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

Weekend of June 28, 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
---  ----------------------------- -----------  -----  ----
 2   Minority Report                21,590,412  3,001    10
     Gerald Molen (producer)        73,424,800

 8   The Divine Secrets of the       4,051,483  2,167    24
     Ya-Ya Sisterhood               55,388,642

34   The New Guy                       115,103    136    52
     Eliza Dushku (lead actress)    28,972,187

36   ESPN's Ultimate X                  94,655     38    52
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)    2,783,978

40   Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure   47,714    ~19   507
     Scott Swofford (producer)     ~12,600,000
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)
     Sam Cardon (composer)
     Stephen L. Johnson (film editor)

44   Murder by Numbers                  36,208    103    73
     Ryan Gosling (lead male actor) 31,874,869
     R.D. Call (6th billed star)

54   Cirque du Soleil: Journey of Man   17,102      7   787
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)   13,442,928

69   The Other Side of Heaven            8,311     12   199
     Mitch Davis (writer/director)   4,602,102
     John H. Groberg (author/character)
     Gerald Molen, John Garbett (producers)
     Steven Ramirez (film editor)

83   We Were Soldiers                    5,278     17   122
     Keri Russell (actress)         78,120,196

87   The Singles Ward                    4,326      5   150
     Kurt Hale (writer/director)       803,286
     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,
        Wally Joyner, Lincoln Hoppe,
        Sedra Santos, etc.

114  Mark Twain's America 3D               121      1  1459
     Alan Williams (composer)        2,235,063

It's kind of fun to watch "Minority Report" and "Lilo & Stitch" jockey it out for position, as the numbers are so consistently equal between them. "Lilo & Stitch" tends to gross more during the week when entertainment for children home from school for the summer is at a premium. However, on the weekends, "Minority Report" performs better and came in at the number 2 spot, behind the new release "Mr. Deeds". Just for the record, the 2-week ticket gross for "Minority Report" brings Latter-day Saint producer Jerry Molen's career total U.S. box office gross to over $1,745 billion.

We have nothing to say about "Mr. Deeds," but Adam Sandler's NEXT feature film will be of some interest to this column. Sandler's nemesis in that film, titled "Punch-Drunk Love" (Fall 2002 release), is a quartet of four brothers from Utah -- played by the Stevens brothers (who are Latter-day Saints, actually are from Utah, and actually are brothers).

ON TELEVISION: On Wednesday, June 15th, Latter-day Saint filmmaker Tasha Oldham's critically acclaimed documentary "The Smith Family" premiered nationwide as the season's first episode of the PBS series "POV."

On Sunday, June 30th, the already-taped Pearl Awards was broadcast on television in Utah.

AUDITIONS: Open auditions for Tucker T. Dansie's latest short film "Quarters & Rocks" will be held on Saturday, 13 July 2002, 1:00-5:00 PM in Salt Lake City. More information here:

Latter-day Saint filmmaker Mark Potter has announced his production company's first feature film, "Suddenly Unexpected," a comedy about missionaries. Filming will take place in Houston, Texas in October 2002, for an expected 2003 theatrical release. Open auditions will be held in Houston, Texas on August 3, 2002 from 9 am to 1 pm at 10200 Autumn Meadow and in Provo, Utah on August 5, 2002 from 1pm to 6pm at the Holiday Inn Provo, 1460 S. University Ave. This will be a non-SAG production.

SINGLES WARD: "The Singles Ward" will soon be appearing in theaters in Nevada, California, and other locations. The comedy, which cost about $425,000 to make, has already grossed over $803,000 at the box office, having played in Utah, Idaho, Hawaii and Arizona. "The Singles Ward" is scheduled for DVD/video release in November. The DVD will feature a hilarious audio commentary track on which Kurt Hale, the director promised to point out the movie's flaws. (Flaws? What flaws??)

THE R.M.: As of this writing, casting is nearly complete for Kurt Hale and Dave Hunter's follow-up film "The R.M." (which is NOT a sequel). The lead actor will be Kirby Heyborne, one of the supporting actors in "The Singles Ward" (he is the roommate who received his mission call to Idaho). The lead actress is a talented newcomer who makes her feature film debut with "The R.M." The Job-like story will feature cameo appearances by Utah Jazz owner (and movie theater mogul) Larry H. Miller and Utah senator Orrin Hatch.

THE WORK AND THE STORY: Nathan Smith Jones is now in Utah finishing work on the hilarious mockumentary "The Work and the Story," which tells the mostly fictitious tale of four young Latter-day Saints racing to become the first to make the world's first Great LDS Feature Film. Richard Dutcher stars, along with writer/director Nathan Smith Jones and California-based Latter-day Saint actors Jen Hoskins and Eric Smith. The director points out that although the characters are Latter-day Saints, the humor of the movie will be appreciated by anybody. The film skewers Hollywood and filmmaking, and anybody with some familiarity with movie-making (that includes pretty much EVERYBODY in our media-drenched society) will understand and enjoy "The Work and the Story."

VUISSA: Hot off the success of his award-winning short film "Roots & Wings" (which will soon be available on video), Christian Vuissa begins filming this week on his next, and final, student film as a BYU student. Titled "Unfolding", the film is a drama about a young woman coming to terms with the past. The musical score consists of Rachmaninoff music arranged by Latter-day Saint composer (and co-webmaster) Thomas C. Baggaley, performed by 4 cellos.

LITTLE SECRETS: BYU graduate Blair Treu's feature film "Little Secrets" opens nationwide in just about two weeks. Distributed by Columbia TriStar, the movie is a family-friendly film about young people. "Little Secrets" stars young actors who are prominent from national TV series and movies: Evan Rachel Wood, Michael Angarano, David Gallagher and Vivica A. Fox. The supporting actors are Latter-day Saint/Utah actors, including: Jan Gardner, Rick Macy, Paul Kiernan, Tayva Patch, Micah Schow, Caitlin E.J. Meyer and Danielle Chuchran. The director of photography is Latter-day Saint cinematographer Brian Sullivan, and the composer is Sam Cardon ("Brigham City", "Mysteries of Egypt"). Jerry Stayner ("The Testaments of One Fold and One Shepherd") is the editor.

ALSO OPENING IN AUGUST: Neil LaBute's long-awaited book adaptation "Possession", starring LaBute's fellow BYU graduate Aaron Eckhart; Kels Goodman's historical epic "Handcart," a romantic drama set amidst the Martin Handcart Company pioneer trek; Joseph Osborn's "No Dogs Allowed" starring Dalin Christiansen and a slew of other Utah/LDS actors; and "Serving Sara," starring non-LDS actors Matthew Perry and Elizabeth Hurley, with Latter-day Saint actress Alaina Kalanj in a small role.