How a Faith-Based Strategy Pushed 'Blind Side' to No. 1 at Box Office

LOS ANGELES ( -- Not just any movie can unseat "New Moon" in its third weekend at the box office. So when "The Blind Side," also in its third weekend, usurped the tween vampire blockbuster on Sunday by grossing $20.4 million to the "Twilight" sequel's $15.7 million, more than a few eyebrows in Hollywood were raised.

But then again, most movies don't have the unexpectedly foolproof movie-marketing formula of Sandra Bullock, a true sports story and movie-going Christians.

If that latter nugget of news was in your blind side, you're not alone. Warner Bros. and the movie's production partners at Alcon Entertainment have been quietly reaching out to the Christian community in a big way through their work with Grace Hill Media, a movie-marketing firm geared toward the churchgoing crowd.

"When you open on Nov. 20 and you're opening against the sequel to 'Twilight,' and you know that the 'Twilight' opening weekend did $69 million and 'New Moon' should do better, one of the things that crosses your mind is, 'Who isn't going to go to "Twilight"?'" said Richard Ingber, president of worldwide marketing at Alcon Entertainment. "I don't know that much about the 'New Moon' audience, but I would imagine there's a lot of faith-based people not into 'New Moon' and vampires who might be into 'The Blind Side.'"

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Very interesting take on this. I saw the movie this week and simply loved it.

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