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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Will Expelled succeed at the box office?

"How do you make a blockbuster out of a documentary about politics in academia?" asks Stacey Vanek-Smith for Marketplace.

She's skeptical that the Expelled team can pull off the feat of making U profs interesting:

"Expelled's star, Ben Stein, has a latte drinking, op-ed reading kind of following, but may lack the box officepull of, say, Jesus." (She is referencing the "surprise" hit The Passion of the Christ - but that was only a surprise to people who disproportionately believe what they read in legacy media.)

Vanek-Smith also notes that if Expelled fails at the box office, it certainly won't be for lack of trying:
"Expelled" is spending millions to succeed, huge for a documentary. It's hired four PR firms. It's running a sweepstakes for church groups, offering a cash prize to the one that sells the most tickets. It's paying up to 10 Grand for schools to send their students. The movie even staged a songwriting competition.

And then there's this:
PAUL LAUER: How do you get this big amoeba [American Christians] to flex its muscle? When it flexes, it's enormous. The challenge has always been, How do you get those people to activate.

I've wondered about that myself. The ID guys should be among the traditional Christians' culture heroes. If they are not, tacit adoption of the elite culture's materialism is the likely explanation. See, for example, the reading lists at Baylor science faculties - who's on and who's not. And we are not talking about intelligent design here, either, just Christians doing excellent science who are strangely absent. And just look who is present ...

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