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

Weekend of April 8, 2005

Edited by: Thomas C. Baggaley (

[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
--- ---------------------------  ----------- ------ -------  ----
10  The Upside of Anger            2,500,503  -38%   1,151     31
    Keri Russell (actress)        12,256,474        $2,172

16  Millions                         435,011  -10%     176     31
    LDS major characters:          2,145,138        $2,472
      3 LDS missionaries

22  Constantine                      225,079  -54%     301     52
    Allen Hall (SFX coordinator)  74,118,697          $748

56  Bugs!                             31,013  -15%      20    759
    stars Papilio,                15,035,355        $1,551
      a Great Mormon butterfly

57  Pooh's Heffalump Movie            30,424  -57%     145     59
    Ken Sansom (star: Rabbit)     18,081,626          $210

62  Lemony Snicket's A Series         21,248  -38%      48    115
      of Unfortunate Events      118,575,406          $443
    Brett Helquist (co-creator/
      book illustrator)

72  The Work and the Glory            11,707   +1%      17    138
    Russ Holt (writer/director)    3,234,600          $689
    Gerald N. Lund (author)
    Scott Swofford (producer)
    T.C. Christensen (cinematographer)
    Sam Cardon (composer)
    Stephen L. Johnson (editor)
    Larry H. Miller (exec. producer)
    Jeff T. Miller (line producer)
    Supporting actors:
      Brighton Hertford,
      Sarah Darling, Ryan Wood
    John R. Uibel (production designer)
    Cathren Warner (costume designer)
    Edwin Matsu (makeup artist)
    Stephanie Scott (makeup artist)
    Laurie Vukich (assistant hair stylist)
    Heather Toone (2nd assistant director)
    LDS main characters

83  Sons of Provo                      5,921  +20%       5     66
    Will Swenson                      99,481        $1,184
      lead actor/songwriter)
    Peter D. Brown
    John Lyde, Stephen Rose
    John Shircliff (prod. designer)
    Anne Rose (costume designer)
    KC Blake (sound designer)
    Tyler Keegan
      (unit prod. manager/1st A.D.)
    Scott Hust (2nd A.D.)
    Robert Swenson (2nd 2nd A.D.)
    Spencer Barnes, Anna K. Findlay
      (make-up artists)
    Actors: Will Swenson, Kirby Heyborne,
      Danny Tarasevich, Jennifer Erekson,
      Peter D. Brown, Maureen Eastwood,
      Michael Birkeland, Alison Akin Clark,
      Jeremy Elliott, etc.
    LDS main characters

85  Saints and Soldiers                5,730  -66%      10    248
    Ryan Little                    1,256,295          $573
    Adam Abel (producer)
    Brian Brough
     (assoc. producer/produc. manager)
    Wynn Hougaard (editor)
    J Bateman (composer)
    Matt Whitaker (screenwriter)
    Jennifer Buster (casting)
    Actors: Corbin Allred, Larry Bagby III,
      Kirby Heyborne, Lincoln Hoppe,
      Curt Dousett, Ben Gourley,
      Ethan Vincent, etc.
    LDS main character: Deacon

98  Galapagos                          3,164  -26%       2   1991
    Reed Smoot (cinematographer)  14,757,273        $1,582

116 The Young Black Stallion           1,082  -14%       2    473
    Reed Smoot (cinematographer)   6,727,006          $541

OPEN AUDITIONS FOR NEXT "LIKEN THE SCRIPTURES" EPISODE - It's posted now, the official audition information for the next episode of Liken the Scriptures. Check out the details: what you need to prepare and what parts are being cast at:

DOWN AND DERBY, WRITTEN/DIRECTED BY LDS FILMMAKER ERIC HENDERSHOT, OPENING MARKETS LIST - "Down and Derby" is the FABULOUS theatrical debut of one of the greatest Latter-day Saint filmmakers of our generation, and I don't say that as some kind of hyperbole. Bro. Eric Hendershot has already proven his mettle with about a dozen feature-length films (mostly family film dramas with large doses of suspense and comedy, but also some documentaries) that have played in film festivals, on HBO, Disney Channel, gone to video, DVD around the world, etc. But "Down and Derby" is his biggest movie yet, and his first to get a regular theatrical release.

Most of the people behind the camera of this film are Latter-day Saints, and the cast includes a mix of top Hollywood film stars as well as some local and LDS talent you may recognize.

We strongly encourage you to go see this movie because we think you'll enjoy it more than anything else you'll find in theaters on April 15! In fact, if you had to choose between doing your taxes, and going to see "Down and Derby," we believe you should choose "Down and Derby"!

And just in case you're not convinced... here is what else is opening on April 15:
The Amityville Horror (from the people who made The Texas Chainsaw Massacre)
State Property II (poorly made film about rap stars play gangsters fighting for control of drug turf in Philadelphia)
The Year of the Yao (Chinese agent infiltrates U.S. pro sports league and convinces millions of American youth to embrace Communism; Chinese with subtitles)
Palindromes (directed by Todd Solondz, whose previous movies are mostly NC-17, incl. "Happiness" and "Storytelling")

Okay, I'm kidding about "The Year of the Yao." That actually might be pretty good, but it's opening in limited release and you won't be able find it anyway, so just go see "Down and Derby."










CBS' "SURVIVOR": ULONG TRIBE CURSED AFTER VOTING OFF LDS CONTESTANT: THEY LOST EVERY IMMUNITY CHALLENGE - If you haven't been watching "Survivor: Palau" - the 10th season of the CBS reality show "Survivor"... Let me explain what has happened. For the first time in the history of the show, a tribe - Ulong - has lost every single immunity challenge. On last Thursday's episode, the tribe was down to only two people, and they lost the immunity challenge again. They couldn't go back and have a vote with just two people, so there was an individual immunity challenge involving building a fire and lighting a torch. The loser was sent home, resulting in - for the first time ever - a tribe of only one person. Meanwhile, the competing tribe - Koror - still has all the tribe members they have had since nearly the beginning of the season, since they have never lost an immunity challenge.

All this came as a surprise to both teams, because when the season started, it appeared that Ulong had all the strongest, largest, healthiest competitors.

So how did an ostensibly strong team come to be the first tribe ever to lose immunity EVERY TIME? Only is sufficiently jingoistic to bring you the REAL reason: The Ulong tribe was cursed for voting off Ashlee, the only Latter-day Saint competitor this year.

It's like a story straight out of the Old Testament. Simply examine the facts: Ashlee was the openly and enthusiastically LDS competitor on the show, but she was unceremoniously voted off the island after Ulong lost its first immunity challenge. Thus, Ulong incurred the wrath of Heaven, and their team has systematically been decimated.

Compare this to previous seasons with Mormon competitors: Kelly Wiglesworth's team never voted her off. Her team did quite well on the first season of "Survivor," and Kelly went all the way to win 2nd place. (She lost in the final vote to the naked gay guy - tax evader Richard Hatch, not to be confused with the non-chubby Battlestar Galactica star of the same name.) Then on the 4th season - "Survivor: Marquesas," Sister Neleh Dennis represented Latter-day Saint reality show competitors well by frequently helping her team win immunity and reward challenges. She was never voted off, and she also ended up in 2nd place, losing out in the final vote to Vecepia, the black Baptist office manager.

I don't know exactly why the Ulong tribe voted off Ashlee first. Maybe they knew she would be a stronger competitor than the rest of them. But obviously it was a mistake to do so, and hopefully future Survivor competitors will learn from their mistake.

Maybe Richfield, Utah native Chris Shelton on "The Apprentice" is secretly Mormon, despite his tobacco chewing habit and occasional swearing. Divine intervention would seem to be the only explanation for why he is now one of the 6 remaining competitors, despite the fact that he is the most immature competitor on the show, he erupts like a volcanic nutcase whenever he's in the boardroom and Donald Trump openly detests him. Chris has been in the boardroom six times in a row, and every time it seems an almost certainty that Trump is going to fire him, but then miraculously Chris escapes banishment. On the surface, this could be because Donald Trump always zeroes in on one candidate who has messed up even worse during just that week's challenge, swaying Donald to fire somebody he likes more than Chris, but whose performance merits the axe. Last week's fired competitor - Angie - opined the next day on "Good Morning America" that the 3rd person in the boardroom - Alex - downplayed Chris's failings and emphasized her own because he (Alex) recognized that Chris is the WEAKER competitor, and thus easier to beat in final rounds. The cynic might think that Donald simply recognizes that Chris makes for good television. Level-headed people like Bren might be good to hire in the end, but you might as well keep a loose cannon like Chris around just to make the show even more interesting. Chris doesn't always represent his native home of Utah or his adopted home of Las Vegas well, but he makes for gripping, dramatic television.


NATIVE UTAHN CHRIS FROM DONALD TRUMP'S "APPRENTICE" ARRESTED AT CASINO - Well, as we've said before, Chris - a native of Richfield, Utah - isn't LDS, as far as anybody is aware.


WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE - WE'RE NOT FRIGGIN' AMISH, MAN! - I got a big kick out of this... A contestant who thinks Rumspringa is a Mormon rite of passage, and wasted a lifeline on the question. Yeah, yeah, I know, "Witness" in Europe and all that...


MORE ARTICLES ABOUT BLACK PANTHER, LDS CONVERT ELDRIDGE CLEAVER (INCL. DOCUMENTARY) - We have added excerpts from two very informative articles about Eldridge Cleaver, former radical Black Panther minister of information who joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. One of the articles describes in detail a documentary he made and screened for the Freemen Institute in Salt Lake City while he was an investigator, studying with General Authority Paul H. Dunn. These articles have been added to the page about the feature film "Panther": See

JAMES KINNE: DEVOUT LDS VICTIM FEATURED ON UNSOLVED MYSTERIES, AND FBI AGENT IN JOHNNY DEPP MOVIE - FBI special agent James Kinne was one of the agents who is shown in the book Donnie Brasco: My Undercover Life in the Mafia. Either James Kinne or one of the two other agents shown with him in a photograph in the book was likely a model for a major character in the "Donnie Brasco" movie: Latter-day Saint section chief Dean Blandford. Blandford was the FBI supervisor of Johnny Depp's character Joseph Pistone, who worked undercover using the alias "Donnie Brasco." The FBI agent named James Kinne has no connection that we know of to an Independence, Missouri man named James Kinne who was murdered by his wife, Sharon Kinne, on 19 March 1960. This became a well-publicized case. James Kinne was a devout Latter-day Saint. Sharon Kinne was not a Latter-day Saint. Sharon Kinne's murder of James Kinne and her subsequent escape from prison were chronicled in the book The Sharon Kinne Story: I'm Just an Ordinary Girl, by James C. Hays (Leathers Publishing, 1997). The story was portrayed on an episode of "Unsolved Mysteries" in 1999. There was talk that the story might be made into a feature-length movie.

Dean Blandford, apparently based on a real-life boss that Pistone had, is a Latter-day Saint, but this fact is a relatively minor aspect of the film and Blandford's character. Blandford's religious affiliation may contribute slightly to the unease in the his working relationship with Donnie.

Blandford's character is probably fictional, devised for the movie. In skimming the book "Donnie Brasco: My Undercover Life in the Mafia" I found no mention of this person, nor did I see anything about a Latter-day Saint (Mormon) FBI agent. I found no references at all to Latter-day Saints (Mormons). On one of the photo plate pages in the middle of the book there is a photo depicting actions taken by Blandford in the movie. The caption that accompanies this photo reads:

"On July 28, 1981, two days after Agent Pistone ended his undercover role, FBI agents (left to right) Jerry Loar, James Kinne, and Doug Fencil emerge from Sonny Black's apartment after informing him that "Donnie Brasco" was an FBI agent."

A photo is here:

Photo from the book upon which the movie "Donnie Brasco" is based: Donnie Brasco: My Undercover Life in the Mafia, by Joseph D. Pistone and Richard Woodley (New York and Scarborough, Ontario: New American Library, 1987). As pictured here, three FBI visited mafia bosses and inform them that their friend and co-worker "Donnie Brasco" was really working for the FBI. This same scene was depicted in the movie version, with the film's Latter-day Saint character - FBI section chief Dean Blandford - in the lead.

See and

LATTER-DAY SAINTS AND "SIN CITY" - Here's an interesting Deseret News article about "Sin City" - Las Vegas, Nevada. The article includes mention of Gordon B. Hinckley's recent address about gambling. There was an entire Conference talk in the most recent Conference warning members about the dangers of internet gambling. Latter-day Saints founded Las Vegas, but like San Francisco and the Sundance Film Festival, we lost control of it.

Movies about Las Vegas which feature Latter-day Saint characters include "Ocean's Eleven" (2001), "Ocean's 11" (1960), "Casino" (1995) and the heavily LDS-themed movie "Heaven or Vegas" (1999), which starred Yasmine Bleeth and Latter-day Saint actress Sarah Schaub as a Latter-day Saint sisters.

"Sin City", a popular nickname for Las Vegas, is also the name of one of the most talked-about and most financially successful films released this year. Based on comic book legend Frank Miller's "Sin City" graphic novels, the movie is not in any way about LDS characters, and it wasn't made by Latter-day Saint filmmakers. It's earned a hard R rating for all the reasons movies get an R rating. But the movie "Sin City" actually IS of interest to LDS film fans because it was directed by Robert Rodriguez. Robert Rodriguez, also known for his family friendly "Spy Kids" movies and films such as "Desperado" has announced plans to make a feature film based on Latter-day Saint comic book artist Mike Allred's "Madman" comic books. Allred is quite a star in the comic book world, not only for "Madman" but also for his work on Marvel series such as the X-Men spinoff "X-Statix," and he is well-known to Latter-day Saints as the creator of the Book of Mormon graphic novel "The Golden Plates." ANYWAY, the fact that Rodriguez has made the MOST FAITHFUL film adaptation of a comic book EVER, and the fact that the film is being acclaimed as a cinematic and artistic wonder, all bodes well for Allred... If Rodriguez actually gets around to making a "Madman" movie. Rodriguez was so intent on doing right by "Sin City" creator Frank Miller that he even made Miller a co-director. He didn't even have a screenplay written... He simply used Miller's comics as storyboards for the film. That's all good news for Bro. Allred, even if Rodriguez gives Allred just half the star treatment that Miller received. Another bit of good news is that, as anybody who has watched "Spy Kids" knows, Rodriguez DOES know how to make family-friendly content, which would probably be more where a "Madman" movie would be situated. The BAD NEWS is that with "Sin City," Rodriguez may be so hot, so in-demand, and so capable of getting whatever projects he's interested in, he may not make time do "Madman," despite optioning it and recently announcing he was about to start work on it. Let's hope that Rodriguez's wave of "Sin City" accolades doesn't derail "Madman."




ORLANDO SENTINEL: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS FOR MOVIE FEATURING GERMAN LATTER-DAY SAINT MISSIONARIES ("MILLIONS") - It gets to the German Mormon missionaries who move in down the street, and are the objects of Damien's charity. "They're saints. Latter-day Saints."

Excerpt from:,0,2098480.story?coll=orl-calmoviestop

SALT LAKE CITY WEEKLY: 3.5 OUT OF 4 STARS FOR "MILLIONS", FEATURING LDS MISSIONARIES - Damian's compulsion to help the less fortunate does lead to some outrageous behavior, like taking a squadron of homeless people out for a pizza party or shoving fistfuls of cash through the mail slot of his Mormon missionary neighbors.

Excerpt from:

NYTIMES DOCUM. REVIEW: "KARL ROVE - THE ARCHITECT" NON-MORMON IN THE HEART OF MORMON COUNTRY - There's a new documentary on PBS about Karl Rove, widely hailed as the "architect" of current Republican preeminence. The reviewer slams the documentary for a number of failings.

One excerpt is of particular interest. The New York Times reviewer writes: "Without a narrative, the program turns to haphazard assertions to illuminate the character of Mr. Rove, but even this is mostly speculation or trivia. He grew up "a non-Mormon in the heart of Mormon country," we're told. (What was his religious heritage, then?)"

I have to say... I agree with the implication, here, that the documentary's description of Rove as a "non-Mormon" is lacking, and begs the question, what is his religious heritage?

For the record, let me point out that does not refer to Karl Rove as a Latter-day Saint, but from a sociological, cultural and artistic perspective, there is a word for a person who identifies himself (as Rove has) as a "non-Mormon who grew up among Mormons." The word is "Mormon."

A person who identifies himself as a "Presbyterian who grew up among non-Mormons" is a Presbyterian. Just as a person who was a "Catholic growing up among non-Mormons" is a Catholic. But if you find a person whose sole religious identity is that of a "non-Mormon," that person is a Mormon, whose "non-Mormonism" would be a subset of Mormon culture, alongside other subsets, such as "Utah Mormon," "Jack Mormon", "liberal Mormon", "ethnic Mormon", "CES Mormon", "temple Mormon," etc. Such a person is not, however, a Latter-day Saint, or a member of the LDS Church. Here "Mormon" has no reference to church membership, but categorizes a person's cultural and/or ethnic background. This is simply a recognition of how 85% of American's will conceptualize and mentally categorize any white person from Utah who doesn't proactively identify themself with an alternative religious affiliation.

Too many writers, bloggers and op-ed types to enumerate have already identified Karl Rove as a Mormon or a "Jack Mormon." Many of these are left-leaning anti-Republican types who simply can't imagine that anybody OTHER THAN a Mormon would have the combined desire and capability to do something so nefarious as to remake the American political scene in Utah's image. When Joseph Mealey and Michael Paradies Shoob made their documentary about Karl Rove -"Bush's Brain" - the filmmakers even used an equally Mormon singer/songwriter for the film's music: Michelle Shocked.

Given the amount of artistic license taken by moviemakers making fact-based films, one can easily imagine an "American Politics 2008" feature film... Tom Hanks starring as Karl Rove, Tom Cruise as Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, and Robert De Niro as the nation's highest elected Democrat, Harry Reid, locked in a battle for political supremacy, while attending the same Washington D.C. ward. Their ward's shrill relief society president is played by Meryl Streep, as Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. (I've taken a few artistic liberties to heighten the drama.)




DESERET NEWS: 3 OUT OF 4 STARS FOR 'KING OF THE CORNER' - See,1249,600124389,00.html

UNIV. OF UTAH-MADE DOCUMENTARY ABOUT DOWNTOWN SLC: MOST RESIDENTS HAPPY WITH DIRECTION THINGS ARE GOING - With that in mind, the students ethnography committee put together a brief documentary film capturing vivid firsthand accounts of the area. The results came as somewhat of a surprise. Turns out most people are satisfied with the direction their neighborhood is swinging and offered mostly positive narratives. In one shot, an older man recalls when the area was more undesirable -- a place for cheap entertainment watching drunks and hookers stagger about. Later, a single-white female describes what it was like to watch drug deals occur beneath her window -- now replaced by legal art deals.

Excerpt from:

OFF TOPIC: MGM, UNITED ARTISTS NO MORE AS CONSORTIUM PURCHASES ALL MGM ASSETS - "The Legend of Johnny Lingo" is just one of many movies made by Latter-day Saints which was distributed by MGM. Excerpts from article:

Headline: This Time It's for Real: Farewell to MGM
Date: Fri Apr 8, 1:50 PM ET Movies - Reuters
By: Anne Thompson

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - It's very sad. MGM is gone. So is United Artists.

The deal, expected to close on Friday, for a consortium of companies (including Sony Corp (SNE.N).) to purchase the MGM assets for some $4.8 billion reminds us that in today's entertainment universe, it's all about selling DVDs.

Ted Turner was right: It's the library, stupid. All 4,000 titles.

Truth is, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer -- the once-star-studded Tiffany studio that produced "The Wizard of Oz" and "Gone With the Wind" in 1939, and its United Artists studio, the great lotless indie founded in 1919 by Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and D.W. Griffith -- were long ago reduced to financial transactions. They had been dying little deaths for years.

So much history. So much talent.

We all have our fave MGM moments...

Remember UA? Back then you could walk the halls at 729 Seventh Ave. in Manhattan and see posters for Billy Wilder's "The Apartment," Milos Forman's "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," Woody Allen's "Annie Hall," [Mormon filmmaker] Hal Ashby's "Coming Home," Francis Coppola's "Apocalypse Now," Martin Scorsese's "Raging Bull" and Sylvester Stallone's "Rocky."

Their cinematic legacy includes the execrable remakes of "Rollerball" and "The Mod Squad" but also the hits "Barbershop," "Legally Blonde" [starring Salt Lake City, Utah native Matthew Davis] and the Bond films "The World Is Not Enough" and "Die Another Day."

...But after 20 films and New Line's smash "Austin Powers" spoofs [produced by Moab, Utah native Eric McLeod], it's hard to see much life left in creaky old James Bond, even if sexy, broken-nosed Brit Daniel Craig ("Enduring Love"), the press-anointed candidate of the moment, does don the famous tuxedo for Martin Campbell's "Casino Royale."

...Sir Howard could even decide to do the right thing. He could remove the Sony logo from atop the studio on West Washington Boulevard that many Hollywood insiders still consider the MGM lot -- with its Cary Grant Theater and Irving Thalberg, Katharine Hepburn, Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland buildings -- and let the MGM logo fly high again.

There's no place like home.