The new film Les Miserables starring Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe is booming at the box office because in no small part of its direct marketing to evangelical Christians. NBC Universal capitalized on the film’s themes of grace, mercy and redemption and promoted the film to pastors, Christian radio hosts and other leaders in the Christian community. Even the leaders of the Catalyst movement went out to see the film. Brad Lomenick called the film “epic” and considered Jackman’s performance Oscar-worthy.
“If you’re a Christian and you’re seeing this film, you can’t help but see these themes,” said Jonathan Bock, founder and president of Grace Hill Media, the firm hired for the targeted marketing campaign.
Focus on the Family also got involved in a special screening to adoption agencies, child welfare officials and church leaders. “We’re trying to raise awareness for the needs of kids, particularly in the foster care system who don’t have any families. We love to come alongside them and welcome them home, and for that reason, we loved the movie,” said Kelly Rosati, vice president of community outreach for Focus on the Family. A movie like Les Miserables, she said, “is able to engage the heart in a way straight facts and calls to action can never do.”
As of this week, Les Mis has pulled in more than $80 million and was the most profitable film opening on Christmas Day.