October 11, 2006


Filmmakers Say God Was Their Co-Producer: 'Facing the Giants,' Shot On a Shoestring and a Prayer, Does Miraculously at Box Office (Peter Whoriskey, 10/10/06, Washington Post)

[T]hree summers ago, a small group of churchgoers in this city of pecan groves and industrial plants believed that God wanted them to make a movie. They prayed every day to create a drama truer to the Gospels than the usual multiplex trash.

Now, "Facing the Giants," the low-budget feature film about faith and high school football they made with church donations and Bible-inspired moxie, is playing at more than 400 theaters around the country -- a gigantic release for any independent movie, let alone one created by near-novices.

The movie has made $2.7 million in 10 days, and ticket sales were good enough last weekend to place it 13th in the box office rankings, one notch below "Flyboys," a war movie with a $60 million budget and starring James Franco.

The "Giants" box office tally doesn't even include some of the nation's largest metropolitan markets, which distributors skipped over in recognition of the cultural divide in this country. For now, the movie is not playing anywhere near Washington (unless you consider Richmond nearby). According to Julie Fairchild, a spokeswoman for Provident Films, "There's a sort of imaginary line where Christian films don't play." Where it is showing, she says, is the "flyover country that Hollywood has been ignoring."

Evening news at pre-Couric rankings again (Paul J. Gough, Oct 11, 2006, Hollywood Reporter)

After a month of hoopla and intense competition spurred by the arrival of Katie Couric, the evening news race has settled back into a familiar pattern: NBC first, ABC second and CBS in third place.

"NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams" won last week's derby with 8.5 million viewers -- its highest weekly average since late August, and its 114th victory in the past 118 weeks.

It was followed by ABC's "World News With Charles Gibson" (8 million) and "CBS Evening News With Katie Couric" (7 million).

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 11, 2006 12:00 AM
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