On Wednesday, April 18, 2007, Watcher's Lamp posted the following piece regarding the cooperative & incentivised marketing of the movie " Evan Almighty" through the Willow Creek Network of churches...
Willow Creek Lights The Fire for Bruce Almighty Sequel
Willow Creek Church Association is putting up $50,000 to encourage "random acts of kindness" within member churches as promotion for the upcoming "Bruce Almighty" sequel, "Evan Almighty".
On Friday, April 27, 2007 Watcher's Lamp reported...
Harlots of Hollywood
The Emergent church movement is following the Willow Creek Association, aka seeker sensitive movement, as the latest Hollywood marketing agency for the movie "Evan Almighty". The Emergent Village website announced "Get $1,000 to Impact Your Community...Our friends at Youth Specialties have teamed up with Grace Hill Media and Universal Studios on a project called Ark ALMIGHTY, which is a good deeds initiative inspired by the upcoming movie, Evan Almighty."
Now the real story behind the congregational "good deeds" promotion...
The duping of the well-intentioned and the sincere is revealed in the following article from the New York Times Makers of Comedy Film Aim for Religious Audience. The article reveals the true motive behind the "good deeds"marketing of "Evan Almighty"...
"Mr. Bock was approached last year by Universal executives to help with publicity for “Evan Almighty,” the sequel to the director Tom Shadyac’s 2003 movie “Bruce Almighty,” which starred Jim Carrey."
"One result of the effort is ArkAlmighty.com, a Web site that promotes good deeds. It suggests acts of random kindness and helps participating congregations create online bulletin boards to post requests for help and offers of service among members."
In addition, Universal has held several screenings of “Evan Almighty” with religious leaders, hoping that they will recommend the film — with a PG rating and a protagonist who heeds a call to change the world — to their congregations.
"More important than the lesson Mel Gibson taught Hollywood about drunken anti-Semitic tirades (that they’re bad for publicity) is the one gleaned from his 2004 film “The Passion of the Christ.” The movie demonstrated just how many evangelical moviegoers there are and how much money can be made from them. "
"Mindful of that market, Universal Pictures has teamed up with Grace Hill Media, a public relations firm that reaches out to religious groups, to publicize the mainstream film “Evan Almighty.”
At the end of the day, the term "harlot" seems too polite a term to describe the merchandising of the flock.