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

Weekend of March 21, 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
---  ----------------------------- -----------  -----  ----
 7   Piglet's Big Movie (NEW)        6,097,758  2,084     3
     Ken Sansom (3rd-billed actor)   6,097,758

25   Final Destination 2               271,195    326    52
     A.J. Cook (2nd-billed actor)   46,100,642

53   The R.M.                           59,063     24    52
     Kurt Hale (writer/director)       652,893
     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   39,315     10   773
     Scott Swofford (producer)      14,274,874
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)
     Sam Cardon (composer)
     Stephen L. Johnson (editor)

76   Cirque du Soleil: Journey of Man   13,146      3  1053
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)   15,091,275

92   Poolhall Junkies                    2,460      2    24
     Rick Schroder (5th-billed star)   562,059
     Filmed in, set in Salt Lake City

93   Jack Weyland's Charly               2,173      5   178
     Adam Anderegg (director)          792,531
     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.

95   Galapagos                           1,739      5  1242
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)   13,967,565

99   Ziggy Stardust & Spiders from Mars    949      3   257
     Mick Ronson (2nd-billed actor)    161,174

101  China: The Panda Adventure            875      1   605
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)    3,004,105

PIGLET'S BIG MOVIE, starring Latter-day Saint actor Ken Sansom, opened nationwide in over 2,000 theaters over the weekend, grossing over $6 million at the box office, putting it in 7th place nationwide. Sansom provides the voice for "Rabbit," reprising the role he has performed previously in "The Tigger Movie" (2000), as well as in numerous Winnie the Pooh direct-to-video films, TV specials, and TV series. Sansom even gives voice to rabbit in the Disney Channel cable series "The Book of Pooh," which uses puppets instead of animation. Voice actor John Fiedler received top billing as the title character in "Piglet's Big Movie," while Jim Cummings once again provided the voice of both Winnie the Pooh and Tigger. Aside from Piglet himself, Rabbit is the most complex character in "Piglet's Big Movie," expressing a wide range of emotions and a level of vulnerability not always associated with his often ascerbic personality. In the Friday matinee screening I attended the young children in attendance laughed frequently and thoroughly enjoyed the movie. It held the attention of toddlers and older kids. Critics nationwide have overwhelmingly approved of the movie, many specifically calling it better than "The Tigger Movie." currently counts 80% positive out of a total of 54, making "Piglet's Big Movie" the best-reviewed new movie of the weekend.

In contrast, "Dreamcatcher" (Morgan Freeman in an odd horror/alien flick from a Stephen King novel) had a 32% positive rating, "View from the Top" (Gwenyth Paltrow in a comedy about an airplane stewardess) had a 9% positive rating, and "Boat Trip" (comedy with Cuba Gooding Jr. on a gay cruise) had only a 5% positive rating. Critics were far more enthusiastic about Academy Award-winner Gwenyth Paltrow's last movie, "Possession," which was directed by Latter-day Saint director Neil LaBute and co-starred Latter-day Saint actor Aaron Eckhart. "Possession" has a 63% positive rating from Cuba Gooding Jr.'s appearance in "Boat Trip" can only serve to sink the career of this Academy Award winner. All his talent couldn't save this movie, in which he plays a straight guy who pretends to be gay after finding himself on a gay cruise. Cuba was better off playing an actual gay character in "As Good as it Gets" (1998), which was written by Latter-day Saint screenwriter Mark Andrus, and which has an 88% positive rating from (as well as a Best Screenplay Oscar nomination).

"THE R.M." opened up all over Nevada and Idaho over the weekend, posting better box office than in previous weeks, and boosting its box office total to over $650,000. This put "The R.M." ahead of Trey Parker's "Orgazmo" on the "Box Office Performance of Movies Featuring Latter-day Saint Main Characters" list. "The R.M." is now directly behind "Jack Weyland's Charly" on this list, and may well pass it in the coming weeks. "Charly," which has grossed $792,531, is coming to the end of its theatrical run, playing in a few last cities, mostly in second-run "dollar" theaters. "Charly" will be released by Excel Entertainment to DVD and video on May 6, 2003 (SRP $29.99 DVD, $19.99 VHS). "The R.M." is still scheduled to open in dozens of theaters in California, Oregon and Washingon on April 11th. Interestingly enough, this weekend "The R.M." also passed the $630,779 grossed nationwide "Ride with the Devil," the 1999 Civil War movie featuring non-churchgoing Latter-day Saint singer Jewel Kilcher as the lead actress. "Ride with the Devil," which was directed by Ang Lee, cost a reported $35 million to produce. "The R.M." had a combined production/P & A budget of $500,000.

GARY ROGERS' feature film based on the books of 1st and 2nd Nephi from the Book of Mormon is well under way, with sets being constructed in an undisclosed location in Ogden. An article published in the Ogden Standard-Examiner details some of the preparations, mentioning that the much of the technical crew and art department crew working on this movie are Latter-day Saint Hollywood veterans who have previously worked on feature films such as "Titanic" and "Batman."

THE OTHER SIDE OF HEAVEN will be released on DVD and video by Disney on April 1st (SRP $29.99 DVD, $19.99 VHS). An article in the Daily Universe (19 March 2003) notes that "because Disney is the distributor, the film will be available at most video retail stores nationwide. The movie will not be marketed as an LDS film." The movie will be marketed internationally. Davis mentioned the enthusiasm of in Muslim countries for the movie, noting that "the movie has contracted to show in countries including Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Iran, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, China, Vietnam and the United Arab Emirates." Davis, discussing the marketing of the movie, said "The hardest thing throughout this entire process of marketing this movie has been convincing Mormons that this is not a Mormon movie... The irony is it was not at all hard to convince non-Mormons that this was not a Mormon movie." For the record, "The Other Side of Heaven" is an LDS movie. But for marketing purposes it is not an LDS movie; it is, instead, a triumph of epic proportions and a must-own film that every thinking, breathing human being on the planet (and in the MIR space station) will love. The article notes that "Davis is currently working with Disney on developing another feature film."

THE 75th ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS were held on Sunday, March 23rd. Not much to report. "Minority Report" was only up for one Academy Award (for Best Sound Editing) and it didn't win. During the "In Memorium" film clip the passing of director George Roy Hill was noted. Hill was not a Latter-day Saint, but he directed the 4th highest-ever grossing movie featuring a Latter-day Saint main character: "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" (1969). "Butch Cassidy" is the highest-grossing BIOPIC about a Latter-day Saint. "Panther" (1995) is 2nd, and "The Other Side of Heaven" is 3rd.

THE COLLECTORS: Filming is well under way on "The Collectors," directed by John Lyde (director of "The Field is White"), with Kels Goodman (director of "Handcart") as Director of Photography. All of the martial arts in this film are real -- not "wire-fu" or whatnot. Lyde reports that the footage they've obtained so far is mind-blowing. "The Collectors" is a far different film from Lyde's new short film "In the Service of God," an inspirational romantic comedy about home teaching which hit store shelves this week on video and DVD.

BEST SELLERS:, which sells films by Latter-day Saint filmmakers at discount prices with free shipping, reported the following were its top sellers during the past 10 days: 1) The Other Side of Heaven DVD; 2) The Singles Ward DVD; 3) The Other Side of Heaven VHS; 4) The Singles Ward soundtrack CD; 5) Jack Weyland's Charly DVD; 6) God's Army DVD.