Scorcese proved it with The Last Temptation of Christ. Dan Brown proved it with The Da Vinci Code. Now the producers of Noah have demonstrated it.
If you want to make a LOT of money on a story, write something that is so outrageously provocative, so incredibly over-the-top in its anti-Christian themes that Christians can't help themselves. The Christian community knee-jerks and express outrage against it, thus giving you reams and reams of free publicity.
Everyone will go to see what the issue is.
You walk to the bank and deposit your winnings.
It's a very safe bet.
Sure, you can make money with family-friendly, Christian-friendly movies, but it isn't nearly as much fun.