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

Weekend of June 14, 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
---  ----------------------------- -----------  -----  ----
 6   The Divine Secrets of the       8,874,585  2,507    10
     Ya-Ya Sisterhood               34,000,024

21   The New Guy                       210,606    282    38
     Eliza Dushku (lead actress)    28,676,549

29   ESPN's Ultimate X - The Movie     139,859     47    38
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)    2,392,835

32   Murder by Numbers                  78,326    196    59
     Ryan Gosling (lead male actor) 31,683,100
     R.D. Call (6th billed star)

48   The Believer                       23,780     10    31
     Ryan Gosling (lead actor)         157,487

51   China: The Panda Adventure         16,466      7   325
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)    2,455,716

58   Cirque du Soleil: Journey of Man   12,103      5   773
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)   13,376,039

59   We Were Soldiers                   10,778     42   108
     Keri Russell (actress)         78,094,068

64   The Other Side of Heaven            8,086     11   185
     Mitch Davis (writer/director)   4,566,132
     John H. Groberg (author/character)
     Gerald Molen, John Garbett (producers)
     Steven Ramirez (film editor)

65   Galapagos                           7,932      5   962
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)   13,400,840

72   The Singles Ward                    6,302      7   136
     Kurt Hale (writer/director)       782,066
     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.

98   Mark Twain's America 3D               769      1  1445
     Alan Williams (composer)        2,230,218

"Minority Report", produced by Gerald Molen (the Latter-day Saint producer of "The Other Side of Heaven") finally gets released next weekend. Will it perform well enough to knock "Scooby-Doo" out of the top spot? Our guess is you won't hear anyone connected with "Minority Report" saying anything like, "We were shooting for #1, and we'd have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for those darn kids and their blasted dog!"

The makers of "The Singles Ward" have begun auditions for their next feature film, "The R.M." That there is a lot of interest in the film which is scheduled to be released in January is evidenced by the large numbers of would-be performers who showed up for auditions - over 450 people - nearly twice what had been expected.

HANDCART SCHEDULE CHANGE: Kels Goodman's epic pioneer feature film "Handcart" was originally scheduled to be released on July 24th this year -- Pioneer Day. The film is done. But the release date is being moved back, probably to August, because late July was overcrowded with other movie releases. Test audiences loved everything about "Handcart," so we expect the movie to be very successful.

"Jack Weyland's Charly" is still set to be released in September, and we expect the re-release of "Out of Step" sometime after that.

UTAH SHORT FILM FESTIVAL: Winners in the 21st annual Utah Short Film and Video Festival, held May 31st through June 15th, 2002, were announced. The judges were Utah filmmakers Steve W. Olpin and Nancy Green. If you're involved in the Utah film industry, you're already familiar with many of these award-winners, so we won't introduce them further. Interestingly enough, one of the films is actually ABOUT a Utah filmmaker: Brad Barber's winning documentary "Inspire or Damage" profiles wheelchair-bound BYU film student Travis Eberhard.

Best Experimetal
"Moon Walk"
by Trent Harris

Special Merit Award Young Media Artist
"Heart Wars"
by Erika Longwell

Best Young Media Artist
by Shawn Lartrabe and Chase Nye

Special Merit Award Animation
"Little Girl With Blue Eyes"
by Hyrum Summerhays and James Holmes

Best Animation
by Sam Yousefian

Best Documentary
"Inspire or Damage"
by Brad Barber

Special Merit Award Narrative
"Water With Food Coloring"
Rick Page and Luke Schelhaas

Best Narrative
"How to Feed Your Cat Without Starting an Interplanary War"
by Matt Glass

Best of Show/Mort Rosefeld Award
by Nathan Meier

PEARL AWARDS: Congratulations are in order to composer Kevin Kiner, for becoming the first non-LDS artist to win multiple Pearl Awards. Mr. Kiner won two Pearls for his work on the soundtrack to "The Other Side of Heaven".

The annual Latter-day Saint music industry award show, the Pearl Awards, was held last week. Hollywood film scorer Kevin Kiner won two awards for his "Other Side of Heaven" film score: Best Musical Presentation or Soundtrack (Mark Evans was the soundtrack CD's producer), and Best Sacred/Inspirational Instrumental Song, for "The Other Side of Heaven Suite." Kiner, a practicing Catholic, is the first non-Latter-day Saint artist to receive multiple Pearl Awards. Presenters included Senator Orrin Hatch, BYU starting quarterback Bret Engemann, News 4 Utah Anchor Ruth Todd, Grant Nielsen and Amanda Dickson from KSL News Radio 1160, Colors, Shane Jackman, Kenneth Cope and Ryan Shupe. The Deseret News reported: "Hosting for the second year, KJZZ Movie Guy Scott Christopher kept things lively with his relaxed banter and great audience rapport. His on-stage interaction with presenter Julie Stoffer (of MTV's The Real World) proved to be one of the eveningšs highlights."

Also worth noting, the award for Instrumental Recording Artist of the Year went to Latter-day Saint composer Sam Cardon. Cardon has composed many film scores, including "Mysteries of Egypt," "Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure" and "Brigham City. Cardon-scored films have grossed over $50 million at the U.S. box office. Interestingly enough, Cardon (who was nominated for 4 Pear Awards this year) was NOT nominated for his "Brigham City" score. This is probably because the nominations were not for actual film scores, but for albums, and the minimalist score used in "Brigham City" was not sold as a CD. The "Brigham City"-inspired CD "Welcome to Brigham" features only one track from Cardon's score.



If you watched the American Film Institute's 3-hour special "100 Years... 100 Passions" on Tuesday, June 11th you may have thought to yourself: A lot of these are movies that Latter-day Saints and/or native Utahns worked on. Well, Utahns and Mormons must be a pretty romantic bunch, because a large number of their movies appeared in AFI's list of Top 100 most romantic American films of all time. (Most of the native Utahns listed below are now-deceased Latter-day Saints).

In fact, the movie voted the #1 most romantic movie of all time, "Casablanca" (1942) was co-written by Logan, Utah native Casey Robinson. Robinson, who was the highest paid screenwriter in Hollywood during the peak of his career, only assisted on the "Casablanca" screenplay, and did not receive an onscreen credit. (He is listed in texts, databases such as IMDb, and his contributions are discussed on the audio commentary track on the "Casablanca" DVD.) Furthermore, Robinson was the sole screenwriter (adapting a novel) of "Now, Voyager" (1942) -- voted #23 on AFI's list. Robinson was also the sole screenwriter who adapted the play to make the Bette Davis/Humphrey Bogart movie "Dark Victory" (1939), voted #32 on AFI's list.

Two of AFI's top 100 most romantic movies were directed by Ogden, Utah native Hal Ashby: #69 "Harold and Maude" (1971) and #78 "Coming Home" (1978), for which Ashby received a Best Director Academy Award nomination.

Two animated feature films appear on AFI's list, including #95, Disney's "Lady and the Tramp" (1955). Two of the directing animators on "Lady and the Tramp" were Utah natives: Les Clark and Eric Larson.

Yet another Utahn with multiple films on AFI's "100 Passions" list is Bluff, Utah native Charles Lang. Lang was the director of photography (cinematographer) on AFI's #54 pick "Sabrina" (1954) and AFI's #73 pick "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" (1947). Lang received Academy Award nominations for both of these.

Some Utah/Latter-day Saint actors were prominent in a number of movies on AFI's list. Third on AFI's list is "West Side Story," featuring actor/dancer Russ Tamblyn in the 4th billed role. And Mormon actor Moroni Olsen played a major supporting role in Alfred Hitchcock's "Notorious" (1946), #86 on AFI's list. Olsen also supplied the voice of one of the angels in AFI's #8 pick, "It's A Wonderful Life" (1946). Another angelic voice in the movie was supplied by Utah native Joseph Kearns. A more prominent onscreen role in "It's A Wonderful Life" was played by Utah-born character actor Charles Meakin. But the most significant contribution that a Latter-day Saint made to "It's A Wonderful Life" was it's film score, by famed Mormon/native Utahn composer Leigh Harline, a multiple-time Academy Award winner.

One of the most famous roles on the list was that of Fay Wray, the leading lady in "King Kong" (1933). Fay Wray was an ethnic Mormon, born in Cardston, Alberta. She also lived in Mesa, Arizona and Utah before heading for Hollywood. Native Utahn actress Dorothy Gulliver also had a small role in "King Kong." Academy Award-winning Utah designer/set decorator Thomas Little worked in the art department on "King Kong."

Brigham City, Utah native Portia Nelson had a small role as "Sister Berthe" in "The Sound of Music" (1965), voted #27 on AFI's list. Latter-day Saint actress Joi Lansing had a small part in "Singin' in the Rain" (1952), #16 on AFI's list. Utah character actor Leonard Strong played the Siamese interpreter in "The King and I" (1956). (Interestingly enough, Latter-day Saint film director Richard Rich directed the 1999 animated remake of "The King and I," although that version didn't make it onto AFI's list.) William Borzage, a native of Utah, had a small role in "Way Down East" (1920), #71 on AFI's list. One starring role worth noting is that of Tom Hanks in "Sleeless in Seattle" (1993), #45 on AFI's list. Hanks is neither an ethnic Mormon nor current Latter-day Saint, but he was a Latter-day Saint briefly during his childhood. Finally, a movie that does NOT feature a Latter-day Saint star is "Grease" (1978), #97 on AFI's list. The lead role originally was offered to none other than Marie Osmond, who turned it down because she found the script morally objectionable, allowing Olivia Newton John to jump into the role.

Latter-day Saint filmmaker Michael T. Amundsen has made a number of Church and seminary videos. He was also the assistant film editor on "Witness" (1985), the Harrison Ford-meets-Amish people movie that is #82 on AFI's list.

Utah art director Ted Haworth received an Academy Award nomination for his work on "Marty" (1955), #64 on AFI's list.

Bryan H. Carroll (a native of Bountiful, Utah) was the visual effects editor on "Titanic" (1997), voted #37 on AFI's list.

One last romantic note: Natacha Rambova was the great-granddaughter of Heber C. Kimball, an early apostle of the Church. She was born "Winifred Kimball Shaughnessy" in 1897 in Salt Lake City, but after a name change would become the wife of Rudolph Valentino, one of the most famous romantic leading men in Hollywood history. Rambova was a talented costume designer and art director in her own right. Rambova was the art director and costume designer on "Camille" (1921), starring Valentino, but not in the 1937 Greta Garbo version which is on AFI's list. But Valentino, whose career was largely managed by Rambova until his death, is the star of another movie on AFI's list. To be honest, many Valentino biographers would say that Rambova "mismanaged" her husband's career. Ever notice how his later movies the famed "Latin Lover" appeared increasingly effeminate? That was Rambova's doing. Yes, Hollywood's hearthrob let himself be dressed up like a sissy by a Europhile Mormon costume designer. The things a person will do for love...