Natl Film Title Weekend Gross Rank LDS/Mormon Filmmaker/Star Total Gross Theaters Days --- ----------------------------- ----------- ----- ---- 14 We Were Soldiers 1,428,885 1,112 45 Keri Russell (actress) 73,869,164 19 The Other Side of Heaven 688,762 306 122 Mitch Davis (writer/director) 2,716,662 John H. Groberg (author/character) Gerald Molen, John Garbett (producers) Steven Ramirez (film editor) 46 Ocean's Eleven $77,162 105 129 LDS characters: Malloy twins 183,254,096 65 The Singles Ward 16,844 10 73 Kurt Hale (writer/director) 486,730 John E. Moyer (writer) Dave Hunter (producer) Cody Hale (composer) Ryan Little (cinematographer) Wynn Hougaard (film editor) Actors: Will Swenson, Connie Young, Daryn Tufts, Kirby Heyborne, Michael Birkeland, Robert Swenson, Lincoln Hoppe, Gretchen Whalley, Sedra Santos, etc. 71 China: The Panda Adventure 12,600 4 262 Reed Smoot (cinematographer) 2,193,164 72 Galapagos 12,575 5 899 Reed Smoot (cinematographer) 12,571,246 73 Cirque du Soleil: Journey of Man 12,281 3 710 Reed Smoot (cinematographer) 13,201,783 82 Mulholland Drive 6,435 9 189 Joyce Eliason (producer/writer) 7,203,833 106 Mark Twain's America 3D 1,069 1 1382 Alan Williams (composer) 2,188,388
"The Other Side of Heaven" was ranked 19th nationwide, the first time an "LDS Cinema" film has appeared in the national Top 20. The previous best ranking was 24th place, for "The Other Side of Heaven" in its 2nd week of release, when it expanded from 2 to 15 theaters. Before "Heaven", the highest weekly box office ranking by an "LDS Cinema" film was "Brigham City", which opened in 33rd place nationwide one year ago (April 6th, 2001 -- showing in 51 theaters).
Although "only" ranking 19th after its nationwide release, "The Other Side of Heaven" held its own on a per-screen basis. While "Heaven"'s nation-wide release meant that it played in 306 theaters, every film ranked above it but one was playing on at least 586 screens. "Heaven"'s per theater income was $2,251. To compare, "Clockstoppers", which finished the weekend ranked at #7 in terms of gross income, played in 2,512 theaters and had a per theater average of $1,852.
Excel Entertainment, the distributor of "The Other Side of Heaven," released a press release on Tuesday pointing out that the movie was ranked #1 nationwide on Monday night in terms of per-screen average. The press release specifically mentioned that this was because Monday night is widely observed as family night. The press release also quoted from Sheila Norman-Culp's largely complimentary Associated Press movie review. The release noted that the "US Conference of Catholic Bishops also applauded the film, calling it 'inspiring [and] sincere.'"
Although many movie reviewers from around the nation criticized the events portrayed in "The Other Side of Heaven", the audience response has been overwhelmingly positive. Reviewers almost universally praised the film's cinematography. The movie is expected to top $3 million this weekend, and could easily top $4.5 million within the next two months.
YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST: We have received word from a very talented Latter-day Saint film director that he will be directing a new movie this summer. We can't yet tell you who it is, but we can tell you that although he has already directed more than one feature film, none of his feature films have yet been released theatrically -- they've always been released on video. (This description could apply to at least 10 people, so don't be thinking you know who it is.)
WEIGH IN: The LDSFilm.com website has just added a page of entertaining interactive polls. The page is at: http://www.ldsfilm.com/polls.html
You can add your vote a variety of questions, such as:
What is your favorite "LDS Cinema" movie?
What is your favorite movie produced by Jerry Molen?
What is your favorite Kieth Merrill film commissoned by the Church? ("Testaments", "Legacy", or "Mr. Krueger's Christmas")
Which Tim Slover play would you most like to see as a feature film?
Which book by a Latter-day Saint author would you most like to see as a feature film?
NELEH WATCH: This week's episode of "Survivor: Marquesas" (known locally as "Survivor: Neleh") featured very little of our favorite castaway. The two tribes merged and the focus was largely on Rob and John (battling for control of the island), and on Kathy (marked for banishment by her back-stabbing former friends, and struggling for survival). Neleh did have one great, hilarious line ("Oh, what outfit should I wear tonight to tribal council?"), which served to break up the incredibly thick tension in the newly-combined tribe. In the beginning of the episode Neleh also discovered a human skull on the island. The good news is that Neleh has made it the final 9 people on the island, and she is guaranteed a spot on the last episode -- either as one of the final two competitors, or one of the jurors whose vote determines the winner. According to the "Next Episode" blurb, next week's episode will feature some focus on Neleh, but she may be in trouble...
THE UTAH HIGH SCHOOL FILMFEST, which was organized by West High School media instructor Sheridan Prince, was held on April 10th. The keynote speaker was Sandy resident Dave W. Phillips, vice-president and general manager of KUTV, Salt Lake City. Workshops were given by KUTV News reporter Peter Rosen, Apple Computer movie editing software expert Brad Caldwel, film editor Mike Bollinger, Utah filmmaker Trent Harris and KTVX master editor Tim Phillips.
Students from Kearns High took home 6 awards. The next highest award count was West High and Provo High, both tied with 4 awards each. Highland students received 3 awards. Juan Diego High took home 2 awards. Schools with 1 award each were: Dixie High, Orem High, Springville High, Timpanogos High, Wasatch High, Woods Cross High.
The awards winners were: Documentary 3rd Place Title: A Punjabi Love Story Highland High Salman Nisar 2nd Place (tie) Title: Scott Watts Dixie High Jamie Lorentzen 2nd Place (tie) Title: Tyler Terrific West High Nick Epperson 1st Place Title: Bookends West High Kat Johnson Public Service Announcements (PSA's) 3rd Place Title: Conditioned Violence Timpanogos High Aaron Byland & Drew Anderson 2nd Place Title: Children & Guns Provo High Karleigh Ashby 1st Place Drinking & Driving Layton High Miles Hicks & Noah Sunday News Story 3rd Place Title: Breakin' Juan Diego High Nick Nageli & Russ Langner 2nd Place Title: Mandy Kearns High Sean Jennings 1st Place Title: Deseret Industries Kearns High Benjamin Loertscher Commercials 3rd Place Title: Apifiny Kearns High Erik Bingham & Jared Barnett 2nd Place Title: The Shirt Vac West High Lindsey Sine lst Place Title: Express Yourself Provo High Ren Wightman Short Film 3rd Place Title: The Tell Tale Heart Springville High Michael Jacobson 2nd Place Title: Deadly Memories West High Nick Epperson 1st Place Title: Red Balloon Highland High Joe Anderson School Spirit 3rd Place Title: Fire Inside Wasatch High Austin Corry 2nd Place Title: Back Into the High Life Highland High Joe Anderson 1st Place Title: Foxy Ladies Juan Diego High Andrew Luccero & Rachel Smith Animation 3rd Place Title: Ordinary Day Provo High Kyle Hinkley & Dan Midgley 2nd Place Title: Super Nerd Kearns High Shawn Larrabee 1st Place Title: Z-Lens Kearns High Sean Jennings & Colt Mullins Music Video 3rd Place Title: A Place for My Head Provo High Rick Brimhall & Justin Wright 2nd Place Title: Water Edge Woods Cross High David Muhlestein 1st Place Title: Julieann Orem High Ryan Saltzgiver, Mitch Parker, & Jeff Craig