From the New York Post: Industry insiders said they were stunned by the rapidly increasing advance sales for the film, which opens next week on Ash Wednesday. “It is the number two selling film in our company’s history [in terms of advance sales], right behind ‘Lord of the Rings’ [The Return of the King] and momentum is actually growing,” said Art Levitt, CEO of Fandango Inc., which sells tickets over the phone and on the Internet. “It’s a phenomenon. None of us expected it.”
I used to wonder why the success of things like Left Behind and Passion were so startling to industry insiders. Then, after I became a Christian and was writing a novel for a major New York publisher, I found out. They had to go outside the company just to find a religious Jew to edit the book – to their credit, they wanted someone who believed in something to oversee the project – and, of course, they didn’t actually know any Christians inside or outside the company. Apparently, anecdotal experience trumps demographics. I have no doubt the same thing is true for Hollywood.