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

Weekend of January 10, 2003

[If table lines up improperly, use mono-spaced font, i.e. Courier]

Natl  Film Title                Weekend Gross
Rank  LDS/Mormon Filmmaker/Star   Total Gross Theaters Days
---  ----------------------------- -----------  -----  ----
31   The Santa Clause 2                301,055    550    73
     Ken Daurio (screenwriter)    138,695,452
     Cinco Paul (screenwriter)

34   Sweet Home Alabama                231,346    267   108
     C. Jay Cox (screenwriter)     126,445,741

53   Cirque du Soleil: Journey of Man   30,015      5   983
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)   14,746,730

65   Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure    9,859      6   703
     Scott Swofford (producer)      13,832,890
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)
     Sam Cardon (composer)
     Stephen L. Johnson (editor)

71   Jack Weyland's Charly               4,554      8   108
     Adam Anderegg (director)          601,797
     Jack Weyland (book author)
     Janine Gilbert (screenwriter)
     Lance Williams (producer)
     Micah Merrill (producer, film editor)
     Tip Boxell (co-producer)
     Bengt Jan Jonsson (cinematographer)
     Aaron Merrill (composer)
     Actors: Heather Beers, Jeremy Elliott,
        Adam Johnson, Jackie Winterrose Fullmer,
        Diana Dunkley, Gary Neilson, Lisa McCammon,
        Randy King, Bernie Diamond, etc.

78   Handcart                            2,127      2    94
     Kels Goodman (director/DP)         67,526
     Dave Sapp (producer)
     Mark von Bowers (screenwriter)
     Eric M. Hanson (composer)
     Actors: Jaelan Petrie, Stephanie Albach
        Chris Kendrick, Shannon Skinner,
        Gretchen Condie

80   Galapagos                           1,590      2  1172
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)   13,888,754

82   The Slaughter Rule (NEW)            1,461      2     3
     Ryan Gosling (top-billed actor)     1,461

84   China: The Panda Adventure            594      3   535
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)    2,990,914

86   Mark Twain's America 3D               551      1  1655
     Alan Williams (composer)        2,293,233

FUTURE 2ND GENERATION ACADEMY AWARD WINNER? - Dagen Merrill, son of Academy Award-winning Latter-day Saint film director Kieth Merrill, was named today as a top four finalist in the HBO / Ben Affleck / Matt Dammon PROJECT GREENLIGHT competition. [] Dagen Merrill graduated in April with a Masters from the Peter Stark program at USC film school. Dagen made the cut from several thousand entrees to 250, then 50, then top ten. The top ten each made a film -- completely on their own based on a three page script of random characters in unspecified locations -- which was the basis of Dagen's selection as a top four finalist. He was in Africa shooting a documentary for Hallmark TV and is being flown to Park City for the announcement of the final winner on January 18th.

HANDCART IN NEW VENUES - "Handcart", the pioneer epic directed by Kels Goodman, opened in Idaho Falls and in 1 theater in Arizona over the weekend, with a weekend box office take that brings its total to $67,526. The theater in Idaho Falls reported this was their 2nd highest opening weekend for any movie. (2nd only to "My Big Fat Greek Wedding.") "Handcart" will soon be playing in Washington state; Richmond, Virgina; Mesa, Arizona, Dallas and Houston.

"GOD'S ARMY" FINALLY TO OPEN IN MEXICO CITY - First Latter-day Saint Genre Film to Play Internationally (from a press release from Excel Entertainment): "After a year-long uphill battle, Richard Dutcher's breakthrough film "God's Army" will finally open in Mexico City. The movie that broke open doors for independent faith-based filmmaking is the first Latte-day Saint movie to play in international markets. Scheduled to open on January 31, the film will play on 10 screens in Mexico City and is dubbed in Spanish. Anticipation surrounding the release is high, as fans of the film have been waiting for over a year to see it. Excel Entertainment Group, the Utah-based distributor which handled the US release of "God's Army" back in 2000, is also coordinating the Mexican release.

"This is a breakthrough moment for [Latter-day Saint] Cinema," says Dean Hale, VP of Motion Picture Distribution for Excel. "We've had to fight to get this film in Mexican theaters - it's been an uphill battle. Because we had already dubbed the film, as opposed to having it subtitled, and because we are a new distributor to the Mexican market, regulatory forces in the Mexican government had us jump through a lot of hoops."

Jorge Ramirez, a Mexican filmmaker, was instrumental in facilitating the release of "God's Army" into Mexico. A graduate of BYU and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Ramirez is Excel's marketing liaison to Mexico. He also teaches film directing at CECC Pedregal, a private university in Mexico City. "We are very excited about having 'God's Army' here in Mexico," says Ramirez. "I think it is great that we finally have wholesome and uplifting movies here in Mexico where people of faith are portrayed in a respectful manner."

Director Richard Dutcher, who also wrote and produced the pic, has close ties to Mexico. He served as a missionary in the Veracruz region of the country in the late eighties, and based some of the film on his own missionary experiences. Over 60,000 Latter-day Saint missionaries are currently serving worldwide, with nearly 2000 in Mexico alone.

TOUCHED CANCELLED. HOT NEW EVERWOOD REMAINS - "Touched by an Angel" has been cancelled after 9 seasons. The popular hour-long family drama has featured countless Latter-day Saint actors in guest roles. Utahns comprised ninety percent of the crew that worked on "Touched By An Angel" -- most of them are Latter-day Saints. This move leaves "Everwood" the only regular network series filmed in Utah. "Everwood," according to nationwide Gallup polling conducted in association with the People's Choice Awards, is one of the top 3 favorite TV series that began this season. The other 2 are "CSI: Miami" (the top favorite), and "Presideo Med."

THE R.M. INFO ONLINE - Production information, complete opening and closing credits, and capsule biographies of key cast and crew members, is available for "The R.M." on the movie's official website. There is also a corporate bio for HaleStorm entertainment, plus a complete plot synopsis for "The R.M." The information can be found in three PDF files on the "R.M." website in the "Press" section.

LAND BEFORE TIME IX NOMINATED - Annie Award nominations from the ASIFA-Hollywood, the International Animated Film Society have been announced. "Land Before Time: Journey to Big Water", which the 9th in the series spawned by Latter-day Saint animator Don Bluth's original feature, was nominated in the "Animated Home Video Production" category. "Land Before Time: Journey to Big Water" features Donny Osmond singing the title song. Other nominees in the category were "Rolie Polie Olie: The Great Defender of Fun" and "VeggieTales: The Star of Christmas."

FINAL DESTINATION 2 - A new Web site and trailer have gone live for the upcoming supernatural sequel film Final Destination 2, which opens Jan. 31. The movie stars Latter-day Saint actress A.J. Cook and opens January 31st.

LOVE LOGS ON - There are a few entry level positions available on the film crew for Tucker Dansie's feature "Love Logs On." From a press release: January 13, 2003- Production issues will cause a delay in the audition process and shooting process for "Love Logs On" but Dansie still anticipates a Fall 2003 Release. Open Auditions will now be held in March of 2003. Some private auditions will be held before then, so serious contenders should contact Tucker Dansie in the meantime. Stay tuned for details. Also, the website at has been updates with character breakdowns and sides in preparation for the auditions. Crew is still needed and positions can be found at the website as well. No experience is necessary. This is a learning set and so everyone is encouraged to apply. Just contact Tucker Dansie. This will be a fun, relaxed set that will run on YOUR schedule. We have had tremendous support from the communities surrounding. Those interested in helping in any way should contact Dansie. A summer shoot is now planned. Also, since this film is heavy on "internet things" Dansie will be feature select "URL's" in the picture. Anyone interested in advertising their "URL" on screen, please contact.

BTW: Dansie stays busy, while preparing for "Love Logs On", he will announce the auditions for another short film in his "One of Life's Little Lesson's" Series called, "The Wooden Bowl" by the end of the week. This film will be cast and shot by the end of February. Stay tuned for that as well.

MORMON SILENT FILMS TO BE SCREENED - In Salt Lake City the Organ Loft's Silent Winter Film Series will feature 2 classic Mormon films. The series includes "The Big Parade," starring Mormon actor John Gilbert in the lead role. This movie was for many years the highest-grossing film in American history, and remains the highest-grossing silent film in film history. Also in the series is "The Covered Wagon," about Latter-day Saint pioneers. The movie was directed by non-churchgoing Latter-day Saint director James Cruze.

TRUTH AND CONVICTION - Detailed article about the new documentary, "Truth & Conviction," written and directed by Latter-day Saint filmmakers Matt Whitaker and Rick McFarland. The documentary tells the story of Huebner, the German Latter-day Saint who opposed Hitler and the Nazi regime and was executed for doing so. Salt Lake Tribune:

NEW WALKER FILM DELAYED - "Timeline," directed by Richard Donner and starring LDS actor Paul Walker, has been delayed from its previously announced release date in April to late Summer 2003, and possibly into the Fall. No specific new date has been announced. "Timeline" is an adaptation of Michael Crichton's same-titled novel. Crichton's most successful book-to-movie adaptation to date was "Jurassic Park," produced by Gerald R. Molen. Walker received $3 million for his role, which has already been filmed. That's a bargain compared to the $7 million he received for "Fast and the Furious 2."

FROM UTAH WITH LOVE: THE CAT IN THE HAT - Latter-day Saint actress Danielle Chuchran ("Handcart", "Little Secrets", etc.) has a major role as "Thing One" in the upcoming Mike Myers movie "Dr. Seus's Cat in the Hat." The executive producer of "The Cat in the Hat" is southern Utah native Eric McLeod. The associate producer and first assistant director is Aldric La'Auli Porter, who served in the same positions for the Church film "The Testaments of One Fold and One Shepherd" (2000), and for such Hollywood movies as: A Beautiful Mind (2001); Dr. Dolittle 2 (2001); How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000); Apollo 13 (1995); and True Lies (1994) Here's a nice article about child actress Chuchran and her work in the movie from Deseret News:,1249,450026267,00.html?

KYMBERLY AND VANCE MELLEN - Be sure to check out the updated website (if you have Shockwave) of Vance and Kymberly Mellen, the Chicago-area filmmaker and acclaimed stage actress who are graduates of Brigham Young University. There are new reviews of Kymberly's stage performances, written up in leading Chicago publications, and extensive information about Vance's screenplay and hopefully-soon film "Revelations," which is currently seeking a producer. See

KNIGHT RIDER MOVIE RUMORS - Rumors about a possible "Knight Rider" movie. "Knight Rider," a popular TV series during the 1980s, is a creation of legendary Latter-day Saint TV producer Glen A. Larson: "Knight Rider" may hit the big screen. Yes, it's true. A Knight Rider movie could be under way and with unknown Australian actor Dan Paris in the lead. Paris, whose work on the 1980's Aussie soap, Neighbours (according to the Internet Movie Database, it's his only acting work), would, of course, take over the role David Hasselhoff played on the original TV series. Vin Diesel was once in talks to star, but the filmmakers are obviously looking for a fresh face to start a possible franchise." Source: Matthew Dalton, Dark Horizons.

POSITIONS AVAILABLE, POSTED 9 JAN. 2003 IN TMAccess - [Note that some of these positions are only available to BYU film students.]
* Saints of War, a new feature film by Ryan Little and Brian Brough, needs production assistants in the office, on set in art and wardrobe, and craft service during the end of January through February, 2003. Positions are non-paid but will receive film credits and tickets to premiere. Submit resume and cover letter to Carolyn Hanson by January 10.
* Student Production Agency is looking for production crew memers for current and future projects. Contact Juston Rindlesbach if interested (378-8454).
* Video Editor needed: Asian Festival needs a video editor for collaborating short film clips in the background of a fashion show on Jan. 24. Great volunteer experience! Please contact Crystal ASAP at 706-0453.
* USC grad student film: Jason Epson is shooting his film at Castle Theatre and Aspen Grove Jan. 30-Feb. 25. He is looking for 15 crew people, including Sound Mixer, Second A.D., Make-up, Script, and PAs. If interested, please call Chad Potts at 604-5051.
* Videographer needed for Utah Junior Miss Program. Project will be showcased at the program on March 8. Footage will be collected during the week of March 3-7 in Salt Lake, during the week participants are preparing for the pageant. State and national exposure, stipend included. Contact Barbara Barrington Jones at 1-800-989-3309.
* WireImage in Park City is looking for production assistants and interns during the Sundance Film Festival, Jan. 14-28, 2003. If interested please reply to Provide a resume and description of your interests/experience.
* KBYU offers paid internship for a Videographer for Winter 2003 semester. Applicant should know the basics of two and three point lighting for interviews. Experience with video cameras is essential. TMA 185 or 273 requires; TMA 285 preferred. Afternoon hours. Applicant must submit tape of current work and a resume/credit list with cover letter to Carolyln Hanson, D581 HFAC.
* Excel Entertainment in Salt Lake is looking for a few media marketing interns. If you are interested, contact Jon Dayton at 801-427-8790 or
* Excel Entertainment is seeking marketing interns for Internet promotion and development, new market development, and music artist promotion. Interns work 15-20 hous per week. Stipend available depending on experience. Email cover letter and resume to by January 10.
* Final Cut 2003 application deadline is February 3. Contact Roxanna Boyer with questions (422-6242). Final Cut 2003 will be held March 18-22.