Greta Van Susteren to Join MSNBC

UK Publishers Shy Away From ‘Alt-Right’ Star Milo Yiannopoulos

Milo Yiannopoulos’ Book Deal is Publishing Business as Usual

Amazon Books Opening in Manhattan, Second Store Slated for Boston

Nielsen Could Delay Debut of Total Viewer Measurement Data (EXCLUSIVE)

Kodak Ektachrome Film is Coming Back From the Dead

Conan O’Brien to Remain Nightly, for Now, TBS Boss Kevin Reilly Says

Secular Hollywood Quietly Courts the Faithful


  • mgiltz

    Has Hollywood found religion? No, it still worships the Almighty Dollar. But in the latest episode of our free podcast, we talk with Brooks Barnes of the New York Times about how Hollywood is reaching out to mega-churches and leaders in the religious community more effectively than ever: set visits, meet and greets with stars and bullet points for the Sunday sermon. And then we explain why this eager new marketing tool is already being abused and about to wear out its welcome. Check it out!