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

Weekend of February 7, 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
---  ----------------------------- -----------  -----  ----
 5   Final Destination 2             8,389,650  2,834    10
     A.J. Cook (2nd-billed actor)   27,876,495

48   Sweet Home Alabama                 74,441    114   136
     C. Jay Cox (screenwriter)     127,141,665

49   The R.M.                           74,397     15    10
     Kurt Hale (writer/director)       254,642
     John E. Moyer (writer)
     Dave Hunter (producer)
     Cody Hale (composer)
     Ryan Little (cinematographer)
     Actors: Kirby Heyborne, Will Swenson,
        Britani Bateman, Tracy Ann Evans
        Merrill Dodge, Michael Birkeland,
        Maren Ord, Leroy Te'o, Curt Dousett
        Wally Joyner, etc.

55   Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure   26,126      9   731
     Scott Swofford (producer)      13,940,663
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)
     Sam Cardon (composer)
     Stephen L. Johnson (editor)

60   Cirque du Soleil: Journey of Man   17,050      5  1011
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)   14,890,607

67   Jack Weyland's Charly              13,144     15   136
     Adam Anderegg (director)          732,258
     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.

79   Handcart                            3,518      4   122
     Kels Goodman (director/DP)         83,085
     Dave Sapp (producer)
     Mark von Bowers (screenwriter)
     Eric M. Hanson (composer)
     Actors: Jaelan Petrie, Stephanie Albach
        Chris Kendrick, Shannon Skinner,
        Gretchen Condie

81   Galapagos                           2,742      4  1200
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)   13,925,622

83   The Slaughter Rule                  2,284      3    31
     Ryan Gosling (top-billed actor)     9,820

88   China: The Panda Adventure          1,080      3   563
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)    2,995,080

92   Mark Twain's America 3D               567      1  1683
     Alan Williams (composer)        2,296,524

THE R.M. REACHES $250,000 IN ITS SECOND WEEKEND - After only 10 days in the theaters, "The R.M." has grossed $254,642, one-fifth of the total gross receipts for "The Singles Ward" in its entire theatrical run.

SHIRA'S OUTRAGEOUS CASTING - This thing just keeps sounding better and better. We previously passed along word about Bill Shira's feature length film "Where Rivers Meet," which completed shooting on location in Idaho and is now heavily into post, targeting a late 2003 release.

When were first told some of the cast included in the film, we thought that somebody was just trying to pull one over on us. I mean, it's like somebody just got a list of the most talented, experienced Latter-day film stars based in Utah and claimed they were making a movie. But we looked into, found Chamber of Commerce info, local newspaper accounts, etc. and yes, this is a real film. Now we have learned that Connie Young (female lead in "The Singles Ward") and Jan Felt (who is required by state law to play "The Mom" in all movies filmed in the state of Utah) are ALSO in Bill Shira's movie "Where Rivers Meet." Not cameos, but major supporting roles. Wow.

These added to the already unbelievable cast that includes Jaelan Petrie ("Handcart"), Tayva Patch ("Brigham City", "Out of Step"), Rick Macy ("Brigham City", "Testaments", "Out of Step"), Marvin Payne ("Pure Race", "Saturday's Warrior"), Bruce Newbold ("Testaments of One Fold and One Shepherd", "How Rare a Possession", "The Lamb of God"), Julie West, and Joan Mullaney.

(Felt has been cast as Sariah in Rogers Book of Mormon movie, and has already been seen as the mom in Blair Treu's "Little Secrets", Eric Hendershot's "Message in a Cell Phone", Disney's "Poof Point" and T.C. Christensen's "Bug Off!")

And the cinematography by is by George Griner, so you know this is going to look amazing. The production budget was $750,000, which is more than most locally-organized films to date.

For those of you keeping track at home, this means that Shira's movie has in lead or supporting roles actors who had lead or major supporting roles in 5 out of the 8 LDS Cinema movies released so far (everything except "God's Army", "The Other Side of Heaven" and "The R.M."). PLUS Shira's movie features the lead actor from "Saturday's Warrior" (Payne) and the lead from "The Testaments of One Shepherd and One Fold" (Macy), which are arguably the 2 other films one would add to a list of the 10 biggest, most popular LDS-made/LDS-themed narrative feature-length films to date. ("Saturday's Warrior" was a direct-to-video release and "Testaments" was Church-produced, so they're not precisely in the same category normally spoken of as "LDS Cinema.)

See... now you're going to think we're just pulling your leg or something. But we've heard about this from multiple people and sources, and press materials and a DVD with a trailer is on its way to H.Q. I don't know what the story is yet (well, actually I think I do, but I haven't officially been told yet), but with Griner as D.P. and with Macy, Newbold, Patch, Payne and Petrie in front of the camera this will be worth watching even if it's about watching paint dry.

MORE HANDCART DATES - More dates are being added for Arizona and Washington State. But for now, this is a reminder to go see Handcart at the Harkins Superstition in Mesa, Arizona starting today (Feb 7). It is playing for a limited engagement, so catch it during this limited time. Check the website for more information.

LITTLE SECRETS OUT ON DVD - Don't forget that "Little Secrets" is now available on DVD and video. Buy it on DVD or video everywhere. It was distributed theatrically by Samuel Goldwyn Films, and is distributed on video/DVD by Columbia TriStar. This is far and away Latter-day Saint film director Blair Treu's best feature film to date. It grossed only about $500,000 theatrically, which means far too few people saw what is really a marvelous family film. Ebert gave it 3 out of 4 stars.

Filmed in Utah with an almost entirely LDS cast and crew, although the characters aren't LDS. Latter-day Saint actors in major roles in the movie include Danielle Chuchran, Tayva Patch ("Brigham City", "Out of Step"), Jan Broberg Felt, Rick Macy ("Brigham City", "Out of Step") and Caitlin E.J. Meyer. Watch Danielle Chuchran here before her breakout performance as Thing 1 in Ron Howard's "Cat in the Hat" later this year.

The DVD includes a feature-length director's commentary. This movie was released the same week as "S1mone", another movie starring Rachel Wood. Wood is also known for her starring role on the TV series "Once and Again". In "S1mone" she played Al Pacino's daughter. Just a supporting role. But in "Little Secrets" she is the lead actress, and gives an INCREDIBLE performance as a teenaged violin prodigy. Vivica A. Fox (Will Smith's girlfriend in "Independence Day") also is great in her supporting role as Wood's violin teacher.

Music by Sam Cardon ("Brigham City"). Brian Sullivan's jaw-dropping cinematography. If you have kids, this is one to own.

PRESS RELEASE FOR DISNEY'S OTHER SIDE OF HEAVEN - Walt Disney Home Entertainment presents THE OTHER SIDE OF HEAVEN, the true story of a young man's life-affirming journey to the remote island of Tonga, available on Disney DVD and VHS on April 1. This moving, heartfelt coming-of-age adventure stars Christopher Gorham (TV's "Felicity;" "A Life Less Ordinary") and Anne Hathaway ("The Princess Diaries," "Nicholas Nickleby") in an amazing voyage of discovery that will enchant the entire family. Directed and written by Mitch Davis, this inspiring film is produced by Academy Award-winning producer Gerald R. Molen ("Schindler's List," "Jurassic Park," "Minority Report"). On Disney DVD for $29.99 (S.R.P.) and on VHS for $19.99 (S.R.P.).

Dick Cook, Chairman of Walt Disney Studios, comments "This is a wonderful family film that we at Disney are extremely excited and proud to present. It takes you to an amazing locale and tells a story that touches everyone, young or old."

THE OTHER SIDE OF HEAVEN is the remarkable real-life journey of 19-year old John Groberg (Christopher Gorham), who travels to far-off Tonga in the 1950's to become a missionary. Through personal letters his challenging and remarkable adventures with the Tongan islanders and their culture are shared with the love he left behind, Jean Sabin (Anne Hathaway). The film is based on Groberg's touching memoir of his epic journey, In The Eye Of The Storm.

Shot in spectacular locations around the Cook Islands and New Zealand, THE OTHER SIDE OF HEAVEN used many of the same key technical crew members that worked on "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring."

On Disney DVD, THE OTHER SIDE OF HEAVEN includes a "The Making Of The Other Side of Heaven" featurette, audio commentary with director/writer Mitch Davis, and a still gallery.

Street date: April 1, 2003
Direct prebook: February 18
Distributor prebook: February 18
Suggested retail price: $29.99 DVD; $19.99 VHS
Feature run time: Approximately 113 minutes
Rated: "PG" For Thematic Elements And Brief Disturbing Images.
Bonus features unrated and subject to change.
DVD aspect ratio: 1.85:1, enhanced for 16x9 screens
Sound: Dolby* Digital 5.1 Surround Sound

Walt Disney Home Entertainment is distributed by Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Inc., a recognized industry leader. Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Inc. is the marketing, sales and distribution company for Walt Disney, Touchstone, Hollywood Pictures, Miramax, Dimension and Buena Vista videocassettes and DVDs.

MEDIA MOGUL GIVEN THE NOD - Excel President Jeff Simpson was named one of Utah's 40 Under 40 rising stars by Utah Business Magazine. See

SNELL SHOW TO HIT L.A. - "The Snell Show," the short film directed by BYU student Andrew Black based on a short story by BYU professor Darl Larsen is playing in L.A. this week. The film won the Grand Jury Award for Best Short Film at the recent Slamdance Film Festival.

American Cinematheque at the historic Hollywood Egyptian Theatre (6712 Hollywood Boulevard) is presenting the Best of The 2003 Slamdance Film Festival - February 12 & 13, 2003

Thursday, February 13, 2003 @ 9:15 PM

GRAND JURY AWARD FOR BEST SHORT: "The Snell Show" (USA, 8 min., 2002) Every year the community gathers at Old Man Snell's trailer for the greatest show on earth. Directed by Andrew Black.

BEST DOCUMENTARY & KODAK VISION AWARD FOR BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: LONG GONE (90 min.) Intertwining stories of six tramps who hop freight trains to travel across America over a seven year period, form a portrait of contemporary 'hobos' who struggle to overcome their pasts, haunting war memories, substance abuse, shattered marriages and criminal warrants. Original music by Tom Waits. Directed by Jack Cahill & David Eberhardt.

Filmmakers from the short and the feature are scheduled to appear for a discussion following the film. For more information see:

HOPPE IN "SAINTS OF WAR" - We have confirmed rumors that actor Lincoln Hoppe has a role in Ryan Little's upcoming LDS-themed war feature "The Saints of War." Hoppe is known locally for his role as "DeVerl", the goofy nerd in "The Singles Ward," and more recently for his serious turn as an Elders Quorum President in "The R.M." Like a number of top Hollywood actors, Lincoln served his full-time mission in Portugal. Another returned missionary who served there, Katherine Willis, has a small part in the feature film "The Life of David Gale", opening nationwide this month.

Hoppe's received top-billing in the short films "Freedom on the Water" (2002) and "In Time of Need" (1999), both available on video. Other major roles include the upcoming animated feature film "The Princess and the Pea", the LDS-themed historical epic "Handcart" and the national award-winner "The Last Good War." Hoppe had a small role in "Out of Step" and in too many films to list here.

Some tips for casting directors: Hoppe is busy, but that doesn't mean he isn't available. Don't be frightened by his unearthly good looks and Oscar-caliber talent. He's actually quite affable and a joy to work with. Consider him for roles you would envision filling with Jim Carrey, Tom Cruise, Robin Williams, Tom Hanks, Jackie Chan or Adam Sandler. Then pay him half what you would have paid them. He's worth more, but he's willing to take only half what you would have paid them because he's a nice guy and he likes the script.

BYU SITCOM BEGINS SHOOTING - Well... On AML-List they discussed this for months, and now it's finally here... A BYU class is producing an actual filmed-before-a-live studio audience sitcom. See

If this is successful enough "Friends" could be off the air within a year. For those who lament that there are no new worlds to conquer, this isn't true. What Doug Stewart did with live theater ("Saturday's Warrior") and Richard Dutcher did with feature films ("God's Army") has NEVER been done with any narrative TV series. There's never been an LDS sitcom. Never been an LDS cop show. Never been an LDS hospital show. No soap. No straight drama. Nothing. Cazier could herald the Next Big Thing. Of course, this is just an experiment. It's not a network show. Will it break out? Will Saints nationwide demand that "So Much In Love" Season 1 DVD sets be released? Tune in next week to find out.

BRIEF BIO OF CONTROVERSIAL FILMMAKER TAWNYA CAZIER - Latter-day Saint. Film student at Brigham Young University. Director of the short films "Barren Earth" (2002), "Gwen Parker and Associates" (2001), and "Just Say When" (2000). "Just Say When" is described thus: "A woman invents a story of having an affair to cause her husband to pay more attention to her." "Just Say When" and "Gwen Parker and Associates" both competed were screened at the 2nd LDS Film Festival, held in Provo, Utah in November 2002. Assistant director of the short films "Iscariot" (2001) and "Happy Go Lucky" (2000). Writer of the short film "The Gift" (2001). Second assistant director of the award-winning short film "Roots & Wings" (2002), directed by Christian Vuissa. Producer of the short film "Please" (2001). Stage manager for a theatrical production of Sweeney Todd at the Castle Theatre, Utah (2001).


ADD BIOS - With recent additions there are now 2,673 capsule biographies in the biography section at 47% of these individuals have no entry in the Internet Movie Database (IMDb).

VAN DE GRAAF IN THE MUSIC MAN - Latter-day Saint and BYU alum Janet van de Graaf will be appearing with Matthew Broderick in a new TV movie adaptation of "The Music Man," to air on the ABC on February 16, 2003. Van de Graaf is a veteran of Canadian comedy television. Has starred in a number of Canadian TV comedy series: "Improv Heaven & Hell" (1999), "History Bites" (1998) and "Go Girl!" Small part in the film "The Five Senses" (1999). In 1993 made at least 3 guest appearances on the the TV variety series "Royal Canadian Air Farce," playing many different parts, including a Martha Stewart Clone. Nominatd for Canadian Comedy Awards in 2000, 2001, and 2002 for her work on "History Bites." Won the award for Female Performance in 2002.

In "The Music Man" van de Graaf has been cast in the role of "Pick-A-Little Lady #5." Okay, so it's not exactly the part of Marian the Madame Libriarian, but I'm sure Janet is FABULOUS in it.

KAU MOVIE PHOTOS - Some fantastic production photos from the latest Glenn Kau movie, "The Empty Room" are online at: (Kau, as you know, directs the BYU-Hawaii Focus Club student films.) Kau's next project is "Deja Vu".

Also check out the trailer at: Wow. Kau seriously rocks. This is his best trailer yet. Very much a horror/suspence film. Maybe a bit like "The Ring." Really, really well done. Slightly cliche, but a lot of fun, and genuinely creepy. The movie will be shown April 2003 to BYU-Hawaii students.

NEW R.M. REVIEW - New review of "The R.M." from Talking Pictures. See

THE R.M. OPENING IN TOOELE THIS WEEKEND AND ALL OVER IDAHO MARCH 7 - "The R.M." will be opening this Friday, February 14th at the Westates Cinema 6 in Tooele.

March 7th opening Idaho theaters:

Ammon (Idaho Falls) - Edwards Grand Teton 14
2707 S 25th East
Phone: (208) 552-7544

Boise - Edwards Boise 21
7701 Overland Rd
Phone: (208) 377-1700

Burley - Century 5
136 W Main St
Phone: (208) 678-5631

Chubbuck (Pocatello) - Carmike 7
4031 Poleline Road
Phone: (208) 238-1389

Nampa - Edwards Nampa Stadium 14
2001 N Cassia St
Phone: (208) 442-1655

Rexburg - Carmike Holiday 3
26 S Center
Phone: (208) 356-7223

Twin Falls - Interstate Amusements Twin Cinema 12
160 Eastland Drive
Twin Falls
Phone: (208) 734-2400

FOR COZ GREEN FANS - HUGE Valentines Event at the Top with Coz Green. Valentine's Day Event, Friday, February 14th

Dance all night with a spectacular view of downtown Salt Lake City and the surrounding valley high atop the 23rd Floor of the Wells Fargo Building. There will be a special concert beginning at 7:00 PM with LDS recording artist John Canaan. Dancing from 8:30 PM to 2:00 AM. Singles and couples are welcome. For complete details visit

There will be dancing on two dance floors hosted by Utah personality and actor Coz Green, who was recently cast as the father in Tucker Dansie's new independent short, "The Wooden Bowl." Coz has been very busy over the past few months making appearances on the WB Series "Everwood", Legally Blonde 2, and just for fun--he is the waiter carrying in the flaming plate of chicken at 'Book of Mormon Burgers' in the new movie "The R.M.".

LDS FILM CLASSIC JOHNNY LINGO COMING SOON - Coming Soon from Covenant Communications: March 2003: See

LDS Film Classics on DVD: Featuring Johnny Lingo

Aside from the scriptures, few stories in the Church are better known or better loved than the legend of Johnny Lingo. Now, for the first time on convenient DVD, you can see how Johnny's expertise as a trader and his insight into the human heart transform the shy and awkward Mahana into a beautiful person worth much more than the eight cows he bargained with.

Also included in this classic collection are The Mailbox, Uncle Ben, and Christmas Snows, Christmas Winds. LDS Film Classics are stories of strength, courage, and faith. They teach compassion, understanding, and forgiveness. Whether you grew up watching these films or are discovering them for the first time, you and your family will love these touching stories and their timeless messages.

Also available: See

LDS Film Classics on DVD: Featuring The Cipher in the Snow

When a teenage boy dies unexpectedly, his math teacher is asked to notify his parents and write his obituary. Although he was the boy's favorite teacher, he hardly knew him. Shy and ostracized, the boy was a cipher, an unknown number in a class roll book. As the teacher unravels the mystery of what led to the boy's death, he commits himself to not letting others suffer the same fate. Now, for the first time on DVD, this classic film will inspire you and your family to reach out to others and care for the one.

Also included in this collection of classics are The Gift, The Emmett Smith Story, and John Baker's Last Race. LDS Film Classics are stories of strength, courage, and faith. They teach compassion, understanding, and forgiveness. Whether you grew up watching these films or are discovering them for the first time, you and your family will love these touching stories and their timeless messages.

BOOK OF MORMON MOVIE WEB SITE UPDATE - There is updated information at including more behind the scenes pictures and a 4-minute news clip telecast on KUTV 2 News on Febrauary 2, 2003.

BEST SELLING VIDEOS - LDS Video Store reports following are its top-selling items for the last 2 weeks:

1. The Singles Ward (DVD)
2. Out of Step (DVD)
3. The Field is White (DVD)
4. Out of Step (video)
5. The Other Side of Heaven DVD

These figures do not necessarliy reflect sales at other retailers.

SHeDAISY MUSIC VIDEO ON DVD - The "Sweet Home Alabama" was released on DVD this week. The movie stars Reese Witherspoon. The DVD features SHeDAISY in a music video for "Mine All Mine", one of the tracks in the movie. SHeDAISY is the country music group consisting of 3 sisters -- all active Latter-day Saints from Magna Utah.


Carol Mikita is an accomplished news anchor and arts and religion reporter at KSL 5 Television in Salt Lake City, Utah. Mikita recently spoke to an overflow crowd at an LDS Business College forum on 28 January. Her message was simple: "There are no coincidences in life. Doors open, and it's important to recognize when that door is opened." She urged students to maintain a close relationship with their Heavenly Father in order to recognize when those doors open

Article about Carole Mikita, Latter-day Saint broadcast journalist who has produced numerous Latter-day Saint-themed half-hour documentaries for KSL, which are broadcast at General Conference time. Mikita is the producer of the documentary "Latter-day Saints on the Silver Screen" (, for which she did NOT interview us. For which we are NOT bitter. We've forgotten all about it.

NEW HOGUE ARTICLE - Here is a long and fairly in-depth general article by RuthAnn Hogue about LDS Cinema. Lots of original material here:

KSL NON-SCIENTIFIC POLL - KSL Radio "Unofficial" Online Poll

Q: Which one of the major "LDS Cinema" releases is your favorite?

7% : God's Army - 2000
13% : Brigham City - 2001
31% : The Other Side of Heaven - 2001
40% : The Singles Ward - 2002
0% : Out of Step - 2002
8% : Jack Weyland's Charly - 2002
2% : Handcart - 2002


TWO DESERET NEWS ARTICLES - Headline 1: 'God's Army' marches into Mexico, giving Dutcher another LDS first. See,1249,455029884,00.html

Headline 2: Locally filmed 'Little Secrets' now on DVD by Chris Hicks. See,1249,455029868,00.html

PAID POSITION: CAMERAMEN NEEDED - Tucker Dansie is looking for 4 cameramen & a 2-3 camera assistants (shooting on Canon XL-1 Digital Cameras) for an upcoming concert shoot on February 28th. This is a huge concert at the MacKay Events Center. It is for "Colors". You might remember Dansie's documentary "COLORS: Up Close & Personal". These camera people will capture their final concert. If you own your own Canon XL-1 that is a plus. This is a PAID POSITION. Contact Tucker Dansie at

ACTOR NEEDED - From Action Acting:

Hello Everyone -

Adam Lawson is looking to cast the part of the Male "PROFESSOR" for his film. Call Skylar 801-787-6777 for details. . .and mention Michelle Wright sent you. It is a 35mm short film project that will be headed for the Cannes Film festival. Adam Lawson is directing. Contact SKYLAR at 801-787-6777 if you are interested. Non-paying. Also, don't forget to sign up for my extra database so you can keep receiving casting e-mails!

Good Luck -

Michelle K. Wright

AUDITIONS FOR BUTTARS FILM - Latter-day Saint filmmaker Jared S. Buttars is currently in pre-production for his upcoming feature length action/comedy. Buttars is the Producer/Writer/Director. The movie is not LDS-themed but is family friendly.



Call for Auditions!

If you plan to attend auditions then PLEASE FILL OUT AND SUBMIT THE FORM BELOW.

Saturday, March 15 12:00pm - 5:00pm
Callbacks Saturday, March 22 12:00pm - 5:00pm

Off Broadway Theatre
272 South Main
Salt Lake City, Utah

Ecto demands fun, energetic, comedic performors. Great character development, comedic timing and even some improv when it is appropriate are qualities that are required. We need people that can give a paragraph of lines in a single look. If you think you're up to snuff and want to have a blast performing in a very unique independent movie then we want to see your audition!

Unfortunately this is a non-paid position. If you want to participate it will have to be for pleasure, exposure and/or experience. It is also required that you be readily available during a two week shooting schedule from August 9th through August 23rd 2003. Demand of your presence during that time frame will depend on which part you are awarded and accept.

THOSE FICKLE OSCAR NOMINATIONS - Despite the strong opinions of many that certain films and performances were certainly deserving, when it came to actual Oscar nominations for LDS filmmakers this year, we got nothin'. "Minority Report" only earned one Oscar nomination -- sound editing -- and of course that isn't a nomination for Molen. Well, there's always next year. It should be noted that even some people who it seems are regularly nominated for Oscars, such as Jerry Goldsmith (17 Oscar nominations - Original Score), were not included in this year's list of nominations.