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

Weekend of September 5, 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
---  ----------------------------- -----------  -----  ----
 5   S.W.A.T.                        4,570,388  2,600    31
     LDS character                 108,784,017

17   Le Divorce                        952,396    674    31
     Matthew Modine (actor)          7,623,036

39   2 Fast 2 Furious                  102,235    142    94
     Paul Walker (lead actor)      126,911,695

43   The Legend of Johnny Lingo         59,901     60    10
     Gerald Molen (producer)           267,362
     John Garbett (producer)

57   Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure   26,687      7   941
     Scott Swofford (producer)      15,215,715
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)
     Sam Cardon (composer)
     Stephen L. Johnson (editor)

58   The R.M.                           26,685     17   220                                           
     Kurt Hale (writer/director)     1,085,492
     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   Wrong Turn                         15,245     28   101
     Eliza Dushku (lead actor)      15,399,683

81   Cirque du Soleil: Journey of Man    6,453      4  1214
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)   15,530,027

87   China: The Panda Adventure          4,768      3   773
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)    3,504,465

105  Cremaster 3                           864      1   136
     Mathew Barney                     444,310

"THE R.M." OUTPERFORMS "THE SINGLES WARD" IN CALIFORNIA - "The R.M." opened in California this past weekend. The film's distributors were slightly disappointed with its performance, stating that perhaps the BYU-USC football game had taken some of the audience away. However, on closer inspection, it seems that the film really did not perform that badly. In its 32nd week, it outperformed "The Singles Ward," in its 32nd week - and both films were showing in 17 theaters (mostly in California) for that weekend, so the numbers should be somewhat comparable. Here's the comparison:
Weekend 32        Weekend Gross  Theaters   Per Theater
The Singles Ward        $25,135        17        $1,479
The R.M.                $26,685        17        $1,570
"The R.M." set 32nd week LDS Cinema records for several categories, including weekend gross and per theater gross. While not all LDS Cinema movies have played for 32 weeks, several of the strongest performing films have, including "The Singles Ward", "The Other Side of Heaven", "God's Army" and "Charly".

THE RACE IS STILL ON - Will "The R.M." pass "The Singles Ward" in total box office gross? After the film's first few weeks, it seemed inevitable, with "The R.M." clearly outperforming the opening weeks of "The Singles Ward." At its peak, "The R.M." was nearly $332,000 ahead of the pace of "The Singles Ward" (in week 12) and it reached the million-dollar mark a full nine weeks earlier in its run. However, lately the race has gotten a lot tighter, above all showing the ability that the earlier film had to bring in a repeat audience, especially of college-age filmgoers, who saw the film again and again. After this past weekend, "The R.M." was a mere $12,675 ahead of the previous film's pace, having grossed $1,085,492 in its first 32 weeks, while at the same point in its run, "The Singles Ward" had grossed $1,072,817. As with many races, it's all going to come down to how well "The R.M." does in California.

SEQUEL IN THE WORKS TO HOLLYWOOD'S #1 MOVIE W/MORMON CHARACTERS - Filming is scheduled to begin in March 2004 on "Ocean's 12," the sequel to the hit Steven Soderbergh movie "Ocean's 11." "Ocean's 11" holds the record as the top-grossing movie of all time featuring one or more main characters that are Latter-day Saints. Casey Affleck and Scott Caan played the quirky Malloy brothers from Provo, Utah, identified explicitly as Mormons in the movie. The degree to which they were active churchgoers was never revealed in the movie, in which they played assistants to the film's protagonists in their simultaneous heist of three Las Vegas casinos. All of the original cast, including the actors who portrayed the Malloy brothers, are already signed to return for "Ocean's 12," which will once again star George Clooney as Danny Ocean. "Ocean's 11" grossed over $183 million in North American theaters.

THE LONG AWAITED WEEKEND IS FINALLY HERE - "The Book of Mormon Movie, Vol. 1: The Journey" - one of the most anticipated and talked about (for good or bad) of all LDS Cinema films will finally hit the theaters this weekend. Will the film be a smash hit, raising the bar for all LDS Cinema films to follow, or will it fizzle in the box office? Stay tuned find out.

BAGGALEY TO SEE "THE BOOK OF MORMON MOVIE" TONIGHT - co-webmaster Thomas C. Baggaley worked as an orchestrator on "The Book of Mormon Movie". As such, he has been invited to a private screening of the film for investors and cast and crew members tonight. We'll be sure to let you know what he thinks. Quick preview: We're almost certain he'll think the music is the best thing since Charlton Heston climbed up Mount Sinai. (Taking a cue from several of the film's critics, Baggaley has already prepared his review, but we're still not going to release it until he's actually seen the film - just in case he wants to make a few changes such as correcting spelling errors.) By the way, Baggaley will NOT be reviewing this film for Meridian magazine. He expects that someone who didn't actually work on the film will do so.

WHY IS "THE BOOK OF MORMON MOVIE" RATED PG-13? - From the official website for Gary Rogers' "Book of Mormon Movie, Vol. 1: The Journey," which should not be confused with the similarly-titled Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill, Vol. 1", which may open on the same day in some locations:

[QUOTE] Why is "The Book of Mormon Movie Vol:1 The Journey" rated PG-13? According to the Motion Picture Association of America the movie is rated PG-13 for "A scene of violence". The scene is 1st Nephi Chapter 4, where Nephi is commanded by "The Spirit" to kill Laban so he "smote off his head with his own sword". The scene in the movie does not show Nephi actually cutting off Laban's head, nor does the viewer actually ever see Laban dead. However the scene is full of emotion and intensity and deals with the sensitive issue of taking a life in the name of God. [END QUOTE]

PLEASE DISREGARD THE FOLLOWING - Note that despite the similarity in their titles and release dates, there is no connection between "Kill Bill, "Vol. 1" and "The Book of Mormon Movie, Vol. 1." The two movies are easily distinguished by their lead actresses: "The Book of Mormon Movie, Vol. 1" features the breathtakingly lovely and talented actress Jacque Gray, while "Kill Bill, Vol. 1" has the nearly-as-lovely Uma Thurman (not to be confused with "Urim and Thummim") in the lead role. Jacque Gray was also the lead actress in "God's Army." Uma Thurman was the lead actress in "The Avengers," which doesn't necessarily make her a bad person... just misguided. These movies can also be distinguished by the fact that "The Book of Mormon Movie, Vol. 1" deals with controversial issues and difficult subject matter, while "Kill Bill, Vol. 1" does not. "Kill Bill, Vol. 1" is stylish, while "The Book of Mormon Movie, Vol. 1" is not. "Kill Bill, Vol. 1" is ultra-violent while "The Book of Mormon Movie, Vol. 1" is only a teensy bit violent.

RADIO INTERVIEW ABOUT "BOOK OF MORMON MOVIE, VOL. 1: THE JOURNEY" - Steven Kapp Perry interviews Gary Rogers, Robert Bowden and cast members of "The Book of Mormon Movie." See

PREVIOUS BOOK OF MORMON MOVIE REVIEW WAS OF THE UNFINISHED FILM - A couple of weeks ago, we mentioned a review of "The Book of Mormon Movie, Vol. 1: The Journey" which had been written by a person who had seen a preview screening of the film. Since then, we have learned that, as is often the case with preview screenings, the version of the film that the author of this review had seen was an incomplete version of the film. For example, it was missing several special effects. Since the film will be opening this weekend, we expect that a number of other reviews of the film will be coming out. We would like to assume that these reviews will be based on the complete version of the film - except the ones which were written months ago to save time, of course.

LYDE'S "THE COLLECTORS": I SAW IT, DID YOU? - co-webmaster Thomas C. Baggaley was present at a special screening of John Lyde's new martial arts feature film "The Collectors" this past weekend. Seriously, whenever you see a John Lyde film, your jaw just drops and you have to ask again, "The budget for this film was how much?" In terms of bang for your buck, NOBODY gets more per production dollar out of a film than John Lyde. "The Collectors" had a budget roughly 1/30th the size of "God's Army" and don't get me wrong, it is definitely a low-budget flick, but after watching that film, you had to leave the theater wondering, what could this guy do if someone actually gave him a real budget to work with? Lots of fun. Martial arts fans will definitely want to check out "The Collectors" when it is released on DVD and video soon.

ACCLAIMED MORMON ROCKER WARREN ZEVON PASSES AWAY - The great singer/songwriter Warren Zevon died Sunday at his home in Los Angeles. A good obituary can be found at He spoke of his Mormon mother's family in a November 28, 2002 interview with "Rolling Stone:" His Scots-Welsh mother, Beverly, was Mormon, an influence Zevon vividly recollects, although he has not been a practicing member of the faith for many years: "Mormons have a matter-of-fact attitude toward the supernatural. I grew up with a painting of Uncle Warren, the World War II hero, in our house: the dead namesake who was like a present member of the family, always at the table." Other articles which mention Zevon and his LDS heritage:



"THE WORK AND THE STORY" TO EXPAND ITS THEATRICAL PRESENCE OCT 3 - On October 3 "The Work and the Story" (now playing in 3 select Utah venues) will be opening in the following theaters:
* Carmike Wynnsong 12, Provo
* Megaplex Jordan Commons 17, Sandy
* Megaplex at The Gateway 12, Salt Lake City
* Carmike 12, West Jordan
* Carmike Ritz 15, West Valley (by the E-Center)
and they will still be in Logan at the CineFour theater.

"SAINTS AND SOLDIERS" ONE OF THE BEST - The LDS-themed World War II feature film "Saints and Soldiers" is seeing a tremendous response on the festival circuit. The screening at Telluride Independent Film Festival was a great success. Producer Adam Abel and Canadian Latter-day Saint film director Ryan Little enjoyed seeing a couple of the re-enactors that participated in the making of the movie. Adam and Ryan were told by organizers that "Saints" was the best film Telluride Indie Film Fest had shown in its 7 year history. There is now (or soon will be) a link on the "Saints and Soldiers" official website ( to each festival the movie is being shown at. These festivals will provide each of you a sneak peek at what people will see when the film is released in early 2004. This is are opportunity for fans OUTSIDE of Utah to be the first ones to see a new LDS Cinema movie. Abel and Little are attending the majority of the festivals and would love to interact with you. "Saints and Soldiers" stars Kirby Heyborne, Corbin Allred, Larry Bagby, Alex Niver and feature a brief appearance by none other than Lincoln Hoppe as German soldier.

LDS CHILD ACTOR IN NATIONAL COMMERCIAL - LDS child actor Dakota James filmed a SPRINT commercial last May in Los Angeles and it's been running for a few weeks now. It shows him with his "dad" taking a walk, when they come upon a sign that says "DIP." The dad tells him to go stand under the sign and then you start to hear the voice over of the message that the dad is sending to the mom, as he takes a picture of Koty under the sign. He tells her that they got up early and have been on the trail...really busy...etc. He ends it by saying "Oh, DIP says 'Hi.'" Then they cut to the Mom sitting by a pool with Brian, the Sprint guy and she says "You'd have to know him." Dakota's big sister, Kelsey, appeared in "A Promised Kept," which also stars Latter-day Saint actress Alaina Kalanj.


LATTER-DAY NIGHT LIVE - Tickets are on sale for "Latter Day Night Live," a stand-up comedy event at UVSC that will be a part of the "Latter Day Night Live" video/DVD being produced by HaleStorm Entertainment. Showtimes are September 12 at 8 and 10pm at the Ragan Theater at UVSC. See for more information.


MERIDIAN REVIEW OF "LAST MIRACLE FOR LAVELL" - New article from Meridian Magazine, written by Thomas C. Baggaley: Read the full article: "Last Miracle for LaVell" was made by LDS filmmaker and former BYU football player Kevin Mitchell. The film is available on DVD and video at LDS bookstores everywhere, and from online sites such as,, and

SPECIAL LDS CINEMA-THEMED IRREANTUM ISSUE - Forwarding a notice from the editor of this special issue: The winter issue of Irreantum Magazine will have a film theme: the state of LDS cinema so far. As guest editor of that issue, I'd like to invite anyone interest to submit articles on this theme for consideration. Deadline for submission is end of November, although earlier is better. For more information, write to D. Michael Martindale ( If any of you are not familiar with Irreantum, please check out its website or feel free to ask us about it. We're big fans of the publication (and subscribers). It is the leading journal of Latter-day Saint literature and art, and frequently features in depth interviews with leading Latter-day Saint filmmakers, in addition to the more frequent in depth interviews with leading Latter-day Saint authors. Also features excellent reviews, plus short stories, poetry, news, etc. Very much a mainstream Latter-day Saint publication, not at all a "liberal" or "conservative" mouthpiece.

SCREEN DOOR JESUS MOVIE WEBSITE - A fairly complete and well made website is now online for the critically acclaimed feature film "Screen Door Jesus," which stars rising Texas Latter-day Saint actress Alaina Kalanj. A picture of Alaina from the movie can be seen on the site, and at: (She's the tall one). It's an ensemble piece, so there is not really a single lead. Her role can probably be described best as a major supporting role.

* * *

NEW BOOK OF MORMON, PRIMARY CHILDREN'S SONG DVDS FROM COVENANT - Description of new products from Covenant Communications (fast becoming an increasingly important distributor of DVDs/videos to the LDS market). These will soon be available at LDS bookstores everywhere, as well as at LDS Video Store.

Primary Song Sing Along: I Am a Child of God (DVD)
Robert C. Bowden, Jennette Guymon-King

Ever notice how much children love to perform? Now every child can be a star with the Primary Song Sing Along DVD. We1ve taken the colorful and fun illustrations of Jennette-Guymon King and combined them with Robert C. Bowden1s beautiful arrangements of twelve favorite Primary songs and put it all together in a karaoke sing-along that you can play on your own DVD player! That1s right. There1s no need for expensive equipment or special CDs. Just pop in the DVD and let the fun begin!

Perfect for young singers
Great for a new twist on family home evening songs
Sing along with or without vocal accompaniment
A great new way to learn songs from the Children1s Songbook
No special equipment required - just your DVD player
Hours of fun for everyone!

Songs include:
I Am a Child of God, The Church of Jesus Christ, I Lived in Heaven, I Love to See the Temple, Families Can Be Together Forever, I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus, We Listen to a Prophet's Voice, We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet, Keep the Commandments, Follow the Prophet, Latter-Day Prophets, Let the Holy Spirit Guide.

Other new product:
Gospel Study Companion: Book of Mormon Lessons and Insights (2 DVDs) S. Michael Wilcox $24.95

Enhance your study of the scriptures with the help of Gospel Study Companion: Book of Mormon Lessons and Insights. This 2-DVD set contains 58 mini-lessons on a variety of Book of Mormon topics by taught by gospel scholar, teacher, and writer S. Michael Wilcox. Each eight-to-twelve minute episode is full of inspiring stories, analogies, and object lessons that provide modern-day insights and applications to the messages from the scriptures. Great as a supplement to your Gospel Doctrine study or as an instant family home evening lesson. The convenient DVD format gives you quick access to the lesson or topic of your choice. With over nine hours of instruction covering the entire Book of Mormon, this set will be a valuable addition to your DVD library.

Fifty-eight lessons from the Book of Mormon.
Over nine hours of Book of Mormon mini-lessons in the convenient DVD format. Access any lesson instantly.
Lessons correlate with the Gospel Doctrine reading guide.
Perfect for instant family home evenings, daily devotionals.
Full of modern-day applications of the scriptures by popular speaker and author, S. Michael Wilcox.
Great for teachers, parents, students of the scriptures.
Also available in VHS.

Covenant's website has a standing call for new authors to submit works, and also includes a brief note for people interested in submitting multimedia work, including CD-ROMs, as well as videos and DVDs. Covenant's DVD/video offerings are very clearly religious in nature, very much LDS-oriented, and frequently of a doctrinal nature. Their DVD/line includes mostly fairly high quality product, but does include some worthwhile projects which were created with relatively small budgets. Covenant offers no videos/DVDs which are purely narrative films made primarily for entertainment. The LDS Film Classics DVDs (one headlined by "Cipher in the Snow" and the other headlined by "Johnny Lingo" are of course exceptionally well made short narrative films, and many of them exhibit great artistic and cinematic aspects, but these were made for teaching purposes.)

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"To Thine Own Self Be True"
Sponsored by American Night Writers Association (ANWA)
2003 Writers Conference: 

Fireside and Recognition Reception 
Friday, October 24, 2003
7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Mountain View Stake Center
1550 N. Val Vista Mesa AZ
Free Admission/Refreshments 

Book Signing
Saturday, October 25, 2003
5:30 to 8 p.m.
Fiesta Inn Conference Center East Lobby
2100 S. Priest Dr, Tempe, Arizona
Free Admission 

Writers Workshop
Saturday, October 25, 2003
8:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Book Signing 5:30 - 8:00 p.m. (no charge)
Fiesta Inn Conference Center East Lobby
2100 S. Priest Drive Tempe AZ
Corner of Priest and Fiesta Drive, one block south of Broadway 

8:00 to 9:00 a.m. Registration 

9:00 to 9:10 a.m. Welcome 

9:10 to 9:40 a.m. Keynote Speaker - John Moyer: "To Thine Own Self Be True" 

9:50 to 11:05 a.m. 1st Workshop Session:
A - Jennie Hansen: Getting Books into Libraries
B - Children's Author: Children's Writing 

11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 2nd Workshop Session:
C - John Moyer: Screenwriting
D - Marsha Ward: Blatant Self-Promotion
E - Christine Wolfe: Writing Magazine or Travel Articles, Editing, and Photography 

12:45 to 1:45 p.m. Luncheon by Pool - Return to Conference Center Salmon and Wild Rice, Fiesta Chicken Salad, or Vegetarian Register by October 11 to guarantee lunch 

1:45 to 3:00 p.m. 3rd Workshop Session:
C - John Moyer: topic repeated
E - Christine Wolfe: topic repeated
B - Children's Author: topic repeated 

3:10 to 4:25 p.m. 4th Workshop Session:
A - Jennie Hansen: topic repeated
D - Marsha Ward: topic repeated 

4:30 to 5:00 p.m. Panel of Faculty Experts - Questions and Answers 

5:00 to 5:15 p.m. Digital Storytelling Demonstration - Stephanie Abney 

5:15 to 5:30 p.m. Wrap-up 

Workshop Fee: $45.00 postmarked by September 30 - $50.00 after September 30 (Discount of $5.00 for paid ANWA members) 

Send registration form and fee to:
ANWA 2003 Workshop c/o Connie White
300 S. Val Vista Dr. #283
Mesa AZ 85204 

For registration form or more information call:
Registrar Connie White at (480) 830-7919
Or visit the web site at 


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UTAH FILM COMMISSION AD CONTEST - has received the following from the Utah Film Commission. Thanks also to Michelle K. Wright, who sent us similar information. Be sure to check out her website at

From: Aaron Syrett []
Sent: Monday, September 08, 2003 2:01 PM
Subject: Utah Film Commission


I wanted to pass this opportunity along to you. The Utah Film Commission is holding a contest to make a commercial that will air during the Sundance Film Festival. I have attached PDF with all the details, or you can go to: [PDF not attached. To receive this file either visit the above mentioned web site or reply to us at and we'll be glad to send it to you.]

The winners will receive a cash prize, a Utah Film Commission Coat, passes to the Sundance Film Festival, and most importantly the winning commercials will be aired for Motion Picture Executives during the Sundance Film Festival.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.


Aaron Syrett
Producer Services Executive
Utah Film Commission
324 South State Street, Suite 500
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111
801.538.8740 direct
800.453.8824 toll free
801.538.8746 fax