Hoops movie has its believers

“Believe in Me” budget was $8 million. (Courtesy photo)

By Tonya Fennell: CNJ staff writer

In more than three weeks on the big screen, a basketball movie filmed in the Clovis-Portales area raked in $208,565 at the box office as of April 1.

“Believe in Me” debuted in theaters March 9 with sneak previews in Clovis and Portales. According to www.imdb.com, an Internet site that tracks movie ticket sales, the 1960s-era drama grossed $81,569 during the opening weekend in a limited release.

“Believe in Me” ran for three weeks at North Plains Cinema 7 Theaters.

“It did well for this time of year,” said the theaters’ owner, Abby Parrish. “We are pleased.” Parrish said he did not have ticket sales numbers for Clovis.

The movie, which was produced on an $8 million budget, was filmed locally in October 2004. The championship game was filmed at Rock Staubus Gymnasium, and other scenes were shot at various locations throughout the Clovis and Portales area. Many residents were extras in the movie, and some locals even landed small parts.

With no A-list stars, a limited budget and zero promotion, the movie’s earnings pale in comparison to other movies. According to “Believe in Me” director Robert Collector, campaigns for movies such as “Ocean 13” begin nationally two full months before their release.

“My feeling about the box office is the same as all filmmakers: You always wish you’d done more business,” he said. “But when you’re a little picture like ours, it’s terribly difficult competing against the studio film with enormous marketing budgets.”

Collector said the movie has opened in Albuquerque and is set to be released on DVD late this summer.

At the movies
Top 4 box office movies for April 6-8
—“Blades of Glory” — $22.5 million
—“Meet the Robinsons” — $16.7 million
—“Are We Done Yet?” — $14.3 million
—“Grindhouse” — $11.6 million
Source: www.usatoday.com/life

“Believe in Me” ticket sales by date:
—March 11 — $81,569
—March 18 — $151,811
—April 1 — $208,565
Source: www.imdb.com