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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended December 08, 2000
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Sent on Mormon-News: 06Dec00

By Excel Entertainment Press Release

God's Army Distributor Reports Record-Shattering Sales

God's Army Distributor Reports Record-Shattering Sales Independent Film Continues to Make Waves Nationally

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- Eight months after it's world premiere, God's Army is still making headlines. The breakthrough independent film that chronicled several weeks in the lives of a group of Mormon missionaries in Los Angeles broke records at the box office, and is continuing that trend on video.

Excel Distribution, the Salt Lake City-based company which undertook both the theatrical distribution and now the video distribution of God's Army, passed the $2 million sales mark in November, the first time ever in a single month.

"A large part of those sales are the God's Army video and DVD," says Dean Hale, head of Excel Distribution. "But our music sales are also higher than they've ever been. It's like the LDS media products market has been struck by lightening and come to life."

The film has also been nominated by the VSDA (Video Software Dealers Association) for a Home Entertainment Award. God's Army is nominated as the 'Sell-through Title of the Year by an Independent Studio.'

A subsidiary of Excel Entertainment Group, Inc., Excel Distribution was primarily a music distributor before getting involved with God's Army. Also under the umbrella of Excel Entertainment Group are three records labels, which produce primarily faith-centered music distributed by Excel Distribution into over 300 stores nationwide.

Executives at Excel recognized the risks involved with branching out so quickly into national film distribution, but taking the risk has paid off. God's Army became the #1 movie in Utah for the first half of 2000, and video sales have been brisk, reflecting the popularity of the film. By the end of it's theatrical release the movie had grossed over $2.6 million, and garnered praise from critics around the country as a breakthrough religious film. Projected video sales of the film are expected to top 120,000 before Christmas, making God's Army a blockbuster in the world of independent film.

"[God's Army filmmaker] Richard Dutcher originally approached us about doing the soundtrack for the film," says Jeff Simpson, president of Excel Entertainment Group. "We understood what Richard was trying to accomplish with his movie, and it really paralleled what our vision was here at Excel. We worked together very well, and so when the moment was right we took over theatrical distribution of the movie."

Simpson continues, "It had been part of our overall vision to become a complete entertainment company, supplying great music, film, video, television and any other kind of entertainment media that is a reflection of the culture of this region. God's Army presented us with an opportunity that we didn't want to pass up."



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