HOLLYWOOD – At its 20th annual awards gala Feb. 10, Movieguide took on the giants of the industry and honored filmmakers and stars who strive to create inspirational and morally uplifting movies and television shows.
Many refer to the event as the “Christian Oscars,” and along with the Report to the Entertainment Industry, it has led to a dramatic increase in family movies and movies with positive moral content.
Dr. Ted Baehr, a famous media critic, founder and publisher of Movieguide and a champion of Hollywood movies with Christian worldviews, said movies and TV shows with faith and values are more successful than other films.
“The evidence is abundantly clear,” he said. “Moviegoers greatly prefer family friendly movies.”
Actor Dean Cain, best known for his role as Superman and Clark Kent in the series “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,” hosted the red-carpet awards gala.
“I support Dr. Baehr and the things he’s trying to do with film,” Cain told WND. “I think it’s fantastic, and I’m honored that he wants me to be part of this. … As an actor, you want to play all kinds of diverse roles and be in all sorts of films. As a parent – I have an 11-year-old son – it’s important the kind of projects I am doing because I want him to see my work. I want to make films that will teach him a lesson and show him a way to behave, a way to react to a situation or a way to overcome an obstacle. A lot of those films tend to be those that are honored by Movieguide.”
Likewise, Kevin Sorbo told WND he believes there is a shortage of family friendly films in America.
“We need more of them!” he said. “Reality TV has got to go away. There are enough movies out there that present a negative side of life – for whatever reason, they seem to glamorize that.”
In addition to the awards, Baehr presented his much-anticipated annual study showing studio executives and filmmakers that family friendly and spiritually uplifting film content can considerably boost financial success of movies. Movieguide’s 2012 Annual Report to the Entertainment Industry shows that the most family friendly movies averaged more than $40.7 million per movie in 2011 in America and Canada. However, the least family friendly movies with the most offensive, obscene or anti-family and immoral content averaged only about $19.8 million.
The study, which analyzed content of top movies released by the major studios in Hollywood earning $750,000 or more, also found:
- Movies with very strong Christian, redemptive worldviews and content earned the most money on average in 2011.
- In the last five to 10 years, movies with very strong Christian, redemptive worldviews averaged much more money than movies with very strong non-Christian, anti-Christian, immoral, false, atheist or mixed worldviews, $70.76 million and $67.98 million respectively, versus $21.9 million and $20.62 million, respectively.
- Movies with strong or very strong conservative values, including pro-American, patriotic, capitalist, anti-communist and anti-totalitarian content supporting very strong moral elements and limited, conservative government, earned much more money than movies with strong liberal or leftist content supporting very strong immorality and big government, $59.02 million per movie versus $10.67 million per movie.
- Of the top DVD sales in 2011, 70 percent had strong or very strong Christian, redemptive, biblical or moral worldviews
- Of the top DVD sales in 2011, 70 percent had no foul language or less than 10 obscenities or profanities.
- Of the top 10 DVDs, 70 percent had no sexual content, 100 percent had no explicit sexual nudity and only one, or 10 percent, had any depicted sexual content.
- Of the top 25 DVD sales in 2011, 88 percent had strong or very strong Christian, redemptive, biblical and/or moral content or worldviews.
- Approximately 72 percent of the top 25 DVD sales in 2011 had a Christian, redemptive, biblical or moral worldview, and only 28 percent had a non-Christian, anti-Christian or mixed negative worldview.
“Most people want to see good conquer evil, truth triumph over falsehood, justice prevail over injustice, liberty conquer tyranny and beauty overcome ugliness,” Baehr said. “They also would like to take their whole family, including their grandparents, to the movies more often.”
Movies with no sex, no nudity and no foul language earned the most money, on average, in 2011. In fact, the more sex, nudity or foul language in a movie, the less money it made.
“Audiences want wholesome content,” he told actors, producers and gala attendees. “Negative values have consequences. They get people into self-destructive and other destructive behavior, and you’re paying the penalty for that. The taxes you are paying for people who have gotten into these problems are tremendous. Every kid has a $50,000 price tag on his head that he owes to the federal government to pay for somebody else’s illicit behavior.”
Baehr noted that a Boston University study showed most of the world has a negative view of the United States.
“Where did they get this view? From American movies,” he noted. “Do we want that? Do we want the view that we’re the ‘Great Satan,’ that we’re the enemy?”
He told the actors and producers, “Your movies are countering that. Your television programs are countering that. That’s why we’re here today, to build you up, encourage you and help you to do great work. … We want to see you succeed so that you can bring civility and love and compassion to the world and make a difference and change the world for the good.”
Ten Best Movies for Families
The following is a list of Movieguide’s honorees for the 10 Best Movies for Families. In alphabetical order, they are:
- “The Adventures of Tintin”
- “Cars 2″
- “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never”
- “Mars Needs Moms”
- “Mr. Popper’s Penguins”
- “The Muppets”
- “Puss in Boots”
- “Soul Surfer”
Movieguide’s No. 1 Family Movie of the Year is “Soul Surfer.”
Ten Best Movies for Mature Audiences
In alphabetical order, the 10 Best Movies for Mature Audiences:
- “The Artist”
- “Captain America: The First Avenger”
- “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”
- “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
- “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”
- “Sarah’s Key”
- “Seven Days in Utopia”
- “The Tree of Life”
- “The Way”
Movieguide’s No. 1 Movie of the Year for Mature Audiences is “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.”
$100,000 Epiphany Prizes
Supported by the John Templeton Foundation, the Epiphany Prizes are presented each year to the top movie ad television program that resulted in a “great increase in man’s love or understanding of God.”
This year’s Epiphany Prize winner for Most Inspiring Movie is “Courageous.” The Most Inspiring TV Program is “KJB: The Book That Changed the World.”
The Grace Awards for Most Inspiring Performances in Movies & TV are presented to an actor or actress in a movie or TV program who “exemplifies God’s grace and mercy toward us as human beings through their outstanding performances.”
This year’s Grace Awards winners are Alex Kendrick for “Courageous” and Kirstin Dorn for “A Christmas Wish.”
Faith & Freedom Awards
According to Movieguide, the Faith & Freedom Awards are presented each year to “a movie and a TV program that extols or celebrates America, patriotism, liberty, free enterprise and limited government.”
“We began the Faith & Freedom Awards to encourage filmmakers to choose themes which will honor the values that have made America great,” Baehr said. “Moviegoers and TV viewers prefer movies and television programs that celebrate traditional American values like liberty, private property, the free market, patriotism and limited government.”
This year’s Faith & Freedom Awards winners are “Captain America: The First Avenger,” from Paramount Pictures and Viacom, and “The Lost Valentine,” from Hallmark Hall of Fame Productions.
$50,000 Kairos Prizes
Also supported by the John Templeton Foundation, the $50,000 Kairos Prizes for Spiritually Uplifting Screenplays were presented by Dave Hollis, executive vice president of motion picture distribution at Walt Disney Studios.
The winners are: “I John,” written by Sean Paul Murphy ($10,000 prize); “A Dolphin in Our Lake,” by David (Nicholas) Hartmann ($15,000 prize); and “Halo Theory” by Amy Williams ($25,000 prize).
The three winners will have their scripts reviewed by leading studio executives at the Walt Disney Company, Sony, Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox.
First awarded in 2005, the Kairos Prize was created to “inspire first-time and beginning screenwriters to produce compelling, entertaining, spiritually uplifting scripts that result in a greater increase in either man’s love or understanding of God.”