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

Weekend of October 31, 2003

[If table lines up improperly, use mono-spaced font, i.e. Courier]

Natl Film Title                Weekend Gross  % B.O. Theatrs
Rank LDS/Mormon Filmmaker/Star   Total Gross  Change  $/Thtr   Days
--- ---------------------------  -----------  ------ -------   ----
33  S.W.A.T.                          91,815  -28.4%     169     87
    LDS character                116,643,346            $543

46  The Book of Mormon Movie Vol. 1   30,665  -49.1%      29     52
    Gary Rogers                      938,657          $1,057
    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

58  Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure  15,102  -29.1%       9    997
    Scott Swofford (producer)     15,404,612          $1,678
    Reed Smoot (cinematographer)
    Sam Cardon (composer)
    Stephen L. Johnson (editor)

65  The Legend of Johnny Lingo         7,740  -80.4%      13     66
    Gerald Molen (producer)          609,092            $595
    John Garbett (producer)

70  Cremaster 3                        6,301 +614.4%       2    192
    Mathew Barney                    487,371          $3,151

73  Galapagos                          4,925  -43.6%       5   1466
    Reed Smoot (cinematographer)  14,178,028            $985

85  Cirque du Soleil: Journey of Man   3,111  - 0.1%       2   1270
    Reed Smoot (cinematographer)  15,573,975          $1,555

100 China: The Panda Adventure           747  -66.2%       2    829
    Reed Smoot (cinematographer)   3,536,271            $374

BOOK OF MORMON MOVIE SURVIVING THE SCARE; MAY PASS $1 MILLION THIS WEEK - Before you look at the 49.1% box office drop next to "The Book of Mormon Movie, Vol. 1" in our box office report table and think the world fell out from underneath the film, remember this number represents the change in box office receipts from weekend to weekend and think for a moment what this last weekend was: Halloween. Regardless of its (undeserved) PG-13 rating, it stands to reason that most theater-goers this past Friday night were not in the mood to see Nephi cut off Laban's head. More likely, many were intent on watching a film like "Kill Bill" (also Vol. 1) with multiple decapitations, murders and other bloody violent acts. On the other hand, this was good news for Mormon filmmaker Mathew Barney's "Cremaster 3," since the film (which has been described as "part-zombie movie, part-gangster film") was 13th nationwide in terms of per-theater box office.

Most families spent the weekend either trick-or-treating or - if they really wanted to see a film (say on Saturday) - watching Disney's latest animated release, "Brother Bear." But if you look beyond the weekend numbers, the importance of numbers during the week, especially Monday night, for LDS-themed films is clear. Once again, "The Book of Mormon Movie" actually brought in more during the last seven days (Halloween notwithstanding) than it did in the previous seven. In the process, the film passed the box office total for Richard Dutcher's "Brigham City" and is poised to pass the $1 million mark this week, assuming it continues to perform as well as it has for the past several weeks.

Next stop of the Book of Mormon Movie's gravy train to freedom: Can Kirby Heyborne as "Sam" out-perform Kirby Heyborne as "The R.M." at the box office? Well... Probably yes... At the rate it's been going, check back in two or three weeks.

Top 10 LDS Cinema Movies Ranked by Box Office Gross

1. The Other Side of Heaven   4,720,112
2. God's Army                 2,628,829
3. The Singles Ward           1,250,798
4. The R.M.                   1,111,615
5. Book of Mormon Movie v1      938,657
6. Brigham City                 905,073
7. Jack Weyland's Charly        813,685
8. Handcart                      98,666
9. Out of Step                   80,000
10. The Work and the Story        4,642

Halloween affected most films in theaters this weekend, either in a negative way, as was the case for "The Book of Mormon Movie." "The Legend of Johnny Lingo" is another film obviously hurt by the Halloween weekend. The weekend before Halloween, "Johnny Lingo" took in $39,560 in 27 theaters, averaging $1,465 per theater. Last weekend, the film only took in $7,740, an 80.4% drop. Part of this was due to the film no longer playing in half the number of the theaters (only 13 this weekend), but it still only averaged $595 per theater, just over 1/3 what it had done the previous weekend. Still, on a weekly basis, "Johnny Lingo" actually saw an increase over the previous seven days, similar to "The Book of Mormon Movie." Granted, for Monday through Thursday, it was still playing in 27 theaters, and the previous week it had only been playing in 17 theaters (Monday through Thursday), but that just goes to show that, even for a film that has in many respects tried to distance itself from being called LDS Cinema, weeknights, especially Mondays, play an important part in the performance of films in the LDS market, much more so than mainstream films that rely heavily on weekend theatergoers.

On an average, roughly 62% of an LDS Cinema film's box office comes in on the weekends (Friday through Sunday). 38% comes in on weekdays - a much higher percentage than for most mainstream films. Two films of special interest, "God's Army" and "The Book of Mormon Movie," have relied even more on Monday night audiences than the other films. Both of these films have taken in nearly 45% of their box office gross on weeknights.

* * *

FOX ADDING 3RD LDS CAST MEMBER TO "TRU CALLING"? - The upcoming FOX TV series "Tru Calling" has added Latter-day Saint actress Alaina Kalanj to the cast.

The series stars non-churchgoing Latter-day Saint actress Eliza Dushku as "Tru Davies," the series lead and title character. Dushku is known for her regular role as the vampire slayer "Faith" on the TV series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and for her many movie roles, including True Lies, Bring It On, The New Guy, City by the Sea, Wrong Turn, Soul Survivors. Dushku was raised as an active Latter-day Saint.

On the "Tru Calling" TV series Dushku's best friend on the series is played by practicing Latter-day Saint actress A.J. Cook (whose major movie roles include "Final Destination 2", "Out Cold", and "The Virgin Suicides"). Cook's role is the 2nd-highest billed female role (after Dushku's) on the series. Cook has been married for about 2 years.

A recent addition to the cast according to is Latter-day Saint actress Alaina Kalanj, who will have a supporting recurring role as "Paige Sanders." It is known that Kalanj was not an original cast member "Tru Calling," which has been on the air for about three weeks, and that she will appear on the show in early December. It is quite possible's listing is in the wrong place, and that Alaina Kalanj's appearance on the series is only a guest appearance, and that she will not be a series regular or recurring character.

Alaina recently relocated to Los Angeles from Dallas. After getting noticed for her exceptional talent and beauty in a number of independent films and some guest TV spots, she has been forced to turn down numerous high-profile movie and TV roles because she has been in such demand by filmmakers and casting directors. She was considered for the starring role in a recently made LDS Cinema movie but could not accept the role because of her SAG (Screen Actor's Guild) membership (the movie was non-SAG). Kalanj appeared in the Matthew Perry movie "Serving Sara" (2002) and has recently had lead or supporting roles in the soon-to-be-released feature films "Standing Still" (2003), "A Promise Kept" (2003) and "Screen Door Jesus" (2003).

* * *

JODEE STOTT AND JENNA WEBB STILL IN THE RUNNING: IN FINAL 6 ON TODAY SHOW "SUPERSTAR" COMPETITION - Sisters Jodee Stott (Ogden) and Jenna Webb (California; nee Idaho) are still in the running on the "Superstar" competition on "The Today Show." Most recently, a guy was second of the 8 finalists was voted off, and Jodee and Jenna still remained. Jodee continued to show herself as one of the strongest competitors. Jenna, who started late last time but went on last week to improve significantly over her inaugural performance. This week she sang "I'll Be" and it wasn't bad, but probably not among the best of the remaining competitors. The judged mentioned her "incredible poise and presence." One of the most entertaining aspects of the competition is watching the outrageous sycophantry of the celebrity judges.

LDS CHILD ACTOR ERIC JACOBS IN NEW MOVIES - Latter-day Saint actor Eric Jacobs, one of the state's top child actors, has been booked to appear in a number of new films. Jacobs will be in "The Durby" directed by Eric Hendershot, "The Cup" (a feature film that he shot in LA), and has a co-starring role in an upcoming episode of "Everwood".

LDS HOLLYWOOD PRODUCER PRESENTS STAKE PLAY IN BOUNTIFUL - Among Brother Dale White's many Hollywood credits are his stints as director for the critically acclaimed TV series "Jake and the Fatman" (1989) and "Hill Street Blues" (1986-1987). Now living in Utah, he is presenting a big stake play in Bountiful. See:,1249,525034822,00.html

* * *

VUISSA/SMITH "EAT, DRINK" MOVIE WEBSITE NOW UP - The official website for the upcoming LDS Cinema feature film "Eat, Drink and Get Married" is now online.

"Eat, Drink" was directed by award-winning Austrian Latter-day Saint filmmaker Christian Vuissa from the best-selling comedic novel "Baptists at Our Barbecue" by New Mexican Latter-day Saint novelist Robert Farrell Smith. The movie stars Heather Beers ("Charly" from the movie "Jack Weyland's Charly") and Dan Merkley (from "The Work and the Story"). The awesome, predominantly LDS supporting cast includes many of Utah's top film actors, including Frank Gerrish, Jan Broberg Felt, Steve Anderson, and Duane Stephens.

Check out the official website at:

VUISSA, THE FOUR HORSEMENT, HESS AND RISING TALENTS TO KEEP AN EYE ON: Christian Vuissa, the movie's director, is the "Fourth Horseman", the final member of the Four Horsemen of the LDS Cinema Un-Apocalypse, a band of young upstart filmmakers thus-dubbed by the press because of the close proximity of the releases of their LDS Cinema movies which have reached a new level of cinematic and artistic excellence. The other Horsemen are Scott C. Anderson ("The Best Two Years"), Ryan Little ("Saints and Soldiers") and Andrew Black ("Pride and Prejudice: a latter-day comedy"). These new movies by any one of these filmmakers could emerge as the long-fabled BC Killer: the movie that ends the 2-year reign of "Brigham City" as the most LDS Cinema genre's most critically acclaimed movie.

Jared Hess is another rising star among Latter-day Saint filmmakers. Nobody has more frequently and enthusiastically heralded the talents of Jared Hess more than we have. Hess is another rising star among Latter-day Saint filmmakers. He is following up his award-winning short film "Peluca" with a feature length expansion "Napoleon Dynamite" -- now in post production. But Hess and other talented young filmmakers such as Dave Skousen, Tawnya Cazier, Dagen Merrill and Clay Essig are not making "LDS-themed" films, and are thus not grouped in the same category as The Four Horsemen. Hess, rather, is more properly grouped with Latter-day Saint directors whose works target the broader, non-LDS audience, such as Neil LaBute and Blair Treu.

* * *

REGARDING THE "PRIDE AND PREJUDICE" CAST - Latter-day Saint singing sensation Carmen Rasmusen, who starred in American Idol on FOX, is the best known cast member in the upcoming LDS Cinema movie "Pride and Prejudice: a latter-day comedy."

Here are brief bios of some other cast members, from the official website at

Ben Gourley
From Provo, Utah, Ben recently graduated from Brigham Young University, where he studied film acting and directing. His performance as Charles Bingley in "Pride and Prejudice" is his first lead role in a feature film. He played a supporting role in the award-winning war film "Saints and Soldiers," (coming early 2004).

Hubbell Palmer
Originally from Salt Lake City, Hubbel Palmer graduated from Brigham Young University. Now living in Los Angeles, Hubbel is pursuing his acting and screenwriting careers. He has appeared in several short films and theatrical productions, and "Pride and Prejudice" marks his feature film debut.

Nicole Hamilton [Amber Hamilton]
From Ogden, Utah, Nicole graduated from Westminster College in Salt Lake City with a degre in Communications and a Theater in Music minor. Within a month of finding an agent, Nicole landed the role of Kitty in "Pride and Prejudice." She also landed a principal role in Disney's "Virtual Perfection" (airing in November 2003).

Note that the lead actress (Kam Haskins, playing Elizabeth Bennett) and the lead actor are well-established, professional, non-LDS actors from Los Angeles and London -- people who you have not heard of before, but whose performances will definitely turn heads in the LDS Cinema market.

* * *

"FINDING NEMO" AVAILABLE ON DVD - 23 weeks into its run, "Finding Nemo" was still going strong in theaters - the lowest it ever hit was this past weekend when it came in at #24 - but the Disney marketing machine didn't want to miss out on the opportunity to get an early start on the Christmas shopping season, so beginning November 4th, the Pixar-produced film is available on DVD and video. Already likely to be the #1 grossing theatrical release of the year, you can be pretty sure that it will top video sales charts throughout the holiday season as well. Continuing an amazing streak of success, Pixar, co-founded by Latter-day Saint computer graphics pioneer Edwin Catmull, has yet to produce a theatrical box office dud after a string of successes that include "Toy Story," "A Bug's Life," "Toy Story 2," "Monsters, Inc." and now "Finding Nemo."

"LEGALLY BLONDE II" ALSO AVAILABLE ON DVD - In case you cared but hadn't noticed, "Legally Blonde II: Red White & Blonde" was also released on DVD and video this week. Filmed in part in Salt Lake City, with Utah's state capitol building doubling as the U.S. capitol, a large number of the extras in this film are LDS.

KILMER NOT TO PLAY JOSEPH SMITH - In case you missed it, according to reports, Val Kilmer will not be playing the role of Joseph Smith, Jr. in Richard Dutcher's "The Prophet" after all. Here's another article reporting this news, but with a different angle than has been reported in other columns: Interestingly, this news snippet in JewsWeek contradicts the angle of previously published articles on the subject: In this report, Kilmer didn't drop out of the role... He was dropped. Probably this report was simply written up based on other articles, and misinterpreted them. Those other reports originated mainly with a bigoted MSNBC gossip columnist -- Jeannette Walls -- whose accuracy is debatable. Here's her original article:


DETAILED PROFILE OF FILMMAKER, SONGWRITER MICHAEL MCLEAN - McLean's most recent foray into film is as the composer and songwriter for the critically acclaimed LDS Cinema film "The Best Two Years." But, as this article points out, he has been the writer and producer of numerous classic LDS films, including "Mr. Kreuger's Christmas" and "The Prodigal Son." See:,1249,525034845,00.html

UNIV. OF UTAH HONORS LDS COMPOSER ROBERT CUNDICK - Robert Cundick is generally considered one of the ten greatest classical composers in Latter-day Saint history. He was NOT a film composer, but a few videos do feature his compositions: His music is featured in the dance film "Woman, the Pioneer," which was the film adaptation of the World's Fair dance that featured his music and Virginia Tanner's choreography. "Woman, the Pioneer," a BYU production, is available on video from BYU and LDS Video Store. The PBS program "Song of Nephi" (1996) featured Cundick's Book of Mormon-inspired oratorio. And the BYU PBS program/video "A Celebration of Christmas (1991) features one number by Cundick. See:,1249,525034812,00.html

COLUMN IN BYU DAILY UNIVERSE DISCUSSING R-RATED MOVIES - To what extent are R-rated movies evil? To what extent is it evil to see them?

REVIEW OF NEW CD OF MUSIC FROM "R.M." AND "SINGLES WARD" - There are not a lot of CDs which have music from both Paul Anka and Janice Kapp Perry, but this one does.

"More from The R.M. and The Singles Ward" (soundtrack CD)

Highly Recommended!

If you like the music from the popular HaleStorm movies "The Singles Ward" and "The R.M.," or from the soundtrack CDs from those movies, then you will LOVE this CD. Just like the title suggests, this CD features more great music from these movies.

But if you do NOT like the music from these movies, you should stay as far away from this new CD as possible. The "More" CD actually goes further than "The Singles Ward" soundtrack CD and "The R.M." soundtrack CD. Many of the songs on the "More" CD are pop tunes or wonderful ballads that nobody should object to, but others are Church and Primary hymns with the well-known HaleStorm contemporary treatment: turned into wonderfully entertaining and interesting folk, rock, pop versions, etc.

"Hello, I'm Doing" was heard in part during the singles dance scene in "The Singles Ward," but now you can hear the complete version for the first time. It is edgy, almost dark. But as the source material for this song is simply the children's Primary songs "Do as I'm Doing" and "Hello Song," which are activity-based and not about Gospel subjects, I don't think it is at all sacriligeous.

I can easily imagine some older ward members doing a double take upon hearing some of the songs, such as the modern folk/country Western version of "I Love To See The Temple." None of these songs are meant to be irreverent -- the writers, arrangers and performers behind them seem through their music to be dedicated to the Gospel, but these songs are undeniably speaking to a younger generation in modes that might make some older people cringe.

Only half of the tracks are based on Church hymns and Primary songs. This means that the "More" CD features some of the wonderful theme songs from "The Singles Ward and "The R.M." which for one reason or another could not be included on the soundtrack CDs for those movies. I particularly love the Maren Ord song "Everyday," which was sadly missing from "The Singles Ward" soundtrack CD, probably for licensing reasons, as Sister Ord is with a major record label. It's great to have "Everyday" on the "More" CD.

Another fun addition is "Puppy Love," which was heard and talked about briefly in "The R.M." Although often associated with Donny Osmond, who popularized the song, it was actually written by none other than Paul Anka!

Jericho Road performs three songs on this CD, and despite the fact that this group is often compared to N'Sync and Back Street Boys, I enjoyed these songs immensely. Jericho Road serves up powerful and moving interpretations. These are some of the songs that communicated key emotional points in the "The Singles Ward" and "The R.M." movies, and it is easy to see why this responsibility was entrusted to their talents.

This is a surprising, entertaining CD which I find enjoyable as well as uplifting. You may even be able to use the "More" CD to seriously annoy your parents.

Titles of Tracks on the CD, and Artist/Band Which Performed the Song:
1. Love at Home - The Rockamatics
2. Hello, I'm Doing - Cody Hale
3. Lift Me Up - Jericho Road
4. Where Love Is - The Rockamatics
5. Time - Jericho Road
6. Book of Mormon Stories - The Soulutions
7. Puppy Love - The Rockamatics
8. Inside of Me - Jericho Road
9. I Feel My Savior's Love - Cap'n Benny
10. I Love To See The Temple - The Rockamatics
11. Everyday - Maren Ord
12. Composition Medley - Cody Hale

Futher Details:
Executive Producers: Kurt Hale and Dave Hunter
Project Coordinator: Tim Fullmer

Love At Home
Words and Music by John Hugh McNaughton

Hello, I'm Doing
Loosely inspired by "Hello Song" and "Do As I'm Doing"
Arranged and performed by Cody Hale

Lift Me Up
Produced by Tyler Castleton and Jenny Frogley
Arranged by Tyler Castleton and Jerry Williams

Where Love Is
Words by Joanne Bushman Doxey and Norma B. Smith
Music by Joanne Bushman Doxey and Marjorie Castleton Kjar

Produced by Tyler Castleton and Jenny Frogley
Arranged by Craig Poole and Finn Bjarnson

Book of Mormon Stories
Words and Music by Elizabeth Fetzer Bates

Puppy Love
Words and Music by Paul Anka
Produced and Arranged by Tim Fullmer

Inside of Me
Produced by Tyler Castleton and Jenny Frogley
Arranged by Tyler Castleton and Jim Funk

I Feel My Savior's Love
Worsd by Ralph Rodgers Jr., K. Newell Dayley and Laurie Huffman
Music by K. Newell Dayley

I Love To See The Temple
Words and Music by Janice Kapp Perry
Produced and Arranged by Tim Fullmer

Words and Music by Maren Ord

Composition Medley
Music by Cody Hale

* * *

LETTER TO EDITOR: SEEING R-RATED MOVIES IS WRONG: Source: BYU's newspaper Daily Universe, 21 October 2003, letter to the editor: "Bag R-rated movies, entertainment" (URL:

For the "Arts & Culture" reporter, Joe Ghiz: I have a few words to say to you regarding your R-rated movie banter. Please understand, this isn't as much a personal attack as it is a strong opinion about a few comments you made.

Coming from New York City, I realize that people are entitled to watch what they want, and I have no judgment on those people. I must say, however, that you seem to be among a growing population of Latter-day Saints who find excuses for watching R-rated movies.

I honestly don't know how you can justify the soft pornography that comes with R-rated movies, or the violence that jades us, or the Lord's name spoken in vain, or the other profanities that make light of sacred things.

You can call it "art" and say "it changed my life for good," but the Holy Ghost cannot be with you while you watch such films.

Before you get out your pen to tell me I'm a holier-than-thou Molly Mormon -- I'm not done. I'm referring to more than R-rated movies. Much of the montage of media out there is inappropriate. This includes most PG-13 movies. President Gordon B. Hinckley did say no R-rated movies, but then he also later mentioned "or anything else of an inappropriate nature."

I bet he meant music too.

I hate to bring in too much of the gospel to a newspaper, but in all honesty, I expect The Daily Universe has a preponderance of Latter-day Saint readers, and so they'll understand what I'm saying. I think that I agree in a sense as to what you're saying about Clean Flicks - it's another excuse to watch entertainment that really wasn't edited down to our standards. But then again, just what are your standards?

Jessica Stevenson
Corpus Christi, Texas