Idol Chatter

The Mouse House is promising to become more family friendly than ever with plans to release 10 live-action and animated films per year under the Disney name–none of which will be rated “R.” According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney Studios has made a major staff change, with Oren Aviv–who had previously been on the marketing side–taking over as president of production for Disney. His predecessor, who was officially given the boot Tuesday, had brought in edgier directors and producers, such as Wes Craven and the Coen brothers (“Fargo”), who developed films that were not so family-oriented.

So what’s really behind this big announcement? Is it another example of Hollywood listening to the audience that sent “The Passion of the Christ” soaring to unexpected box office heights? Perhaps a little bit. Has that Disney boycott that some conservative religious groups started years ago finally paid off? Not likely.

Christian organizations like the Dove Foundation have been collecting statistics for a while now proving that R-rated movies don’t make as much as PG or G movies. Disney has simply learned that lesson the hard way. Much of its high-budget adult-themed fare has done dismally in recent years at the box office (anyone remember “Hidalgo,” or “Pearl Harbor,” for that matter?), while “Chronicles of Narnia,” “National Treasure,” and all of the animated films it has done in conjunction with Pixar have done extremely well. Like any smart business, Disney is simply committing to what has been most profitable. And keep in mind that nothing is preventing Disney from producing as many R-rated movies as it wants under its many other subsidiaries that do not carry the Disney logo.

So while some may wish to believe this is a huge step in closing the gap and the cultural disconnect between Hollywood and the religious community, I’m not convinced Hollywood is truly tuned in to what families or church goers want at the cineplex–yet.

Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus