Natl Film Title Weekend Gross Rank LDS/Mormon Filmmaker/Star Total Gross Theaters Days --- ----------------------------- ----------- ----- ---- 3 The Core (NEW) 12,053,131 3,017 3 Aaron Eckhart (lead actor) 12,053,131 8 Piglet's Big Movie 4,931,308 2,084 10 Ken Sansom (3rd-billed actor) 12,730,591 39 Final Destination 2 122,551 167 59 A.J. Cook (2nd-billed actor) 46,322,277 63 The R.M. 36,623 28 59 Kurt Hale (writer/director) 716,545 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. 68 Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure 24,903 10 780 Scott Swofford (producer) 14,327,185 Reed Smoot (cinematographer) Sam Cardon (composer) Stephen L. Johnson (editor) 84 Cirque du Soleil: Journey of Man 10,604 3 1060 Reed Smoot (cinematographer) 15,112,956 109 Galapagos 3,189 7 1249 Reed Smoot (cinematographer) 13,978,630 118 Jack Weyland's Charly 1,774 4 185 Adam Anderegg (director) 795,559 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. 121 China: The Panda Adventure 1,605 1 612 Reed Smoot (cinematographer) 3,005,855 133 The Slaughter Rule 175 1 80 Ryan Gosling (top-billed actor) 13,134
UPCOMING MIKITA DOCUMENTARY ABOUT LITTLE'S NEW MOVIE - Between sessions of conference, Carole Mikita has traditionally had various half-hour documentaries airing on KSL-TV. This conference will be no different. This time she is doing a documentary on the making of the motion picture "The Saints of War", directed by Ryan Little ("The Last Good War", "Freedom on the Water", "Out of Step"). The one hour Matt Whitaker documentary "Saints at War" will be shown followed Mikita's half-hour documentary about the making of the new Ryan Little feature film inspired by the "Saints at War" book and documentary. "The Saints of War" stars TV/movie star Corbin Allred and film star Kirby Heyborne as soldiers in WWII's Battle of the Bulge. Allred plays a Latter-day Saint serviceman.
GOOD ARTICLE IN MERIDIAN ABOUT "SUDDENLY UNEXPECTED" - RuthAnn Hogue has a new article for Meridian Magazine about the upcoming Mark Potter movie, "Suddenly Unexpected." The Latter-day Saint-themed comedy feature film is essentially complete, but the filmmakers are waiting until the fervor surrounding "The R.M." (another Latter-day Saint-themed comedy) dies down before releasing their movie. The article is at: http://www.ldsmag.com/arts/030403newmovie.html
MERIDIAN MAGAZINE REVIEW OF ROOTS AND WINGS - Meridian Magazine has published Thomas C. Baggaley's review of Christian Vuissa's short film "Roots & Wings". "Roots & Wings" won the Association for Mormon Letters 2002 Film Award, which is only the 2nd time this award has been given in the 30-year history of the AML Awards. The only previous recipient of the Film Award was Richard Dutcher's "God's Army." See the review/article at: http://meridianmagazine.com/arts/030328roots.html
AARON ECKHART SAVES THE WORLD - "The Core" starring LDS actor Aaron Eckhart in the lead role was opened this weekend in the number three spot. Here are some other Aaron Eckhart movies along with their box office totals and reported production budgets.
Movie Aaron's Billing Year U.S. BoxOff Gross Budget ---- ------ ---- ----------------- ---------- Erin Brockovich 3 2000 125,548,685 51,000,000 Any Given Sunday 10 1999 75,530,832 62,000,000 Nurse Betty 5 2000 25,167,270 24,000,000 The Pledge 2 2001 19,733,089 45,000,000 Possession 2 2002 10,103,647 25,000,000 Your Friends and Neighbors 2 1998 4,710,749 5,000,000 In The Company of Men 1 1997 2,883,661 250,000 Molly 2 1999 17,396 21,000,000 Thursday 2 1998 1,971 The Core 1 2003 ? 85,000,000"The Core" is Aaron Eckhart's theatrically released 10th movie in which he has received poster billing. (Yes, he is actually listed on the movie poster with 10th billing in "Any Given Sunday.") Actually, if you look at his career, Eckhart has done very little significant work other than appear in major roles in feature films. No TV series, no TV movies. Mostly just feature films.
"The Core" marks the first time since his debut feature film "In the Company of Men" (directed by Neil LaBute) that Eckhart has received top billing. "The Core" is also the most expensive film he has been in, with a reported budget of $85 million. The previous record budget for an Eckhart film was $62 million for "Any Given Sunday." His most successful film to date has been "Erin Brockovich," which grossed over $125 million nationwide and also earned co-star Julia Roberts an Academy Award for best actress. Eckhart had the 3rd billed role as Roberts' biker boyfriend.
"The Core" is also Eckhart's first science fiction film. "The Core" is also being classified as a disaster movie. In fact, "The Core" could be called Eckhart's first "genre film." One could make a case for other movies being being "genre films" -- "Any Given Sunday" is a "sports film." "The Pledge" could sort of be called a murder mystery. "Possession" was half period piece (but not Eckhart's half). "Erin Brockovich" could even be called a biopic. But everything he's been in so far has been straight drama compared to "The Core," which is a straight-laced dramatic take on science fiction/disaster, but still a science fiction/disaster movie.
The total U.S. box office gross for Eckhart's first 9 movies is $263,697,300. This puts him behind 3 other LDS/Mormon actors we track: Paul Walker ($322 million, 6 movies), Wilford Brimley ($312 million, 16 movies), and Matthew Modine ($284 million, 19 movies). (Modine briefly attended BYU -- which Eckhart graduated from -- but left to pursue an acting career and has not been a churchgoer during his career.)
If "The Core" grosses just $59 million in the U.S. it will put Eckhart on the top of this chart -- making him the box office champion among Latter-day Saint actors working today. But Walker has the lead role in the $76 million-budgeted "2 Fast 2 Furious," opening June 6th, so Eckhart's reign could be short-lived.
Of course, there's always Donny Osmond waiting in the wings... A single $200 million-grossing movie would add to his "Mulan" box office and put him on the top of the heap. Maybe if he snags the lead in Miramax's "Guys and Dolls" remake...
3D BY BENCH - Here's a great new website about the work of Kevin Bench, an accomplished 3D animator and animation director with numerous film credits (Bench is a Latter-day Saint and a BYU graduate who we have enjoyed hearing from): http://benchmedia.tripod.com
TRACY IN LEGALLY BLONDE 2 - Latter-day Saint actor Jerry Tracy (who lives in Salt Lake City) has a small part in the upcoming MGM feature film "Legally Blonde 2."
THE R.M. AT THUNDERBIRD - "The R.M." has been selected as one of the films to be shown at this year's Thunderbird International Film Festival. Last year "The Singles Ward" won the award for Best Feature Film at the event.
CARMEN - Latter-day Saint singing superstar Carmen Rasmusen has survived one more round of votes on the FOX TV show "American Idol"... but barely. She was one of the bottom 3 vote getters, among the final 8 on the show. Over 15 million people voted. Normally at this stage in the contest, a contestant goes home, but because Corey Clark was disqualified, another contestant was NOT eliminated this week. On last night's show Simon said that he didn't think Carmen is the BEST female singer on this show, but that she is the most commercial. America's votes from yesterday are being combined with next week's show, and the total will determine who goes home next week. Once again... Carmen still alive on "American Idol."
AWARD FOR CAITLIN - Caitlin E.J. Meyer won the award for Best Actress this week at the 24th Annual Young Artist Awards. Meyer won the award for "Best Performance in a Feature Film - Young Actress Age Ten or Younger" for her role in "Little Secrets," (beating out young actresses from "Signs", "Spy Kids 2", "Rabbit-Proof Fence" and "Evelyn"). "Little Secrets" was directed by Latter-day Saint filmmaker Blair Treu and featured a predominantly Utah/LDS cast, including Rick Macy, Tayva Patch and Jan Broberg Felt.
ROGERS BOOK OF MORMON FEATURE FILM: New photos taken during principle photography of Gary Rogers' upcoming feature film based on 1st and 2nd Nephi from the Book of Mormon have been posted on the movie's official website at: http://www.bookofmormonmovie.com/location/index.html
PAINT YOUR WAGON REVIVAL - Here's an article about a revival in San Francisco of the Latter-day Saint-themed Broadway musical "Paint Your Wagon." See http://www.examiner.com/ex_files/default.jsp?story=3DX0331WAGONw. The musical was produced as a big-budget Hollywood movie in 1969, starring Clint Eastwood. With a box office gross of over $31 million (unadjusted for inflation), "Paint Your Wagon" holds the record for the highest-ever box office gross for a movie about explicitly Latter-day Saint main characters and themes. "The Other Side of Heaven" is in second place. (There are a number of movies about Latter-day Saint main characters that have grossed more than "Paint Your Wagon," but they were not about explicitly Latter-day Saint characters AND themes.)
SMART FAMILY CONSIDERS MOVIE OFFERS - A Salt Lake Tribune article about the various offers the Smarts have received from filmmakers interested in telling the "official" story of Elizabeth Smart's kidnapping can be found at http://www.sltrib.com/2003/Mar/03292003/utah/43087.asp