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

Weekend of June 20, 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
---  ----------------------------- -----------  -----  ----
 3   2 Fast 2 Furious               11,099,835  3,140    17
     Paul Walker (top billed actor)102,889,130

16   Wrong Turn                        509,335    437    24
     Eliza Dushku (lead actor)      13,636,935

41   The Core                           56,313     96    87
     Aaron Eckhart (lead actor)     31,042,346

48   Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure   32,655      9   864
     Scott Swofford (producer)      14,809,943
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)
     Sam Cardon (composer)
     Stephen L. Johnson (editor)

78   Cirque du Soleil: Journey of Man    7,785      3  1144
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)   15,294,566

90   China: The Panda Adventure          4,163      4   696
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)    3,155,154

98   The Cremaster Cycle                 2,342      3    52
     Mathew Barney                     303,830

LDS ARTIST HELPS BRING HULK TO THE BIG SCREEN - "The Hulk" opened this weekend in the number one slot, grossing a whopping $62,128,420 in its first weekend. The critics are weighing in heavily in favor of this latest comic book adaptation. is showing a 65% favorable rating for it, out of 55 reviews counted thus far. James Carson, a Latter-day Saint artist, is one of the illustrators who worked on "The Hulk." Carson's previous film credits as illustrator include: Men in Black II (2002); Minority Report (2002); Spider-Man (2002); Artificial Intelligence: AI (2001); Bedazzled (2000); Wild Wild West (1999); Armageddon (1998); Men in Black (1997); Mars Attacks! (1996); Broken Arrow (1996); Batman Forever (1995), and more. Of course, this isn't the first time the "Hulk" has appeared in living color. "The Incredible Hulk" was a popular live action TV show between 1978 and 1982. Latter-day Saint actor Gordon Jump (seen recently in "The Singles Ward" had was a guest star on the series on the episode titled "Ricky, which first aired 6 October 1978. Latter-day Saint actor Paul Tuerpe played "Father Young" on the episode titled "Sanctuary", 6 November 1981. (Tuerpe was most recently seen on the TV series "Judging Amy" and in the movie "The Glass House.") More recently there was an animated "Incredible Hulk" series, a Saturday morning cartoon. Latter-day Saint animator Mark Swan, the director of "The Princess and the Pea," worked on that series.

June 21, 2003

2003 Pearl Awards a Smashing Success
Scheduled for Broadcast on ABC4 Sunday July 13

Salt Lake City, Utah - The 2003 Pearl Awards were given in a gala black-tie ceremony last night at Cottonwood Auditorium in Salt Lake City Utah. The annual event honoring excellence in faith-centered music was bigger and better than ever, and will be broadcast on ABC4 on Sunday, July 13, beginning at 6 p.m.

This year's recipients and performers reflected the growing diversity of faith centered music, with performances from pop groups like Eclipse and Jericho Road, to classical performances from Marta Johns, a jazz number from Ray Smith, a Celtic number from Fiddlesticks, and inspirational performances from Kenneth Cope and Hilary Weeks. Winners included such diverse artists as guitarist Michael Dowdle with three awards and a cappella sextet Eclipse, who took the award for Group of the Year. Pearl favorites Cherie Call, Jericho Road, Kenneth Cope and Hilary Weeks each walked away with two new statuettes.

Special moments of the evening included appearances from Gerald Ottley, who was given the Legacy Lifetime Acheivement Award, and Senator Orrin Hatch, who was the recipient of the Rich Gibbons Humanitarian Service Award. Other highlights included appearances from Kirby Heyborne, Heather Beers, Tal Bachman, Maren Ord, and gracious acceptances speeches from Producer of the Year recipient, Greg Hanson and three-time award winner Michael Dowdle.

Host Scott Christopher, now in his third year of hosting the Pearl Awards, outdid himself with one of the best hosting performances to date. Highlights of Christopher's presentation included "Scott's Secrets to Success," a plan on how faith-centered musicians could "harness their potential," and a running diatribe on CleanFlicks.

Nominated in each of the past two years for a Rocky Mountain Emmy, the Pearl Awards is scheduled to be broadcast on KTVX, ABC 4 on Sunday, July 13 at 6 p.m.

A complete list of winners follows:


Hear My Praise (Album: Hear My Praise)
Artist: Kenneth Cope
Songwriter: Kenneth Cope
Producer: Kenneth Cope and Tyler Castleton

One Good Woman (Album: The Ocean In Me)
Artist: Cherie Call
Songwriter: Cherie Call
Producer: Tyler Castleton

A New Day (Album: True North)
Artist: Jericho Road
Songwriters: Tyler Castleton and Jenny Frogley
Producers: Tyler Castleton and Jenny Frogley

Jesus Once of Humble Birth (Album: Twenty-five Beloved Hymns of Christ)
Artist: Michael Dowdle
Arranger: Michael Dowdle
Producer: Michael Dowdle

Book of Mormon Stories (Album: Music for a Sunday Afternoon Vol. 4)
Artist: Clive Romney
Arranger: Clive Romney
Producer: Clive Romney

See Spot Run (Album: The Cat and the Fiddle)
Artist: Fiddlesticks
Songwriters: Katie and Elizabeth Davis
Producer: Katie Davis

Christmastime (Album: Christmastime)
Artist: Hilary Weeks
Songwriter: Hilary Weeks
Producers: Tyler Castleton and Kenny Hodges

We'll Sing and We'll Shout Vol. 2
Artist/Creator: Barlow Bradford and Mack Wilford
Producers: Barlow Bradford, Mack Wilford and Tyler Castleton

Hear My Praise
Artist: Kenneth Cope
Producer: Kenneth Cope and Tyler Castleton

Artist: Kalai
Producer: Sam Cardon and Kalai

Twenty-five Beloved Hymns of Christ
Artist: Michael Dowdle
Producer: Michael Dowdle

InnovatorsII: Keepers of the Flame
Artists: Kurt Bestor and Sam Cardon
Producers: Kurt Bestor and Sam Cardon

Whatever It Takes: Music to Inspire and Strengthen the Youth
Artists: Various
Producer: Tyler Castleton

Charly * Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Artists: Various
Producer: Aaron Merrill

Sidewalk Serenade
From Timpanogos Songwriter Alliance Association (TSSA)

Kenneth Cope

Hilary Weeks

Michael Dowdle

Eclipse (Paul Hansen, Patrick Rose, Shane Taylor, Daniel Kartchner, Kevin Jones, Kirk Mecham)

Stephanie Smith

Greg Hansen

Cherie Call

Jericho Road (Abe Mills, David Kimball, Bret Bryce, Justin Smith)

Greg Hansen

Rich Dixon

Jenny Jordan Frogley

Barry Gibbons

Parables (Scott Eggers)

Joan Peterson (from KOSY 106.5)

Inspirational Music Showcase/Sounds of Zion

Kumen Skinner (from BYU Bookstore, Provo, UT)

Film-related presenters at the Pearl Awards:
Host: Scott Christopher (actor)
Presenters: Academy Award-winning director Kieth Merrill, prolific LDS Cinema actor Kirby Heyborne, Heather Beers (star of "Charly"), Maren Ord (musician whose singing is featured in many feature film tracks, and who had a supporting on screen role in "The R.M.")
Lincoln Hoppe was the off-air host, keeping things upbeat during commercial breaks
The very well-done and very funny script for this years show was once again written by Daryn Tufts (one of the stars of "The Singles Ward").
A number of the performers who appeared on the show have also performed on film soundtracks.

Film composer and co-webmaster Thomas C. Baggaley attended the Pearl Awards. His article about the experience was the cover story on Monday's edition of Meridian Magazine. See:

AUDITIONS FOR NEW LDS-THEMED FILM HELD: The upcoming $400,000 LDS cinema feature "Baptists at Our Barbecue" is set in in New Mexico. The book's author, Robert Farrell Smith, lives in Albuquerque where he runs a Deseret Book Store. The film's director Christian Vuissa recently returned from New Mexico where he spent a month working with the author and the film's producers on the screenplay. Auditions were held for the movie late last week and early this week, with callbacks being held yesterday and today. Hopefully there will be some news about who has been cast soon. The movie is expected to lens this August.

DESERET MORNING NEWS ARTICLE ABOUT RICHARD DUTCHER'S JOSEPH SMITH BIOPIC "PROPHET" - Dutcher has been unable to secure funding to go forward with filming the Joseph Smith movie. Investors have been hesitant about funding "Prophet," worried about potentially controversial or difficult aspects of the historical story. This Deseret Article is the first published confirmation we know of that A-List Hollywood actor Val Kilmer is on board to play "Joseph Smith," with Academy Award-winner Murray Abraham as slated to play Illinois Gov. Thomas Ford. Industry insiders have long been aware of these plans. In the article Dutcher says that because funding is not in place for "Prophet," he is about to begin production on the lower-budgeted "God's Army II," a sequel to his first hit. See,1249,510035045,00.html

DOUBLE DOSE OF AARON - Fans of Mormon actor Aaron Eckhart (and BYU graduate) may face something of a crisis on this Christmas. December 25, 2003 is the release date for not one, but two big Aaron Eckhart movies. Eckhart was last seen in theaters (by a few people) as the top-billed star of "The Core," which grossed about $25 million in the U.S. Eckhart has the second-billed role as Ben Affleck's mission president in the upcoming sci-fi thriller "Paycheck," directed by John Woo and scheduled for wide release on Christmas Day. "Paycheck" is based on a story by Philip K. Dick. Now, this is a big special effects flick, so, like "The Core," it might be delayed. But as of right now, Dec. 25th is the announced release date. Eckhart has a smaller (but still important and poster-billed) role in "The Missing," a prestige picture directed by Academy Award winner Ron Howard. It's a Western. Eckhart plays the dad who is murdered and then his daughter is kidnapped. Co-stars include Tommy Lee Jones, Cate Blanchett, Evan Rachel Wood and Val Kilmer. Evan Rachel Wood was recently seen starring in Latter-day Saint director Blair Treu's Utah-filmed "Little Secrets." Val Kilmer has been rumored to be preparing to play the part of, well, you know. Anyway, "The Missing" actually premieres in Oscar-friendly December, but won't be opening wide until January 9, 2003. It will premiere in New York and Los Angeles on Jan. 10, 2003. Then open in 125 theaters in major markets on Dec. 25th. Then open nationwide in January. The L.A. premiere date in December is necessary so that it can qualify for 2003 Academy Award consideration, and not get pushed back to a January premiere, which is basically "dumping ground" and no place that an Oscar-hopeful hopes to be.

CARMEN RASMUSEN'S FIRST FEATURE FILM - We've mentioned this movie a few times before to the list. Here is a full-length article in the Deseret News about "Pride & Prejudice," featuring an extended cameo by Carmen Rasmusen: See:,1249,510034523,00.html

You know the aviation saying about how any landing you can walk away from is a good one? We have a similar saying: Any movie with Carmen Rasmusen in it is a good movie. This Deseret News article, by the way, features a file photo of Carmen in the story.

"SINGLES WARD" AND "R.M." STARS IN "FIDDLER ON THE ROOF" ON STAGE - Announcement from Lisa Higbee, one of the stars of "The Singles Ward": Just wanted to get the word out early that my next play will be "Fiddler on the Roof" at the Murray amphitheater in Murray park July 24-30. I'll be playing Hodel, the second daughter who marries the revolutionary guy. You can get tickets at Day Murray Music or by calling Carol Hermansen at 281-8161 or just at the door. It should be a great show, it also stars Merrill Dodge from "the RM" as Lazer Wolf and Ricky Kimball from "Singles Ward" as Motel.