Meet the Mormons Movie Makes Nation’s Top 10 in First Week
Contributed By Camille West, LDS.org Church News staff writer
The Church’s Meet the Mormons movie—featuring six diverse Latter-day Saints and their families—had an impressive first week, finishing as the 10th highest grossing film in the nation and one of the top 100 documentaries of all time.
Support has exceeded all expectations. “I’ve worked 10 years in the business, and this week has been phenomenal. It’s a dream,” said Brandon Purdie, who is overseeing distribution efforts. “To see the audience take the film and make it theirs is just so exciting.”
Purdie is quick to express gratitude to supporters of the film who saw it opening weekend. “The audience is profoundly responsible for the success of this film. That’s the reason it has reached so far. I want to tell them thank you for making the choice to see it and being excited about it and supporting it.”
In order to get the independent film into theaters, Purdie said they had to rely on the grassroots efforts of fans and supporters on social media and those who requested theater locations on meetthemormons.com. These efforts have made it possible for the movie to expand Friday into a total of 333 theaters—with many more to come, Purdie said.
Opening the weekend of October 10–12, Meet the Mormons, directed by Blair Treu, was the number 1 film in 100 of the 317 theaters. Shows sold out in various locations in California and major cities like Las Vegas, Phoenix, Dallas, New York City, Detroit, Miami, and—of course—Salt Lake City.
Numbers for Meet the Mormons that weekend alone exceeded what the distributors had hoped for the entire week. Sunday’s numbers dropped as expected, due to members’ observance of the Sabbath.
On Monday the movie’s per-screen average was better than any of the current films, ranking number 9 nationally among the top 10 films for the day in total box office sales.
Despite being the first time the Church has managed a theatrical release of this kind, Church spokesman Eric Hawkins said Church leaders are pleased with the public response, which significantly exceeded expectations.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles attended the movie premiere in Sandy, Utah. They asked the audience to share their impressions of the film on social media channels.
Elder Bednar posted on his Facebook page, “I’m confident that the people and experiences in this documentary will uplift and inspire you as they have uplifted and inspired me. This movie will move you to make changes in your life and more faithfully follow the example of Jesus Christ.”
All net proceeds from the film will be given to the American Red Cross.