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

Weekend of August 29, 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   S.W.A.T.                        8,334,862  2,781    24
     LDS character                 100,256,983

14   Le Divorce                      1,595,239    701    24
     Matthew Modine (actor)          5,785,976

40   2 Fast 2 Furious                  128,005    160    87
     Paul Walker (lead actor)      126,749,460

45   The Legend of Johnny Lingo (NEW)  109,868     63     3
     Gerald Molen (producer)           109,868
     John Garbett (producer)

62   Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure   20,880      8   934
     Scott Swofford (producer)      15,184,775
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)
     Sam Cardon (composer)
     Stephen L. Johnson (editor)

69   Wrong Turn                         13,235     19    94
     Eliza Dushku (lead actor)      15,377,296

85   China: The Panda Adventure          5,899      3   766
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)    3,493,191

87   Cremaster 3                         5,348      3   129
     Mathew Barney                     437,370

100  Galapagos                           1,740      2  1403
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)   14,054,713

126  The R.M.                              583      1   213
     Kurt Hale (writer/director)     1,058,350
     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.

JOHNNY LINGO OPENING WEEKEND - The Legend of Johnny Lingo" opened in 63 theaters in select (i.e., blessedly fortunate) cities (Phoenix, Dallas, SLC, Atlanta, Nevada). Total box office gross for the 4-day weekend was $181,906, which is about $2,800 per theater. This put it in 40th place nationwide on the 4-day weekend list, but interestingly enough, it was also the 2nd highest total for new films opening this weekend behind "Jeepers Creepers 2," which came in at the #1 spot for the weekend. "Johnny Lingo" is distributed by MGM. A relatively low-key advertising is being used, similar in some respects to what happened with "Little Secrets" last year.


JOHNNY LINGO REVIEWS - Here is a list of reviews of "The Legend of Johnny Lingo":
* Deseret News (Jeff Vice) gives it 2 stars out of 4 (,1249,510050101,00.html)
* S.L. Tribune (Sean Means) gives it 2.5 stars out of 4 (
* Eric Snider gives it a "C" (
* Salt Lake City Weekly (Scott Renshaw) gives it 2.5 stars out of 4 (
* "One Guy's Opinion" website gives it a "C" (
* Catholic News Service was very positive about it (
* Protestant/Evangelical website Movie Parables (
* Focus on the Family: Plugged In (
* Arizona Republic (
* Fort Worth Star-Telegram (
* Las Vegas Mercury (
* Reuters (
* Christianity Today (

THE WORK AND THE STORY BUDGET - Director Nathan Smith Jones, whose new film "The Work and the Story" opened last Friday in 3 venues and will soon be in others, has kindly shared details of his movie's production budget. The final total production budget was $120,000. The original announced budget was $103,000. This does NOT include film transfer and marketing. This is the smallest budget yet for an "LDS Cinema" movie (aside from "Suddenly Unexpected"). Even with Prints and Advertising factored in, the budget for "The Work and the Story" remains less than half the production budget of "God's Army."

ERIC SNIDER REVIEWS "THE WORK AND THE STORY" - Former Utah County Daily Herald movie reviewer Eric D. Snider used the word "genius" in his review, but overall he didn't rate "The Work and the Story" very high. In fact, he gave it a D+, the lowest rating he's given an LDS-themed film to date. Industry insiders suspect that the "D+" does not stand for "Extra Delightful." Read the full review here:

Eric D. Snider's previous grades for LDS Cinema:
God's Army (2000)  B+
Brigham City  (2001)  B
Out of Step (2002)  B
Jack Weyland's Charly (2002)  B-
The R.M. (2003)  B-
Other Side of Heaven (2001)  C+
The Singles Ward (2002)  C-
Handcart (2002)  C-

LDSFILM.COM CO-WEBMASTER THOMAS C. BAGGALEY ENJOYED "THE WORK AND THE STORY" - To provide some balance and in the absence of other reviews of the film, co-webmaster Thomas C. Baggaley was also at the critics screening of "The Work and the Story" and says he thought it was fun. Thomas will NOT be reviewing "The Work and the Story" for Meridian Magazine because he has a credit in the film - a "Special Thanks to" credit, but a credit nonetheless. Actually, Baggaley's impact on the movie was even less than the help Eric D. Snider gave to a recent Neil Simon play he also wrote about, but I guess Meridian wants to avoid any question of ethical impropriety. (We kid. We love Eric!)

Tom: My own impressions for anyone who cares, realizing that I did get a credit in the film: I enjoyed it. Anyone who loves film should have a fun time watching this one. It's definitely a low-budget pic - and it never tries to be anything more than a low-budget pic. I think it was well-received.

"THE COLLECTORS" PREMIERE COMING UP - Only 4 days until the world premiere of the new John Lyde/Kels Goodman feature film "The Collectors." The movie will premiere at Scera Theater in Orem on Friday, Sept. 5th, at Midnight. Discount tickets are available for only $1.00 at LDS Video Store ( Cinematographer Kels Goodman was previously the director and DP of the feature films "Handcart" and "Y2K." Writer/director John Lyde is the writer/director of "The Field is White" and "In the Service of God," two video/DVDs which are among Thomson Productions' best selling titles, and are available in LDS bookstores everywhere. "The Collectors" stars some of the nation's top martial artists. Look for the big advertising campaign this week,and look for articles in The Daily Herald (Utah County) and and the Daily Universe (BYU).

SUDDENLY UNEXPECTED OPENING IN IOWA SEPTEMBER 25TH - From Mark Potter, director of the low-budget LDS-themed feature film "Suddenly Unexpected": [QUOTE] We are excited to say that the next city in which "Suddenly Unexpected" will be opening in is Des Moines, Iowa on Thursday September 25 to October 2. So if you have any friends in that part of the world let them know. [END QUOTE] "Suddenly Unexpected" has previously played in one theater in Houston, Texas, the city where it was made.

NEW OPINION PIECE - It's really rather long, and meant only for filmmakers, but Thomas C. Baggaley has written an opinion piece (which is what he called it... it looks sort of like a manifesto to me). You can read it at: . We've been told that this may be the most important and timely thing ever written about LDS filmmaking. Well... we'll see. But modesty aside, Thomas does feel that he has touched on some very important issues that needed to be dealt with now. Please let your friends know about this article, as he is trying to reach as many film professionals as possible with this article. Thomas hopes that LDS film professionals will find the time to read it, think about it, comment on it, and then act on it. [Preston, on the other hand, recognizes the writing style, and thinks that Thomas may be the Unabomber.]

RADIOWEST INTERVIEW OF RICHARD DUTCHER - Richard Dutcher, the critically acclaimed director of LDS Cinema movies "God's Army" and "Brigham City," was interviewed on KUER FM 90 in Salt Lake City on Friday, February 28th. The state of LDS Cinema was discussed. The interview is archived online and can be heard at:


BLUE COLLAR ACTOR: New Jersey Latter-day Saint Jeff Profitt's LDS-themed direct-to-video feature-length film "Blue Collar Actor" is now on sale at LDS Video Store. One unique aspect of the film is its complete non-reliance on Utah-based locations and personnel. Another unique aspect is the fact that it features an African-American Latter-day Saint as the female lead. Writer/director Jeff Profitt stars in the lead role as a blue collar factory worker who decides to follow his long-abandoned dream of becoming an actor. A detailed review of the low-budget film can be read at:

SAM CARDON'S OPUS - Sam Cardon is one of the top 3 film composers in the state of Utah. Among his most recent film scores are: "Journey to Harmony", "Someone Was Watching", "Little Secrets" and "Brigham City". Here is an article about his most recent musical project, "Hand of Mormon":,1249,510050603,00.html


"THE R.M." DVD PREVIEW IMAGES - Here are some screens from the menus of "The R.M." DVD, which will go on sale at the end of this month: Sept. 30, 2003.

"THE R.M.": FEWER THEATERS, MORE PROFIT - Here's an interesting tidbit for those of you interested in the money end of things... We have observed that the box office gross for "Singles Ward" is a bit higher than "The R.M." So... Since both movies used almost identical budgets for production, "The Singles Ward" made more money, right? Maybe not: The folks at HaleStorm tell us that "The R.M." has played in 25 less theaters then "Singles Ward" did at the same money point. So while The R.M. has not yet matched Singles Ward's box office gross - yet - the profit margin for HaleStorm is actually higher because nearly the same return has been generated after spending significantly less money on prints and advertising for 25 screens.

AUDITIONS FOR "SAVIOR OF THE WORLD" - From Michelle K. Wright (Utah Casting Connection, / And Action! Actor's Studio,

LDS CHURCH: "SAVIOR OF THE WORLD," scheduled to be produced during the Christmas and Easter seasons in the LDS Church's Conference Center Theater, will have auditions by appointment only, Aug. 26-Sept. 6, in the theater. Latter-day Saint actors and singers of all ages are needed for leading and supporting roles. Those auditioning for lead roles should come with a resume and be prepared for cold readings. They will also be asked to perform up to 16 bars from two contrasting musical-theater songs. An accompanist will be provided.

Ensemble roles will be double-cast and offered as part-time church missionary-service opportunities from September-April. Families with children at least 8 years of age are encouraged to audition together.

Call 240-6492 for further information or to schedule an appointment. Rehearsals will begin in mid-September, with performances scheduled Nov. 21-Jan. 3 and March 19-April 24.

Go online to for additional information.

* * *

PAID EXTRAS NEEDED UTAH SHOOT - From Michelle K. Wright (Utah Casting Connection, / And Action! Actor's Studio,

[QUOTE] I am looking for Background talent for the Pilot "Paradise", I need over 500 people. I am looking for people to work on the nights of Wednesday September 3rd and Thursday September 4th. I would like people to commit to both nights. The pay is $72.50 per night. We will also feed you. This will be an all night shoot something like 8pm to 8 Am, Plan on working 12-14 hours; they will get Overtime pay after 12 hrs.

I am looking for adult's ages 18-70 yrs old any ethnicity. They will need to bring 3-5 changes of clothes as if they wear going to church or nice casual. We will be filming at Rice Eccles Stadium. Everyone will need to call 801.577.4266 or get there name on the list. The voice mail fills up fast on these phones so if you don't get through keep trying.

Please have them bring blankets and lawn chairs and a book. It may get a little cold.

Jeff Johnson

* * *

UTAH STUDENT FILM NEEDS CAST, STORYBOARD ARTIST, CREW - From Michelle K. Wright (Utah Casting Connection, / And Action! Actor's Studio,

[QUOTE] Lorenzo Swank is shooting a short student film in the southern Davis County area and is looking for volunteer crew to help out. It's volunteer only, but there will be meals, copy, and credit. He is looking for any range of experience and any age range. He is also looking for actors for the following parts:

-Peter, 13-17 - Peter is a pyromaniac, skater kid, and very intelligent.

-Tristan, 13-17 - Tristan is a geek, the foil of Peter, but not a stupid guy by any means.

-Stavros, 16-25 - Stavros is a paranoid Russian immigrant who thinks that everyone is out to get him.

-The Mayor, older - An older, distinguished looking gentleman who, unfortunately, is always drunk

-Scientist - Invents a cure for cancer
-Boy Golfers, any age
-Tristan's Sister, 10-14
-Members of the Prize Patrol, older
-Pregnant Woman and her husband
-Radio Announcer (for voice overs only)

Please send headshot and resume to:
or to:
Swank-Pope Productions
220 East 1100 North #23
North Salt Lake, UT 84054

We are also in immediate need of a volunteer storyboard artist.