“Witnesses,” a locally produced faith-based film, opened last weekend with a strong debut.
The church history movie landed at No. 11 on a national list of films for the weekend of June 4-6, earning more than $126,000, according to Boxofficemojo.com.
The positive launch places “Witnesses” in company with other Latter-day Saint films such as “The Other Side of Heaven” (2001), “The Saratov Approach” (2013) and “Meet the Mormons” (2014), all of which gained national attention when released.
Those involved with the film were thrilled with the opening weekend results.
Director Mark Goodman said there were times during the COVID-19 pandemic when he wasn’t sure if the film would come together, but the results show the effort was worth it.
“It is extremely gratifying to see the audience response, and the audience is the true test of a film,” he said. “‘Witnesses’ is a compelling story of human weakness and integrity, traits found in every one of us, and the fact that it has resonated with audiences is truly rewarding.”
Purdie Distribution Founder and President Brandon Purdie, who is overseeing the movie’s distribution, was equally impressed.
“We are thrilled to join Warner Bros., Disney, Paramount, and Lions Gate among America’s top films this weekend,” Purdie said.
Actor Paul Wuthrich, who portrays Joseph Smith in the film, expressed gratitude for the support people have given the film.
“The director and producers created a high quality project that’s meant for the big screen, and I think this past weekend is a reflection of that,” Wuthrich said.
“Witnesses” is the story of David Whitmer, Oliver Cowdery and Martin Harris, three men who endured threatening mobs, ridicule and tremendous opposition all their lives after publishing testimony that they had seen the gold plates and validated the authenticity of the Book of Mormon.
Learn more about the film and how to see it at witnessesfilm.com.