'Left Behind' 3 to Open in Churches

Hoping to appeal to the same audience that played a key role in the success of "The Passion of the Christ," the apocalyptic film "Left Behind: World at War" will screen in hundreds of churches across the country the weekend of Oct. 21-23, ahead of its Oct. 25 release on DVD.

Though Mel Gibson arranged the "Passion" screenings to build word-of-mouth ahead of the film's release in theaters in 2004, the producer of "Left Behind" hopes to make money from the church screenings, according to the Hollywood Reporter, a trade paper. Churches will charge admission for the screenings and keep a portion of the proceeds, said Peter Lalonde, co-president of Cloud Ten Pictures. "It's really our belief that if you take away some of the enormous films, a theatrical release often is a loss leader," Lalonde said. "That's not our strategy."

"Left Behind" stars Lou Gossett Jr. and Kirk Cameron along with Brad Johnson and Chelsea Noble in their continuing roles. The film picks up the apocalyptic story line that began with the original "Left Behind" in 2000 and the 2002 sequel, "Left Behind II: Tribulation Force."

The original "Left Behind" was unusual because it was released on video first, and later was brought to theaters in limited release. Marketed largely through churches and other faith-based groups, it grossed $4.2 million at the box office.

Cheadle Visits 'Hotel Rwanda'

Don Cheadle, nominated for an Oscar for his "Hotel Rwanda" role as an innkeeper who saves hundreds of people from genocide, finally got to see the place the film was based on.

On a visit to Hotel des Milles Collines in the Rwandan capital of Kigali last month, Cheadle spoke with several of the more than 1,000 individuals who survived the country's 1994 genocide under the protection of hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina, Cheadle's character in the film, which was shot mostly in South Africa. The Associated Press reports that Cheadle said "all of their experiences were the stuff of epic films -- things they had to go through in those 100 days. It was amazing."

He also met with Rwandan President Paul Kagame, attended Uganda's premiere of the movie and toured Ugandan refugee camps. About the book he is writing with John Prendergast of the nonprofit International Crisis Group, Cheadle said, "It's really talking about my path out of apathy, and what people can do who are having the same questions and feelings."

Noted . . .

* "Growing Up Gotti" reality show star Victoria Gotti reveals to the New York Daily News that until this month, she kept her treatment for breast cancer a secret from her family and the show's producers after the disease was diagnosed in November. Of her condition, Gotti said, "They caught it early and the prognosis is good."

* China is getting a Chinese version of Donald Trump's reality show, "The Apprentice." The Donald will be executive producer, and Beijing real estate mogul Pan Shiyi will host.

. . . and Quoted

"I'm a massive fan of the Stones, and I don't think anybody should deny them the right to carry on making music. I just wish they wouldn't wear leggings."

-- Noel Gallagher of the Brit-rock band Oasis

-- Compiled by Ashby Strassburger from wire reports

Don Cheadle, shown in "Hotel Rwanda," got to meet some of the people helped in the real-life story.Victoria Gotti kept her cancer diagnosis a secret from her family for many months. Gallagher to Stones: Dress your age!