Bella Movie Holds Steady, New Cities to Premier Film November 16

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 12, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Bella Movie Holds Steady, New Cities to Premier Film November 16 Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 12,

Hollywood, CA ( — Several new cities saw the premier of Bella last weekend ranging from Pittsburgh and Milwaukee to Honolulu and Albuquerque. The movie, which has struck a chord with the pro-life community because of its theme in favor of respecting life, continued to attract a strong audience despite the limited number of theaters showing it.

Over the first few weeks of the film’s release, just 186 theaters showed the movie, which gave it the second and third highest per-theater sales figures during late October and early November.

The premier this weekend in venues in places such as Green Bay and Tucson raised the number of theaters to 276 last weekend.

While sales at the cities that have played the movie the longest have declined, sales at the new venues flourished and Bella brought in another $1,006,000 over the weekend and $3,644 per theater.

That per-theater figure placed Bella sixth among the top 20 grossing movies of the weekend, proving that new cities showing the movie are garnering strong audiences. The movie’s producers hope the figures will prompt Roadside Attractions, the movie’s distributor, to add a few hundred more theaters in new and existing cities.

Had the movie premiered on the national scale that most films do — with anywhere from 2,000 to 3,500 venues showing the picture — it would have again placed in the top 10 nationwide.

Bella will find new audiences again next weekend as a slew of new cities will see the premier. Some of them include Buffalo, Richmond, Louisville, Toledo, Indianapolis, Memphis, Spokane, New Orleans, and Salt Lake City.

Because of the new venues opening last weekend, Bella only saw a drop of 6 percent in its sales figures from the weekend before. Among all movies in the top 20 that have been in theaters for more than one week, Bella saw the smallest drop of any picture. Most movies lost anywhere from 13 to 50 percent of their audience from the week before

Bella also brought in more in sales than seven other movies that appeared in more theaters last weekend.

In the three weeks Bella has been in theaters, it has made $3,871,000, which ensures the producers and filmmakers recover the $3 million they invested in making the picture.

That’s important, because the team behind Bella has other pro-life themed movies in the works and showing box office success is crucial in making additional films.

Pro-life advocates continue to shower the film with praise.

"Most movies follow a predictable story line," said Concerned Women for America President Wendy Wright, who attended an advanced screening of the film. "Bella, like real life, surprises you with a subtle yet profound story of exceptional grace."

“For too long we have thought that movies with Christian themes were supposed to be sermons, but that is precisely the kind of thinking that makes a movie fail on every level,” Chuck Colson said in a recent commentary. “People do not go to movies to be preached at. They go because they love and need good stories, and that is what good movies give them.”

Bella’s producers are working the phones to find new theaters to play the movie in new markets and they hope to be in 400-500 theaters by November 16.

"But this will be the busiest movie-going season in the history of movies," Howard Cohen, co-president of the movie’s distribution company, Roadside Attrations, told the Orange County Register newspaper. "’Bella’ is going to have to have a rabid fan base. It’s got to have its own steam."

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