Got plans for May 19, the day that the movie The DaVinci Code is slated to open? If not, go to the movies. If so, then go to the movies sometime that weekend before May 21. Just don't go to The DaVinci Code.
That's the advice being given to Christians by Christians who know how Hollywood works and know the best way to get the bean-counters in Hollywood to listen:
"May 19th is the date the Da Vinci Code movie opens. A movie based on a book that wears its heresy and blasphemy as a badge of honor.
"What can we as Christians do in response to the release of this movie? I'm going to offer you the usual choices -- and a new one.
"Here are the usual suspects:
"A) We can ignore the movie.
"The problem with this option: The box office is a ballot box. The only people whose votes are counted are those who buy tickets. And the ballot box closes on the Sunday of opening weekend. If you stay home, you have lost your chance to make your vote heard. You have thrown your vote away, and from Hollywood's point of view, you don't count. By staying home, you do nothing to shape the decision-making process regarding what movies will make it to the big screen.
"B) We can protest.
"The problem with this option: It doesn't work. Any publicity is good publicity. Protests not only fuel the box office, they make all Christians look like idiots. And again, protests and boycotts do nothing to help shape the decisions being made right now about what movies Hollywood will make in the next few years. (Or they convince Hollywood to make *more* movies that will provoke Christians to protest, which will drive the box office up.)
"C) We can discuss the movie. We can be rational and be ready with study guides and workshops and point-by-point refutations of the lies promulgated by the movie.
"The problem with this option: No one's listening. They think they know what we're going to say already. We'll lose most of these discussions anyway, no matter how prepared we are, because the power of story always trumps the power of facts (why do you think Jesus taught in parables?!). And once again: rational discussion of history does nothing to affect Hollywood's choices regarding what movies to make.
"But there's a fourth choice.
"On May 19th, you should go to the movies.
"Just go to another movie.
"Save the date now. May 19th, or May 20th. No later than Sunday, May 21st -- that's the day the ballot box closes. You'll get a vote, the only vote Hollywood recognizes: The power of cold hard cash laid down on a box office window on opening weekend.
"Use your vote. Don't throw it away. Vote for a movie other than DVC. If enough people do it, the powers that be will notice. They won't have a choice.
"The major studio movie scheduled for release against DVC is the DreamWorks animated feature Over the Hedge. The trailers look fun, and you can take your kids. And your friends. And their friends. In fact, let's all go see it.
"Let's rock the box office in a way no one expects -- without protests, without boycotts, without arguments, without rancor. Let's show up at the box office ballot box and cast our votes. And buy some popcorn, too.
"May 19th. Mark your calendars now: Over the Hedge's opening weekend. Buy a ticket.
"And spread the word. Forward this e-mail to all the Christians in your address book. Post it on your blogs. Talk about it to your churches. And let's all go to the movies."
Spread the word. And go to the movies on May 19.
So, if Over the Hedge becomes an unexpected box office smash, you'll know why.
Truth is, I'm one of the 14 people in the country who hasn't read the DaVinci Code, haven't been compelled to read it, haven't purchased it with the intent to read it, and wasn't that interested in seeing the movie. The e-mail makes me more eager to see the film, especially on the first weekend. The reality is, I haven't seen ANY movie this calendar year, and I doubt either this OR Over the Hedge will be the first. *** I feel fortunate that the two NYC tabloids have have a firm grasp on theology, judging by their headlines last week, when Moussaouri got life, rather than death. (A more typical headline: "No Way Out" on the Troy Record.) Personally, I was touched by some of the families of the 9/11 victims who testified, essentially for life over yet one more death.