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

Weekend of March 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
---  ----------------------------- -----------  -----  ----
18   Final Destination 2             1,034,114    881    38
     A.J. Cook (2nd-billed actor)   44,616,117

46   Poolhall Junkies                   76,534    119    10
     Rick Schroder (5th-billed star)   504,507
     Filmed in, set in Salt Lake City

53   The R.M.                           42,547     21    38
     Kurt Hale (writer/director)       527,847
     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.

58   Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure   32,033      9   759
     Scott Swofford (producer)      14,138,393
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)
     Sam Cardon (composer)
     Stephen L. Johnson (editor)

79   Cirque du Soleil: Journey of Man    9,979      4  1039
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)   15,043,783

95   Jack Weyland's Charly               3,173      9   194
     Adam Anderegg (director)          783,993
     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.

96   Handcart                            3,094      1   150
     Kels Goodman (director/DP)         91,327
     David Greenslaw Sapp (producer)
     Mark von Bowers (screenwriter)
     Eric M. Hanson (composer)
     Actors: Jaelan Petrie, Stephanie Albach
        Chris Kendrick, Shannon Skinner,
        Gretchen Condie

98   Galapagos                           2,971      5  1228
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)   13,957,655

116  China: The Panda Adventure            310      1   591
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)    3,000,805

RASMUSSEN ROCKS PLANET EARTH: Stepping into shoes previously filled by Julie Stoffer (star of MTV's "Real World: New Orleans") and Neleh Dennis (star of CBS' "Survivor: Marquesas"), a 17-year-old Latter-day Saint singing sensation from Bountiful, Utah has come from nowhere to take over the megapopular FOX TV show "American Idol." Carmen Rasmusen, singing a country western song on the "Wildcard" episode of "American Idol," drew scathing comments from surly judge Simon Cowell. Yet it was Simon who picked her from the night's 12 competitors to move onto the next round. This makes Rasmusen one of only twelve finalists (from an original pool of hundreds of thousands of people) left competing in the show, and assures a spot in the show's popular touring show.

LDS INVENTOR OF CDs/DVDs PASSES AWAY: A detailed article in the Salt Lake Tribune ( notes the passing by heart failure of the 54-year-old inventor of CD/DVD technology which has revolutionized the music and film industry. Robert B. Ingebretsen, a Latter-day Saint and Utah resident, invented the technology that translated analog sound into a digital format -- a discovery that eventually led to the development of compact discs. In 1999 he received an Academy Award for his contributions to the entertainment industry. Funeral services were held March 7th at the LDS Ensign Fourth Ward in Salt Lake City.

LaBUTE/ECKHART MOVIE CHOSEN FOR EBERT'S FILMFEST: Neil LaBute's 2nd feature film, "Your Friends and Neighbors," starring fellow BYU grad Aaron Eckhart, is part of the lineup for Roger Ebert's prestigious annual Overlooked Film Festival. Roger Ebert, the nation's most popular film critic, organized the annual festival to draw attention pay tribute to great but under-appreciated films. Of the 14 films at this year's festival, "Your Friends and Neighbors" is the only one directed by a Latter-day Saint. The festival will take place in Ebert's hometown of Champaign, Illinois from April 23-27. The other movies in this year's lineup include: "The Right Stuff" (1983), "Singin' in the Rain" (which features the late Latter-day Saint actress Joi Lansing had a small part), "13 Conversations About One Thing," "Blood and Wine," "Charlotte Sometimes," "L.627," "Medium Cool," "Shall We Dance," "What's Cooking?", the 1932 Japanese silent classic "I Was Born, But..." and "The Black Pirate" (1926).

GROBERG'S NAUVOO TEMPLE FILM IS BEING SHOWN ACROSS NATION: Meridian Magazine has published a detailed article about acclaimed Latter-day Saint documentary filmmaker Lee B. Groberg's latest feature-length documentary, "Sacred Stone: Temple on the Mississippi." The article tells how this film, and Groberg's previous Latter-day Saint-themed independent documentaries, have overcome obstacles and ended up being shown acros the country. The full article, with a schedule of PBS stations scheduled to play "Sacred Stone", can be found here:

HEIMERDINGER MOVIE NEWS: Popular author of Latter-day Saint Young Adult fiction Chris Heimerdinger (best known for his "Tennis Shoes Among the Nephites" series of books) is now selling a softcover published edition of his screenplay for his planned feature film "Summer of the Nephite" from his official website at He is still writing the novelization, which he plans to finish in about six weeks. The first few minutes of the movie have been completed as a short demo reel which the author is showing to investors in order to raise money to film the full movie. If he raises the money needed for the movie's production (about $600,000), he plans to shoot it this summer.

DIMMITT HEADS BACK TO THE FUTURE: Latter-day Saint newspaper publisher James L. Dimmitt, publisher of the Chico Enterprise-Record June 1990 through the end of 1998, passed away on February 15th, 2003 at his home. He was 69 and had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease). Dimmitt had published the Enterprise-Record and eight other newspapers owned by the Donrey Media Group. Dimmitt was well known for his collection of vintage cars. His vintage Packards 1941 convertible appeared in the movie "Back to the Future." Dimmitt was a lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

SMALLVILLE, BY BYU GRADS: A detailed article in the Deseret News (,1249,465031249,00.html) describes the contributions that three recent Latter-day Saint BYU film school graduates are making to the popular TV series "Smallville", which features a young Clark Kent before he becomes Superman. Clint Carpenter is the show's script coordinator. He directed the short film "Iscariot" (starring Richard Clifford) while at BYU. His wife, Yvonne Carpenter, works as a writer's assistant for "Smallville." Jake Black was a an intern for the show and writes for the show's official website.

12th ANNUAL UTAH HIGH SCHOOL FILM FESTIVAL: From the Deseret News (10 March 2003): The 12th annual Utah High School Film Festival will be Wednesday, March 19, in the Grand Theater of the Salt Lake Community College South City Campus, 1575 S. State. More than 350 students representing at least 27 schools will are expected. The day begins at 8 a.m. with a keynote address by Leigh von der Esch, director of the Utah Film Commission, followed by workshops. After lunch are screenings and award presentations for winning student filmmakers. For information see or call Sue Tice at 484-4343, Ext. 229.

WARD SCREENS NUMBER 9: Latter-day Saint filmmaker Dustin "Spanky" Ward hosted a free screening of his short film "Number 9" at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 11th at the new Salt Lake City Library, 400 south 200 east, in the auditorium. After the film was shown, a 10 minute behind-the-scenes documentary was shown. "Number 9," which Ward wrote and directed, competed in the 2002 LDS Film Festival, where it received the Audience Choice Award at the Festival, one of only 3 such awards given in a field of 36 competing films and a larger number of films submitted. The film is described thus: "A young psychology student meets a young man with a phobia of the woods. She convinces him he needs to face his fear and return to the woods." Ward was the first assistant director for the Latter-day Saint-themed feature-length film "Day of Defense" (2003), worked as the locations assistant for the big-budget feature film "The Core" (2003), and has many other film credits to his name.

PIGLET EYES THE COMPETITION: The nationwide premier of "Piglet's Big Movie," starring Latter-day Saint actor Ken Sansom as "Rabbit," is just ten days away. Will "Piglet" trounce the competition that week and emerge as the Number 1 film in the country? It has a good chance of doing so. The only other animated feature/kids movie out there right now is the critically lambased sequel "The Jungle Book 2," and that's been playing now for weeks and is completely out of steam. Unfortunately, the kid-oriented "Agent Cody Banks" opens this weekend, and there may be a some overlap, although it's more for the pre-teen and young teen set, and may not draw many of the younger tykes likely to be going to "Piglet." On the plus side, the movies opening in the same weekend as "Piglet" have very little buzz, so they may all be felled by the Little Pink One and his Responsible Yellow Friend. Here's the competition: "Dreamcatcher", based on a Stephen King novel, may be the biggest competition. It stars Morgan Freeman, who is respected but not a huge box office draw. Horror flicks are popular, and King's name is a draw, even though this isn't among his best books. "A View from the Top": Even the trailer is said to stink, but with popular stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Christina Applegate and Kelly Preston, this movie about Paltrow's dreams of becoming a flight attendent might have wings before sinking to the bargain video bins. "Boat Trip": A movie for GLBT couples without kids, I guess. Once promising actor Cuba Gooding Jr. schleps with "Saturday Night Live" star Horatio Sanz as a down-on-their-luck pair of straight men tricked into taking a vacation on an all-gay cruiseliner. IMDb predicts it will "go down as one of the worst Hollywood productions of the year." "Down and Out with the Dolls": Nothing to worry about. Starring people people you've never heard of in a Portland, Oregon story about the rise and fall of an all-girl rock band, this one will be gone faster than you can say "WOW."

1. The R.M. Soundtrack
2. The Singles Ward Soundtrack
3. True North by Jericho Road
4. Love Is a Journey: Reflections on Marriage
5. Women of Destiny: Songs Celebrating the Declaration of the Relief Society
6. Jericho Road by Jericho Road
7. Charly Soundtrack
8. Greater Than Us All: 10th Anniversary Edition by Kenneth Cope
9. Twenty-Five Beloved Hymns of Christ on Acoustic Guitar by Michael Dowdle
10. The Ocean in Me by Cherie Call

All of the CDs on the Top 10 list are movie soundtrack CDs, or feature music by recording artists with movie credits. The top 2 slots and the #7 slot on Deseret Book's top-selling CDs chart are filled by LDS Cinema soundtrack CDs. Deseret Book-owned boy band Jericho Road shows up in the #3 and #6 slots. Jericho Road makes a cameo appearance as a prison band in the movie "The R.M." Michael Dowdle (whose solo guitar album is at #9) performs the song "St. Angelos" (written by Rodney Strong) on the "Charly" soundtrack CD. Kenneth Cope (whose album is #8 on the chart) sang "Far Longer Than Forever" for the soundtrack to the movie "The Swan Princess: Escape from Castle Mountain" (1997), directed by Richard Rich. Popular Latter-day Saint recording star Cherie Call (whose newest album is at #10) wrote and performed two great songs on the "God's Army" soundtrack CD ("Snow" and Restless Soul"), and she wrote and performed two songs on the "Charly" soundtrack CD ("Restless Soul" and "A Heartbeat Away"). "Love Is a Journey: Reflections on Marriage" (#4 on the chart) features a number of artists: Jenny Frogley, Jericho Road, Jeff McLean, John McVey, Katherine Nelson, Brett Raymond, and Doug Walker. Brett Raymond's music is featured on the "Charly" soundtrack. John McVey's music is featured on the "Out of Step" soundtrack CD. "Women of Destiny" (#5 on the chart), includes music by various artists, including two songs by Gladys Knight, who sang the title song for the James Bond movie "License to Kill" (1989), Michael McLean (who wrote the songs for the FFFF video "Rigoletto" and numerous Church videos, including "What Is Real?", "Our Heavenly Father's Plan", "Together Forever", "The Prodigal Son", "Labor of Love", "Nora's Christmas Gift", and "Mr. Krueger's Christmas." "Women of Destiny" also features music by Tyler Castleton and Stacy Peters, two of the composers for the Church's Winter Olympics Conference Center extravaganza "Light of the World."

MOYER TO SPEAK IN UTAH COUNTY: The Utah County chapter of the League of Utah Writers is having the following meeting: John Moyer has been confirmed as guest speaker for the group's meeting on March 26th at 7:00 p.m. in the Provo Library. Moyer is the screenwriter for the popular Latter-day Saint-themed feature films "Singles Ward," and "The R.M.". He will speak about how he began his career and talk about the fundamentals of screenplay writing.

BOWMAN AND LITTLE ON DVD: Two hot short films are coming out on a combined DVD from Candlelight Media Group, the same company that publishes the "Treasured Stories of the Golden Rule" and "The Wrong Brother" video. The DVD (also available as a video) contains two great films which are really nothing alike, but they are packaged together under the title "About Brothers." The two films are "Freedom on the Water" and "The Wrong Brother." The DVD features a director's commentary for both films.

"Freedom on the Water" (2002) was directed by Ryan Little (director of the Latter-day Saint-themed feature films "Out of Step" and "Saints of War", and cinematographer for the Latter-day Saint-themed feature films "The R.M." and "The Singles Ward"). "Freedom on the Water" garnered Little the "Best American Director" Award at Windsong Film Festival in Indiana for this film. The film stars Lincoln Hoppe, but then, what Ryan Little short film doesn't? Mike Tanner, the star of Martin Patch's short film "4:53," has the 2nd billed role in "Freedom."

Chris Bowman's hilarious short film "The Wrong Brother" is also on the DVD, just in time for the 100th Anniversary of the Wright Brothers' historic flight at Kitty Hawk (1903). "The Wrong Brother" won the top awards a the BYU "Final Cut" film festival, and went on to win 1st place at the First International Young LDS Film Festival. It tells the not entirely factual story of young Hector Wright, the lesser known brother of Orville and Wilbur Wright. Chris Kendrick (one of the stars of "Handcart") does a hilarious turn as a Wright Brother. Bryan Summers is wonderful in the title role. Clint Carpenter, script consultant for the WB series "Smallville" (about a young Superman) is the first assistant director. Ryan Little was the producer of "The Wrong Brother."