Published On: Fri, Mar 16th, 2018

Tampa papers omit ‘I Can Only Imagine’ and faith-based films from coverage

While Box Office Mojo predicts a strong opening weekend for I Can Only Imagine and similar box office showings for Paul, Apostle of Christ and God’s Not Dead 3, they are not getting help from the Tampa Bay Times or their online coverage.

The Thursday TBT Weekend tease and Friday’s paper completely omit any mention of the three big Christian films, all arriving in theaters just ahead of Easter.

UPDATE: TBT’s Steve Purcell did respond to a request for a comment, see it below.

TBT’s “Upcoming Releases” void of faith-based films

“…the film rounding out the top five might be a bit of a surprise for some as Roadside Attractions’s faith-based feature I Can Only Imagine is looking to make a bit of an impact,” notes Box Office Mojo. “Roadside is debuting the film to 1,628 theaters and tracking as of last weekend suggested a $2-4 million debut, but our analysis not only supports the higher end of expectations, but also suggests the film could top $6 million in its first three days of release.”

The Times focused on local film festivals and the opening of Love, Simon and Tomb Raider, two films with little to no appeal to the faithful over the coming weeks.

Love, Simon is the first gay teen romance comedy-drama produced by a major Hollywood studio and Tomb Raider is a video game inspired movie, a reboot of the Lara Craft character portrayed by Angelina Jolie in two previous films.

So, the first presumption is that I Can Only Imagine was not screened for the Times or possibly is was an oversight. However, in their UPCOMING RELEASES section, there is no mention of either Paul The Apostle and God’s Not Dead 3, due out next week and Easter week, respectively.

A quick search on their site, tampabay.com, revealed nothing. NOT ONE SINGLE STORY.

The only mention of any of these films is an AP story on Jim Caviezel, which lists Paul The Apostle as his “latest film” “which opens nationwide next week.”

It’s certainly possible that the movie reviewers at the Times are just not interested in these films and the editors are unaware of the omission.

The Dispatch is reached out for comment and clarification.

TBT’s Steve Persall stated “that said movies would be noted in the Times – as many faith-based films have over my 25 years here – if they had reps informing us (and other mainstream outlets) of the movie’s’ arrivals, as those that capture attention do. They might even get a review if screenings or links were provided. Instead, they rely on word-of-sermon marketing that does grab the intended but limited audience. But it can also convince this audience that they’re being ignored by a godless media. Physicians, heal thyself and play the game smarter. How does anyone ignore something not known to exist?”

When asked, Steve repeated that “I received no contact from any representative of those movies, as I have from other faith-based movies before.”



TBT’s movie section

About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professional in 2008 on sites like Examiner and blogs: Desk of Brian, Crazed Fanboy. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) will be a licensed Assembly of God Pastor by the Spring of 2017. "Why do we do this?" I was asked and the answer is simple. "I just want the truth. I want a source of information that tells me what's going and clearly attempts to separate opinion from fact. Set aside left and right, old and young, just point to the world and say, 'Look!'" To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. kyle thompson says:

    I wonder if the representatives for Duck Duck Goose were careful to make sure they reached out to Steve so their film could be added to updated films? Is he inferring that a representative from each of the films on that list contacted him?

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