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

Weekend of September 26, 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
---  ----------------------------- -----------  -----  ----
20   S.W.A.T.                          486,448    642    52
     LDS character                 115,524,018

44   Le Divorce                         74,040    112    52
     Matthew Modine (actor)          8,767,532

50   The Book of Mormon Movie Vol. 1    59,543           17
     Gary Rogers (prod./dir./writer)   404,957
     Craig Clyde (screenplay)
     David Hales (co-producer, editor)
     Ira Baker (editor)
     Robert C. Bowden (composer)
     Actors: Bryce Chamberlain, Mark Gollaher
        Jan Broberg Felt, Cragun Foulger
        Jacque Gray, Kirby Heyborne, Michael Flynn

59   2 Fast 2 Furious                   25,613     43   115
     Paul Walker (lead actor)      127,120,058

61   Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure   16,154      8   962
     Scott Swofford (producer)      15,277,005
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)
     Sam Cardon (composer)
     Stephen L. Johnson (editor)

64   Galapagos                          12,194      2  1431
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)   14,104,077

78   Cremaster 3                         4,965      3   157
     Mathew Barney                     461,600

91   China: The Panda Adventure          2,174      2   794
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)    3,514,934

107  The R.M.                              185      2   241
     Kurt Hale (writer/director)     1,111,615
     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.

WHERE WILL "THE BOOK OF MORMON MOVIE" FINISH? - This past week may have been "the week of truth" for "The Book of Mormon Movie." Historically, it is not until the third week of an LDS-themed film's run that the best performing movies separate themselves from the films that have not done quite as well. On the other hand, after three weeks, things have historically sorted themselves out similar to the way that they are going end up.

This weekend, "The Book of Mormon Movie" managed to gross $59,543, bringing its total gross up to $404,957 and placing it just ahead of "Brigham City" in terms of total gross after 17 days in theaters.

Cumulative box office gross after 17 days in the theaters:
1. The Other Side of Heaven - $522,125
2. God's Army - $491,879
3. The Book of Mormon Movie - $404,957
4. Brigham City - $399,842
5. The R.M. - $367,216
6. Charly - $247,342
7. The Singles Ward - (estimated) $145,000
8. Handcart - $56,623

It nearly impossible to estimate a theatrical gross for "Out of Step" after 17 days in the theaters, but since the film only grossed an estimated $80,000 in its entire (short) theatrical run, it is reasonable to expect that it had grossed a total similar to or smaller than that of "Handcart."

Total theatrical gross (as of September 28, 2003):
1. The Other Side of Heaven - $4,720,371
2. God's Army - $2,628,829
3. The Singles Ward - $1,250,798
4. The R.M. - $1,111,006 (still in theaters, although with the DVD/video now available in stores, it is not expected that "The R.M." will be in theaters much longer or that it will surpass the total by "The Singles Ward")
5. Brigham City - $905,073
6. Charly - $813,685
7. The Book of Mormon Movie - $404,957 (after just 17 days in theaters - still in theaters)
8. Handcart - $98,666
9. Out of Step - (estimated) $80,000

Based on their production/P&A budgets being more than doubled by their box office take, along with considerable DVD/video sales (gross sales matching or exceeding total box office), it is apparent that "God's Army," "The Singles Ward" and "The R.M." were profitable movies which made money back for their investors. Our understanding is that once video/DVD sales and other secondary income sources are figured in, "Jack Weyland's Charly" will also have proven to be modestly profitable.

As can be noted above, the only significant change in the rankings between the third weekend and the end of the theatrical run is "The Singles Ward," which gained a lot of its financial strength from repeat viewers - people who returned to the theaters to see the film again and again. On an average, LDS Cinema films have brought in just under 29% of their final gross theatrical receipts in the first 17 days. So by this time, things have pretty much shaken themselves out in most cases.

Judging by this standard, where does this leave "The Book of Mormon Movie?" If historical trends remain consistent, it will fall in the second tier of LDS-themed films (in terms of box office gross), somewhere among "The Singles Ward," "The R.M." and "Brigham City." Although "The Book of Mormon Movie" set a record among LDS Cinema films for its first ten days, its performance through 17 days is not strong enough to put it in the same league with the top grossing LDS Cinema films, "The Other Side of Heaven" and "God's Army."

One thing to watch is how the creative marketing technique that the film's distributors are employing comes into play. Pre-selling tickets and taking the film anywhere in the world where there is sufficient interest (backed up by tickets sold) might reveal some "hidden pockets" of theater-going members, tapping into potential audiences that other LDS-themed films have so far failed to discover. Whether this will be enough, combined with DVD and video sales, to make "The Book of Mormon Movie" a financially profitable venture and allow Gary Rogers to make "Volume 2" will be very interesting to follow. Stay tuned.

* * *

"THE R.M." AVAILABLE ON DVD/VIDEO - "The R.M." -- the 8th movie in the LDS Cinema "genre" -- is now available on DVD and video in stores.

"The R.M." is the second movie made by HaleStorm Entertainment, headed by director Kurt Hale and producer Dave Hunter, from a screenplay by John E. Moyer. Ryan Little was the Director of Photography. The same team of filmmakers made the hit movie "The Singles Ward."

"The R.M.," which cost $400,000 to make and had a P&A budget of $100,000, is the 4th highest-grossing LDS Cinema movie at the box office, after "The Other Side of Heaven," "God's Army," and "The Singles Ward." It also achieved higher grades from movie critics than most of the other movies in the genre, particularly from non-LDS/non-Utah critics.

According to, 67% of tabulated movie critics gave it a positive review. This is a score higher than any other LDS Cinema movie other than "Brigham City."

With the DVD and video release, it is expected that "The R.M." will end its theatrical run very soon. As of September 28th, it had grossed $1,111,615 in theaters, good enough for 4th among LDS Cinema films, although it falls short of the total for the previous HaleStorm production, "The Singles Ward," by just under $140,000.

A novel adaptation of "The R.M.," which HaleStorm describes as suitable for young adult readers, is being released in stores at the same time as the DVD and video.

For the record: A novelization of HaleStorm movie "The Singles Ward" was never written. Previous LDS Cinema movies which released a novelization are: "God's Army" and "Out of Step." A novelization of "Brigham City" (2001) by Marilyn Brown has long been in the works, but has not yet been completed. A novelization of the Ryan Little movie "Saints and Soldiers" has been completed and will be released later by Thomson Productions. The movie "Saints and Soldiers" was filmed from an original screenplay, but was inspired by the non-fiction book "Saints at War" by Robert C. Freeman and Dennis A. Wright. "Jack Weyland's Charly" was of course an adaptation of the novel "Charly," by Jack Weyland. "The Other Side of Heaven" was an adaptation of John H. Groberg's novel "In the Eye of the Storm," which book was retitled to the name of the movie when it was re-released with the movie. "The Book of Mormon Movie, Vol. 1: The Journey" is, of course, an adaptation from the 1st and 2nd books of Nephi from the Book of Mormon. The upcoming movie "Day of Defense" is an adaptation of a novel by A. Melvin McDonald. The upcoming LDS-themed "Pride and Prejudice" is an adaptation of the classic Jane Austen novel, and the upcoming movie "Eat, Drink and Get Married" is an adaptation of the Robert Farrell Smith novel "Baptists at Our Barbecue." The only LDS Cinema movies released thus far for which no book was published are "The Singles Ward", "Handcart" and "The Work and the Story."

Movie title                  type of source       author of source
-----------                  --------------       ----------------
God's Army                   original screenplay  Richard Dutcher
Brigham City                 original screenplay  Richard Dutcher
The Other Side of Heaven     non-fiction memoir   John H. Groberg
The Singles Ward             original screenplay  John E. Moyer
Out of Step                  original screenplay  Nikki Schmutz; Buster; Jones;
Handcart                     original screenplay  Kels Goodman; Mark von Bowers
Jack Weyland's Charly        novel                Jack Weyland
The R.M.                     original screenplay  John E. Moyer
The Work and the Story       original screenplay  Nathan Smith Jones; Dutcher
The Book of Mormon, Vol. 1   scripture            Book of Mormon
Day of Defense               novel                A. Melvin McDonald
Saints and Soldiers          original screenplay  Geoffrey Panos; Matt Whitaker
The Best Two Years           stage play           Scott S. Anderson
Pride and Prejudice          novel                Jane Austen
The Home Teachers            original screenplay  John E. Moyer
Eat, Drink and Get Married   novel                Robert Farrell Smith

original screenplay: 9 (56%)
published book: 6 (38%)
  novel: 4 (25%)
  non-fiction memoir: 1 (6%)
  scripture: 1 (6%)
play: 1 (6%)

God's Army                   novelization
Brigham City                 novelization (unfinished)
The Other Side of Heaven     original memoir and published screenplay
The Singles Ward             none
Out of Step                  novelization
Handcart                     none
Jack Weyland's Charly        original novel
The R.M.                     novelization
The Work and the Story       none
The Book of Mormon, Vol. 1   original scripture
Day of Defense               original novel
Saints and Soldiers          novelization
The Best Two Years           none
Pride and Prejudice          original novel
The Home Teachers            none
Eat, Drink and Get Married   original novel

Book: 11 (69%)
No book: 5 (31%)

* * *

"EAT, DRINK AND GET MARRIED" AND TAKE LOTS OF PICTURES - Here are a dozen production photos from "Eat, Drink and Get Married":
I have read the book (and loved it), and I have to say that these images demonstrate that the filmmakers have really captured the ideas and tone of the novel in the set design, costuming and casting. You can see key settings from the novel faithfully yet imaginatively translated into reality in these photos.

GORDON JUMP REMEMBERED - See the Meridian Magazine article at:

JERRY JOHNSTON ON THE THE BOOK OF MORMON MOVIE AND THE THEATER-GOING EXPERIENCE - At first glance, this article seems to be about "The Book of Mormon Movie." Read it again. It's not. It's about the theater-going experience. It's about the fact that two people can have completely different experiences while watching the same movie. See:,1249,510055190,00.html


ANOTHER DESERET MORNING NEWS ARTICLE ABOUT THE FILMING OF THE ELIZABETH SMART TV MOVIE - Like the Deseret News, we are thrilled that this movie is being made and we can't wait to see it! See:,1249,515033688,00.html


* * *

EXTRAORDINARY LDS ANIMATION DIRECTOR NICHOLAS NEPHI PETERSON - Nicholas Peterson is a young filmmaker whose truly extraordinary short films have been screened in numerous festivals, including Sundance, and SXSW, and have screened on television both domestically and abroad.

A few of his films can be seen online:

To view "MuM" visit:

To view "Cookies for Harry" go to:

Peterson is currently in development stages on a feature-length film that he wrote with another Latter-day Saint. Check out his films online or write to him if you think you might like to be involved in this upcoming project, which we can't say a lot about right now but it seems like something very exciting and worthwhile. Some of the funding is already in place for the feature, but opportunities are still available for investors and supporters at all levels.

* * *

SNIDER LIVE: UNEMPLOYED WRITER TO TURN OFF TV, GET OFF COUCH, PERFORM COMEDY - [Eric Snider was until recently the movie and theater reviewer, as well as humor columnist, for the Utah County Daily Herald. The following is his press release:]

Eric D. Snider, author of "Snide Remarks," founder of The Garrens Comedy Troupe, and most recent casualty in the journalism world's attempt to make people take it seriously, will perform a show of music and comedy titled "An Evening with Eric D. Snider: Will Make Jokes for Food."

The show is at 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 13, at ComedySportz, 36 W. Center St., Provo. Tickets are $5 at the door. Doors open at 7:30.

Eric performed a similar show in July as an experiment to see if a) people would come and b) they would enjoy themselves. People did show up, and there were no noticeable ill effects, so Eric has elected to do it all again. This time, he has beefed up the show, added some material, and will be recording it for a future CD release.

"We want to get a high-quality recording, so we're using microphones this time," said Eric, inexplicably speaking in the third person even though he's the one writing this. "Having me shout into a megaphone while the vibrations were molded onto a wax cylinder didn't really cut it."

The show consists primarily of songs Eric originally wrote and performed for The Garrens Comedy Troupe, a Provo-based sketch-and-improv group that entertained America from 1993 to 2001. He's written a few new songs since the group disbanded, too.

The show will also include Storytime with Eric, in which he will recount various surreal episodes from his career as a waiter, pizza delivery guy, performer, humor columnist and critic in Provo. And yes, for the curious, he will tell -- for approximately the one-millionth and final time -- the story of how and why he was fired from The Daily Herald in August.

"It will truly be an evening of mirth and frivolity," said Eric. "Expect all the usual monkeyshines and shenanigans, and perhaps even some tomfoolery, though we are still waiting for approval from the city council on that."

So what are these alleged songs Eric has allegedly written? They tend to be about pop culture, Utah culture, love and dating, and Agent Scully. There are parodies such as "Your Thong," about inappropriate swimwear, and "Piano Man," about what it's like to be Mormon when you're also a pianist. Then there are originals like "Since My Best Friend Got Engaged" and "The General Authorities Song" (in which Eric sings the names of all the current LDS Church authorities -- respectfully, of course).

Those who attended the show in July ought to return, for Eric has added new material and will be trotting out some old stuff that somehow didn't make it to the last performance.

Eric's books, "Snide Remarks" and "Snide Remarks II: Electric Boogaloo," will be available at the show at a discounted price. Patrons will also be able to pre-pay for the CD recording of the show, which should be available in early November.

Since the concert will be recorded, no children under 8 -- and that includes babies -- will be permitted in the theater. They wouldn't like the show anyway.

For more information, visit: