VeggieTales' 'Pirates' Movie Premiered Friday

The much-anticipated The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie hit theaters nationwide Friday.

The film—which was not previewed to newspaper movie critics—represents a remarkable turnaround for Big Idea, which went bankrupt in 2003 and was bought by Classic Media LLC, after the release of Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie, according to The (Nashville) Tennessean.

After major studios turned it down, Big Idea self-financed Jonah, which made more than $25 million in its theatrical run, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com. "We could barely get a meeting for Jonah," Mike Nawrocki, who directed the Pirates movie, told the newspaper.

The film—which was not previewed to newspaper movie critics—represents a remarkable turnaround for Big Idea, which went bankrupt in 2003 and was bought by Classic Media LLC, after the release of Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie, according to The (Nashville) Tennessean.

After major studios turned it down, Big Idea self-financed Jonah, which made more than $25 million in its theatrical run, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com. "We could barely get a meeting for Jonah," Mike Nawrocki, who directed the Pirates movie, told the newspaper.

But after the blockbusters The Passion of The Christ and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, doors began to open, Nawrocki said. Before those two films, "it was unheard of" for a studio to invest heavily in faith-based movies, he added.

Now, studios have embraced the potential of faith-based films. "If you can tell a story with a biblical world view well, I think there is a big audience for that," Nawrocki, the voice of Larry the Cucumber, told The Tennessean. "In a country where 90 percent of the people believe God exists, you are going to strike a chord."

In the summer of 2006, Universal Studios agreed to fund the new VeggieTales movie, which stars Larry the Cucumber, Mr. Lunt and Pa Grape (Elliot, Sedgewick and George) as three wannabe heroes.

Universal is also promoting Pirates heavily, which includes spots on network television and ads on billboards. "It's fun to make a movie when your house is not on the line," Phil Vischer, co-creator of VeggieTales and the voice of Bob the Tomato, told the newspaper.

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