From the website of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, this news release:
Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, is urging the faithful throughout the Archdiocese to see the powerful new film "Bella" which opens in select local theaters on Friday, October 26, 2007. Cardinal Rigali said, "This film has a message that is so connected to life: to the problems of life, the challenges of life, the value of life. This film, I believe, is destined to have an extraordinary impact on people's lives."
Bella is a film with wide audience appeal. It was the 2006 winner of the People's Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival, an honor received by former Academy Award winners including "American Beauty" and "Life is Beautiful" among others. "Bella" is the story of a young woman who becomes pregnant and loses her job and a man who is unable to recover from a tragic accident in his past. The two befriend one another one day, and their friendship ends up changing their lives and bringing new hope to both.
Cardinal Rigali, in his office as Chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Pro-Life Activities, wrote to his fellow Bishops encouraging them to host advanced screenings of "Bella" with the hope of spreading the positive message of this film. In early October, Cardinal Rigali and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia hosted a private screening of "Bella" at Villanova University's Connelly Center for approximately 200 people, many of whom are pro-life leaders.
LifeNews.com on the opening weekend for "Bella":
Bella, the pro-life themed movie that has the potential to change hearts and minds on abortion, opened solidly with $1.3 million over the weekend in a limited release in just 31 cities. Though other movies achieved higher gross sales, they needed significantly more theaters to do so.
The film stars Eduardo Verastegui as a former soccer player who learns the value of human life and helps a pregnant waitress, played by Tammy Blanchard, appreciate the value of the baby she's carrying.
The number one movie this weekend, according to initial figures, was "Saw IV," a Holloween horror flick that took in $32.1 million.
The movie had the highest per theater average of any in the top ten with $10,087 per theater over 3,183 theaters across the nation.
Bella firmly established itself in second place with $7,784 on average at each of the 167 theaters where it opened this weekend.