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

Weekend of March 29, 2002

[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
---  ----------------------------- -----------  -----  ----
 9   We Were Soldiers                3,723,298  2,046    31
     Keri Russell (actress)         67,601,100

30   Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure  216,011     25   416
     Scott Swofford (producer)       9,684,068
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)
     Sam Cardon (composer)
     Stephen L. Johnson (film editor)

37   Ocean's Eleven                   $142,848    189   115
     LDS characters: Malloy twins  182,910,183

50   The Other Side of Heaven           33,033     16   108
     Mitch Davis (writer/director)   1,944,112
     John H. Groberg (author/character)
     Gerald Molen, John Garbett (producers)
     Steven Ramirez (film editor)

59   China: The Panda Adventure         19,468      6   248
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)    2,132,746

60   Mulholland Drive                   19,445     16   175
     Joyce Eliason (producer/writer) 7,126,633

63   The Singles Ward                   17,153     10    59
     Kurt Hale (writer/director)       418,613
     John E. Moyer (writer)
     Dave Hunter (producer)
     Cody Hale (composer)
     Ryan Little (cinematographer)
     Wynn Hougaard (film editor)
     Actors: Will Swenson, Connie Young,
        Daryn Tufts, Kirby Heyborne,
        Michael Birkeland, Robert Swenson,
        Lincoln Hoppe, Gretchen Whalley,
        Sedra Santos, etc.

68   Cirque du Soleil: Journey of Man   11,993      3   696
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)   13,156,433

81   Galapagos                           6,867      3   885
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)   12,514,130

100  Mark Twain's America 3D             1,822      1  1368
     Alan Williams (composer)        2,184,427

107  Behind Enemy Lines                    759      5   122
     David Veloz (screenwriter)     58,855,732

109  Island of the Sharks                  628      1  1067
     Alan Williams (composer)       10,658,756

KILBORN FINDS HEAVEN: The promotional engines at Excel Entertainment Group are beginning to gear up for the April 12th nationwide release of "The Other Side of Heaven". Tonight (April 2nd) Anne Hathaway, one of the stars of the film who also starred in Disney's "The Princess Diaries" will be appearing on The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn. Check it out to find out how she does on Mr. Kilborn's famous "Five Questions" quiz.

MERRILL TO GIVE STATE OF THE LDS FILM UNION ADDRESS: Kieth Merrill, Academy Award-winning director and producer, will be giving the keynote address at the annual gathering of the Mormon Arts Foundation on primarily focused on fine art, sculpture, literature and music, has taken a greater interest in film as art, and Brother Merrill's address is a good indication of that. We applaud the choice and offer our best support and wishes to Brother Merrill on his upcoming address.

WILL THEY MENTION BUTCH CASSIDY? On Sunday, April 7th, between the morning and afternoon sessions of General Conference, KSL television is airing a half-hour special, "Latter-day Saints on the Silver Screen."

ONLY ONE MONTH until the release of Richard Dutcher's "Brigham City" on DVD!!! Want to see something REALLY weird? Check out the completely different cover art for the DVD, viewable at:

SMOOT UP: This week's biggest movement among films involving LDS filmmakers came from "China: The Panda Adventure" which added two more screens and jumped from #92 to #59. "Cirque du Soleil: Journey of Man" also added another screen, which was enough to bump it from #87 to #68. Both are IMAX films with Reed Smoot as the cinematographer.

Even before its upcoming nationwide release, the "The Other Side of Heaven" continued to do well in Utah and Arizona, bringing in over $33,000. It's U.S. domestic gross now stands at $1,944,112. This means that this week "Heaven" surpassed another recent Hollywood-made feature film featuring a Latter-day Saint main character: the critically disastrous box office disappointment "Goodbye Lover" (1999). In that movie Ellen DeGeneres contantly ridicules her Latter-day Saint police partner.

"CLOCKSTOPPERS" AND "OTHER TIME": The family-friendly science fiction adventure movie "Clockstoppers" opened this with over $10 million in box office receipts, putting it in 5th place nationwide. This movie (directed by Jonathan Frakes, Star Trek's "Commander Riker") was NOT made by Latter-day Saints and does NOT feature Latter-day Saint characters (although Eric Lichtenberg of Brigham City, Utah is apparently an extra in it, playing an airline passenger). But I simply MUST say something about the plot. It features a rather unique scientific device in the form of a watch that apparently freezes time around the person wearing it. In actuality, it speeds up time immediately around the person wielding the device that everything around him or her seems to be frozen in time. It's an unusual science fictional plot device, and, as far as I know, it is an idea that has never been featured in any movie. But it is EXACTLY the same plot device that was used by Latter-day Saint author Diana Lofgran Hoffman in her 1993 story "Other Time." I have no idea whether or not the writers of "Clockstoppers" read or heard about "Other Time," thought up the idea on their own, or were inspired by some other source. (The stories ARE different -- only the plot device and some manifestations of it are identical). But it's worth pointing out.

Hoffman's story, published in the anthology Washed by a Wave of Wind: Science Fiction from the Corridor, edited by M. Shayne Bell, is well-written, imaginative, and moving. I loved this story since the time I first read it. It is unfortunate that this story, and Hoffman's other published story "Achilo" (which is even better), are not better known today. A review and more detailed description can be found at:

NELEH WATCH: Neleh Dennis, the Latter-day Saint star of "Survivor: Marquesas" won two challenges in a row for her little Maraamu tribe. She began the episode by leading her tribe in prayer, and ended the show by using her AWESOME craft-making skills to build the island's best rescue signal. In other news, John is a jerk. We liked Gabe. We hope the final 2 aren't John and Neleh, which would basically be a demographic repeat of Survivor 1.

TOM GETS ON A SOAPBOX: Disney's "The Rookie" [which is NOT an LDS-themed or LDS-made film] opened up at #3 nationwide with generally excellent reviews this week. The major significance of this is that it is the second recent G-rated live-action feature film that Disney has released, and it's always nice to see studios release quality G-rated entertainment and have the films succeed financially. Perhaps that will motivate more family-oriented films to pursue the G rating, as for the longest time in Hollywood, mostly due to a lot of poorly made G-rated films, the G rating was considered the financial kiss of death for a non-animated film. Of course, we can't hope that this will reduce the number of R-rated films being made. It has long been demonstrated that R-rated films fail financially more often than PG or PG-13 films, yet that hasn't changed anything as far as Hollywood is concerned.

PRESTON, ON THE OTHER HAND, is still upset that "The Fast and the Furious" starring Paul Walker was shut out with no nominations from either the Academy Awards or the AML Awards.