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Fox Comes Faithfully

The long-anticipated FoxFaith Movies, a division of 20th Century Fox, officially came into being this week, a great triumph for whoever is putting out the new division’s stationery, with little relevance for the rest of us. Fox has been in the Christian movie business for some years, mostly in distributing DVDs of films as big as “The Passion” and as insignificant as “Love Comes Softly,” the Hallmark-channel-flavored film of the Christian bestseller by Jeanette Oke.

The FoxFaith moniker will allow Fox to bolster its already-thriving marketing efforts for biblical films like “One Night With the King,” (left) through churches; according to The New York Times, some 90,000 churches get regular information about Fox films. Perhaps more importantly, it will extend Fox’s power to flack faith-free but family-friendly movies such as the animated baseball fantasy “Everybody’s Hero” and an upcoming remake of “Flicka.” A Fox official told the Times, “It’s a Good Housekeeping seal, a marketing umbrella for these pictures, so that people can have confidence the movies won’t violate their core beliefs.”

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The key here is that FoxFaith films are as much about what they don’t show as what they do. “Love Comes Softly,” the first Oke novel released as a Fox movie two years ago, is a simple romance and is faith-based only in the sense that faithful Christians don’t have to worry that a torrid bedroom scene is just around the corner.

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