Former South Mississippi Dog Makes National Debut

As the new "Benji" movie wrapped up, fans piled out of the Cinemark Theatre in Gulfport.

And many of the fans gave the movie five stars, or should we say five paws.

"I think its great. I would go see it again," said Doris Tapper.

"He did a good job. Her trainers were great," said Kayla Jordan.

And the star has a lot to bark about because from the looks of it, Benji is Hollywood's new "it" dog.

"We've gotten good ratings so far across the country today so with the early theatres we've had a really, really, good turnout so we're really excited about that. Really proud," said Mulberry Square Productions Robin Bush.

The family-friendly flick is about heroes.

Benji and a few of his friends must save the day while learning a few life lessons along the way.

And so, many of the fans we spoke with say it was a good message, and it even had some funny moments.

"When one guy shot the other guy in the butt," said Dalton Burns.

But the lessons were even better coming from a South Mississippi "teacher", who fans say did an excellent job as the leading character, and deserves an Oscar.

"Usually you think of the stars coming up from up north and Hollywood and all so," said Timothy Steenwyk.

To mark the special occasion, Gulfport Mayor Ken Combs has proclaimed today as "Benji Day" in Gulfport.