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

Weekend of April 18, 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
---  ----------------------------- -----------  -----  ----
15   The Core                        1,820,231  2,021    24
     Aaron Eckhart (lead actor)     28,781,441

20   Piglet's Big Movie                959,580  1,373    31
     Ken Sansom (3rd-billed actor)  20,685,800

53   Final Destination 2                52,182     69    80
     A.J. Cook (2nd-billed actor)   46,628,334

62   Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure   31,953     10   801
     Scott Swofford (producer)      14,467,692
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)
     Sam Cardon (composer)
     Stephen L. Johnson (editor)

65   The R.M.                           27,415     27    80
     Kurt Hale (writer/director)       869,526
     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.

86   Cirque du Soleil: Journey of Man    5,784      3  1080
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)   15,158,190

91   Handcart                            2,569      3   192
     Kels Goodman (director/DP)         98,666
     David Greenslaw Sapp (producer)
     Mark von Bowers (screenwriter)
     Eric M. Hanson (composer)
     Actor: Jaelan Petrie, Stephanie Albach
        Chris Kendrick, Shannon Skinner,
        Gretchen Condie

93   Jack Weyland's Charly               2,446      3   206
     Adam Anderegg (director)          807,938
     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.

106  China: The Panda Adventure          1,150      1   633
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)    3,010,243

107  Galapagos                           1,130      4  1270
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)   13,992,472

RUTH HALE PASSES ON - Newspapers around the country, including California, Wyoming and Utah, are noting the passing of Ruth Hale. Sister Hale died of natural causes on 20 April 2003. She was 94. "Grandma Hale," as she was often called, was one of the great ladies of Utah theater and community theater in general. Editorials and obituaries in newspapers such as the Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News and other forums praised her contributions to live theater. She founded the Hale Center Theaters in Glendale, California, Salt Lake City, Orem and Souther Utah. Another is being built in Gilbert, Arizona. She wrote more than 80 plays, many of which have been performed around the country. She appeared constantly in stage plays, and had roles in films, such as in the recent feature film "The Singles Ward," directed by her grandson Kurt Hale. Thom Duncan, founder of the Nauvoo Theatrical Society and the Center Street Theatre in Orem, Utah, wrote about Sister Hale's passing: "They [Ruth and her late husband Nathan Hale] are true pioneers in the field of LDS theatre. Nathan and Ruth will be greatly missed but, as with all great pioneers, their legacy will live on after them." The Deseret News wrote: "Her legacy is secure. Finding a fitting tribute may be a problem, however. Often, when guiding lights of the theater pass away, the community will put their names on a theater. The problem is Ruth Hale has already got a bunch of those."

HANDCART ENDS ITS THEATRICAL RUN - If you still wanted to see "Handcart" in the theaters, you may have missed your chance. The film may play in a few dollar theaters, but other then that, it is done, having grossed a total of $98,666 in theaters. Right now, Kels Goodman and company are aiming for a DVD and VHS release by Pioneer Day. Thomson Video will be distributing. (Thomson also distributes "Out of Step.")

"THE PROMETHEAN" RATED TOP OVERALL FILM AT THE FLICKER FILM FESTIVAL - From BYU's TMAccess newsletter, regarding BYU student/LDS filmmaker D. Kohl Glass and his critically acclaimed short film "The Promethean": "The Promethean" was chosen by a jury composed of Chicago film critics as the Top Overall Film at the Flicker Film Festival. This award is given to only one film, regardless of category, that the jury decides is simply the best film. Congratulations to Kohl Glass and all those who worked on this film!

CARMEN MOVES ON - On last week's results episode of "American Idol" Carmen Rasmusen was revealed as one of the bottom 3 vote-getters from the previous night's show, and was probably one of the bottom 2. But the lowest vote-getter was the typically immodest Kimberly Caldwell. The announcement seemed to surprise Carmen and much of the crowd, as Carmen had turned in the most criticized performance the night before. Carmen is now in the final 6, with most commentators predicting she can't last long against the talented men (Clay Aiken, Ruben and Josh the marine), and the largely unattractive women (Trencye and Kimberly Locke). No doubt about it, Carmen is the best-looking competitor left, but will she be able avoid downturns in her singing while going up against the more consistent performers?

"MESSENGERS OF TRUTH" HAS COMMERCIAL THEATRICAL DEBUT - Brent Jones' missionary-themed movie "Messengers of Truth" had its commercial theatrical debut on April 18. The movie was previously shown at two different Sunstone Symposia (in 2001 and 2002) under the title "Missionary Position." Reviewers for both a reputedly conservative newspaper (Deseret News) and a more free-wheeling, more "liberal" newspaper (Salt Lake City Weeky) weighed in with fairly similar opinions about the movie. SLWeekly gave the film 1.5 stars out of 4, and said of the film: Writer/director Brent Jones had an idea for a slightly more irreverent take on LDS missionary life than "God's Army," and every gag probably looked hysterical on paper. An earnest young elder who gets a raging hard-on right before a home meeting? Funny. A mission president running a scam operation selling his testimonial video? Funny... But eventually Jones had to commit those gags to video, and the result is yet another piece of earnest bargain-basement Mo-movie silliness full of amateur hour acting and a nonexistent sense of pacing... Aiming a digital video camera doesn't make you a director, people -- either step away, or keep it in the family." Jeff Vice, writing for the Deseret News, called the film "really bad. Worse than bad. Excruciating even... executed so poorly and is so completely unfunny that you might think it's just a joke." Brent Jones, the director, served a full-time mission in Florida and graduated from BYU. The movie's official website includes an interview in which he describes himself as "raised Mormon."

* * *

NEW LDS-THEMED FILM ENTERS PRE-PRODUCTION - From a press release from CTR Productions:

We are anouncing the production of a new LDS-themed major motion picture: Trial by Faith, from CTR Productions LLC and Elevation Entertainment Inc. Alan Stoddard and Allen Dial, the two producers of film both from Salt Lake, are currently in pre-production while finishing fund-raising for the film. Trial by Faith is slated for theatrical release in August 2003.

Synopsis of the film:
In the tense southern regions of the Philippines, two Latter-day Saint missionaries find their courage -- and their faith -- being tested to their limits when they are captured and held hostage by terrorists. LDS missionary Elder John Kimball is a hotshot BMX Dirt Jumper with plenty of attitude but a somewhat tenuous testimony. Through his ordeal as a hostage, he discovers both the strength of his Gospel convictions, but also the courage to act upon his newfound faith to save himself and his fellow captive Americans.

Trial By Faith traces Elder Kimball's journey through desperation and redemption while maneuvering a compelling mix of intense drama and thrilling action. The film explores the key LDS ideal of salvation through active faith, while extolling virtues of patriotism and courage, as our missionaries and their fellow hostages work together to overcome their central ordeal; making Trial By Faith, not only the most compelling, but also the most poignant LDS-themed motion picture to date.

* * *

"R.M." OPENED ON SEVEN MORE SCREENS THIS WEEKEND - Here's the list of new openings: Anchorage, AK; Idaho Falls, ID; Rexburg, ID; Eugene, OR; Ogden, UT; Spokane, WA; Evanston, WY. Other cities where "The R.M." played this weekend: Mesa, AZ; Gilbert, AZ; Bakersfield, CA; Clovis, CA; Roseville, CA; Honolulu, HI; Laie, HI; Boise, ID; Pocatello, ID; Henderson, NV; Las Vegas, NV; Hillsboro, OR; Portland, OR; Layton, UT; Logan, UT; Provo, UT; St. George, UT; West Jordan, UT; Puyallup, WA; Redmond, WA; Renton, WA.

ELIZABETH HANSEN SCREENWRITING SEMINAR - [Hansen is the screenwriter of "Eliza & I", directed by Richard Dutcher, "He Took My Licking", directed by Michael Mills, and "Sisters of Bethany", which she directed herself, as well as award-winning network television specials.] From her press release: Dear Friends, colleagues and everyone I've ever met: Due to popular demand, and my need to warp young minds, (and old alike) I am going to be giving a Screenwriting Seminar. It will be geared to Beginning and Intermediate writers and will concentrate on the basic elements of good, solid, mainstream Hollywood screenwriting. It will be on Friday, May 9, 2003, from 7:00pm until 10:00pm, and on Saturday, May 10, 2003, from 9:30am until 6:00pm at 1226 south 1480 west in Orem, UT, with a break for lunch when we all get cranky. We will be covering all the basics of Screenwriting: Structure, Scene construction, Character, Dialogue, Theme and premise, Screen Directions... Pretty much everything. The seminar is VERY AFFORDABLE. Go to my website... Yes, I actually have a website... And take a look at the bang you'll get for your buck. If you have any questions... Feel free to email me ( I hope you can make it. And please, tell everyone you know. Bring someone with you, and I'll give you a discount. Love you, mean it, Elizabeth. Website:

LEHI'S LAND OF FIRST INHERITANCE - "Lehi's Land of First Inheritance," is now available on DVD. This David C. Asay documentary was directed and hosted by Chris Heimerdinger. It is one of a series of planned documentaries to be produced by The Book of Mormon Archaeological Foundation. The next film in the series, "The Land of Nephi", which features Sharlene Wells Hawkes as host and music by co-webmaster Thomas C. Baggaley, is currently in post production.

ARTICLE ABOUT KENNETH COPE - A new article about Latter-day Saint composer and songwriter Kenneth Copy was published this week in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Cope's film credits include music for "The Light of the World" (2002), the Church pageant which was released as a video and DVD, and "The Goodman Family: Fortress of Love" (2000; V), as well as songs for the Richard Rich animated feature film "The Swan Princess: Escape from Castle Mountain." See

ARTICLE BY ALAN WILLIAMS - New article in Meridian Magazine written by composer Alan Williams. See: Williams talks about music in our personal lives, in church, and other topics. Williams, one of the most successful Latter-day Saint film composers working today, lives in California. He currently serves in his stake's Young Men Presidency.