The Case of Walden Media
Chapter 4: Releasing Walden Media Films in America
Releasing Walden Media Films in America
Walden Media’s film branch operates in a world where it is necessary to be profitable, and to reach that goal Walden productions must be sold to the largest possible audience. This entails being able to find a balance between what can please mainstream audiences and faithfulness to the Walden touch that can also attract the interested Christian market discussed in Chapter 1. The problem is, however, that many film critics, secular audiences and sometimes even conservative Christians themselves regard films specially made for the conservative Christian niche market as badly written, badly acted and far too preachy, while not entertaining. Walden Media and its studio partners do not produce such films and certainly do not want them to be perceived as such. Their productions are first and foremost mainstream family entertainment and, only to some extent, can they be perceived as pictures for the Christian niche market, notably for the evangelicals who contributed to the success of The Passion of the Christ. Therefore, the point here is to describe how Walden Media’s studio partners have precisely tried to find a delicate balance between two different ways of marketing films.
As many books discuss the subject, it is not really useful here to describe in detail how Hollywood advertises its films to mainstream audiences. In general, a short pre-trailer – called teaser – is released months in advance, notably on the internet and in cinemas showing films targeting the...
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