Feature Films by LDS/Mormon Filmmakers and Actors
Weekend Box Office Report (U.S. Domestic Box Office Gross)

Weekend of December 14, 2001

[If table lines up improperly, use mono-spaced font, i.e. Courier]
Natl  Film Title                       Weekend Gross
Rank  LDS/Mormon Filmmaker or Actor    Total Gross   Screens  Days
----  ------------------------------   -------        -----   ----
2     Ocean's Eleven                  $22,076,664      3,075    10
      LDS characters: Malloy twins     72,306,190

5     Behind Enemy Lines                5,414,981      2,792    17
      David Veloz (screenwriter)       38,813,329

11    Out Cold                            694,866      1,183    26
      A. J. Cook (female lead)         13,245,127

16    Life as a House                     274,239        504    52
      Mark Andrus (screenwriter)       15,412,701

27    Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure    103,277         19   311
      Scott Swofford (producer)         5,903,593
      Reed Smoot (cinematographer)
      Sam Cardon (composer)
      Stephen L. Johnson (film editor)

34    Mulholland Drive                     70,135         83    70
      Joyce Eliason (producer/writer)   5,367,713

40    The Other Side of Heaven (NEW)       55,765          2     3
      Mitch Davis (screenwriter/director)  55,765
      John G. Groberg (author/character)
      Gerald Molen, John Garbett (producers)
      Steven Ramirez (film editor)

47    Joy Ride                             24,114         71    73
      Paul Walker (2nd billed star)    21,933,431

63    China: The Panda Adventure           13,975         17   143
      Reed Smoot (cinematographer)      1,647,645

70    Galapagos                            11,385          8   780
      Reed Smoot (cinematographer)     11,976,880

75    Cirque du Soleil: Journey of Man      9,840          7   591
      Reed Smoot (cinematographer)     12,938,153

82    Island of the Sharks                  6,243          5   962
      Alan Williams (composer)         10,554,048

84    All Access                            5,653          4   255
      Reed Smoot (cinematographer)        982,070

133   Mark Twain's America 3D                  66          1  1263
      Alan Williams (composer)          2,136,468

The biggest story in LDS Film this week is the limited premier of Mitch Davis' long-awaited "The Other Side of Heaven." Opening to the public on Friday, December 14th in just two theaters (Jordon Commons in Sandy and Scera in Orem), the Tongan missionary biopic took in $55,765 in just three days. This means that "Heaven" debuted at 40th place nationwide in terms of total box office gross, far ahead of many films that also debuted this week, including "Iris", "Pinero", "Kandahar", "Dinner Rush", and "Eban and Charlie."

In Orem, "The Other Side of Heaven" began showing at the earliest possible time that was permitted: at one minute past midnight on the morning of December 14th. The theater was sold out with an enthusiastic crowd.

The packed theaters in its opening weekend gave "The Other Side of Heaven" the 2nd highest per-screen ticket sales in the entire country, finishing only behind the heavily advertised film "The Royal Tenenbaums," which opened in 5 theaters. "The Royal Tenenbaums" boasts an all-star cast that includes Gene Hackman, Danny Glover, Anjelica Huston, Bill Murray, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Alec Baldwin -- so the people behind "The Other Side of Heaven" should be pleased with a second place showing behind it. Also, part of the gap between the per-screen average for "Tenenbaums" ($50,813) and "Heaven" ($27,882) might be attributable to low Sunday revenues for "Heaven." The Scera Theater is closed on the Sabbath. There were no showings there on the Sunday, December 16th, one of only three days included in the calculation.

"The Other Side of Heaven" is writer/director Mitch Davis' first theatrically released film. But the film's producers already have had a few successes at the box office. John Garbett was a producer of "Shrek", which has grossed over $267 million domestically. And Jerry Molen is the producer of films that have grossed over 1.7 BILLION in U.S. ticket sales. (Well, make that 1.7 billion PLUS $55,000 from this weekend's "Other Side of Heaven" showings.)

Also: With $22 million in ticket sales, "Ocean's Eleven" dropped from first to second place this week, behind a new Tom Cruise/Russell Crowe picture. The "Mormon twins" in the new "Ocean's Eleven" are a nod to the Mormon character in the original Brat Pack version.

"Behind Enemy Lines" continued to do well, in 5th place. "Out Cold" starring LDS actress A. J. Cook was in 11th place after 26 days in release.

Also in the news: The influential New York Film Critics Circle Awards were announced this week, and the bizarre David Lynch film "Mulholland Drive" was chosen as the year's Best Film. The NY Film Critics picks are always considered strong indicators of the year's Oscar favorites. Although "Mulholland Drive" is widely considered a pure Lynch-fest, it was actually the result of collaboration between Lynch and writer/film producer Joyce Eliason (a former Church member). Eliason is credited as the film's producer, but she was also the original co-writer of the TV pilot which was re-worked into this film. If the film receives any Oscar nods, it may help boosts the lackluster box office performance of this strongly R-rated auteur flick.

Next week: "The Other Side of Heaven" opens up all in theaters all over Utah.

Also coming: The premier of Peter Jackson's monumental "The Lord of the Rings." This is not a film by LDS filmmakers (interestingly enough, author J. R. R Tolkien was a devout and serious Catholic). But... what does the old BYU-produced Church video "The Emmett Smith Story" have to do with Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings"? The whole story, including comments from a rarely-seen Jackson interview -- next week.