First of all, let’s outline for the record that Hollywood is not like the rest of the world. That said, the case of the film “Same Kind of Different as Me” is foreigner than most.
It had all the marks of being a blockbuster, or at slightest a film that pennyless out of the “Christian ghetto” and achieved mainstream success. It has big-name stars. Greg Kinnear carried “Heaven Is for Real,” his last faith-based film, to a $100-million box office. Renee Zellweger has an Academy Award and was not that prolonged ago one of Hollywood’s highest-paid actresses. Djimon Hounsou has been nominated for two Oscars and has starred in a solid fibre of vicious and box-office successes.
Then there’s the story itself. The book “Same Kind of Different as Me” was a edition phenomenon. It sole some-more than a million copies. The book is, in many ways, a story for the time. Ron Hall, played by Kinnear in the film, is a abounding art dealer. Denver Moore (Hounsou) is a bad but correct former sharecropper who has been in and out of homeless shelters by the years. Ron Hall’s wife Deborah (Zellweger), stricken with cancer, persuades him to lift on her work with the homeless. As a result, Hall and Moore turn close friends. The book chronicles their loyalty and the struggles they face progressing it opposite a far-reaching informative divide.
In other words: What’s not to like?
Well, to make a hit movie, a thousand things have to go right, not just a few. It’s flattering apparent that Paramount doesn’t know the faith-based market. Of the 100 top Christian cinema of all time, as personal by Box Office Mojo, Paramount has accurately one of them: A 2015 box bureau explosve called “Captive.” Never listened of it? Me neither, at slightest compartment we looked it up. Paramount’s last incursion into eremite element was 2014’s “Noah,” a film that valid to be deeply descent to many Christian moviegoers and reviewers.
We competence as good admit, too, that reviews of “Same Kind” have not been great. The reviews bring the good intentions of the movie. Rex Reed wrote in the New York Observer, “It’s so frank and excellent that it seems cross to voice objections, but the fact stays that it isn’t very good.”
Indeed, the highway to film sky takes some-more than good intentions, or even good actors. It takes a good script, good directing, good marketing, and good lots of other stuff. The movie’s marketers combined a self-inflicted wound by releasing a trailer that some critics called racist. The trailer was fast pulled and revised, but the public-relations repairs was done, and the movie’s strange recover date was pushed back months. It’s likely that the occurrence caused Paramount to remove its unrestrained for the project.
In fact, Paramount radically dumped the selling and placement of the film on to Pure Flix, the company behind a series of faith-based box-office successes, including “God Is Not Dead.” However, Pure Flix impasse seems to be too little, too late. Despite their efforts, the film non-stop to a gloomy $3-million last weekend on about 1,200 screens.
The film has one some-more possibility to stay alive in the theaters. This weekend, its second weekend in melodramatic release, will tell the tale. Most cinema see income dump off about 50 percent from week one to week two. If “Same Kind” does better than that, it could inspire theater managers and Paramount to hang with the movie, anticipating it “gets legs,” to use a bit of attention parlance.
Either way, “Same Kind of Different as Me” will be complicated by faith-based filmmakers for years to come as an instance of the dangers and opportunities of trying to put out a faith-oriented film inside the Hollywood system. When it works, as it did with “Risen” and “Hacksaw Ridge,” the results can be financially and artistically successful, but when it doesn’t work . . . . well, it becomes a training knowledge for those who follow.
Warren Cole Smith is an inquisitive publisher and author as good as the Colson Center clamp boss for goal advancement.