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

Weekend of August 2, 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
---  ----------------------------- -----------  -----  ----
 3   Master of Disguise             12,554,650  2,565     3
     Perry Andelin Blake (director) 12,554,650

12   Minority Report                 1,727,031  1,139    45
     Gerald Molen (producer)       126,618,621

26   The Divine Secrets of the         232,061    244    59
     Ya-Ya Sisterhood               68,232,522

41   ESPN's Ultimate X                  72,358     38    87
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)    3,603,833

48   Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure   52,150     14   542
     Scott Swofford (producer)      13,052,984
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)
     Sam Cardon (composer)
     Stephen L. Johnson (film editor)

61   Cirque du Soleil: Journey of Man   25,432      8   822
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)   13,683,304

68   China: The Panda Adventure         15,104      6   374
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)    2,698,361

72   The Singles Ward                   13,928      8   185
     Kurt Hale (writer/director)       893,957
     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.

78   Galapagos                           8,855      3  1011
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)   13,672,053

84   The Other Side of Heaven            5,854      6   234
     Mitch Davis (writer/director)   4,670,516
     John H. Groberg (author/character)
     Gerald Molen, John Garbett (producers)
     Steven Ramirez (film editor)

111  Mark Twain's America 3D             1,347      1  1494
     Alan Williams (composer)        2,257,566

114  The Believer                        1,193      1    80
     Ryan Gosling (lead actor)         255,061

115  Ziggy Stardust & Spiders from Mars  1,183      1    26
     Mick Ronson (2nd billed actor)     39,285

CALL FOR ENTRIES: The Eclipse Film Festival in St. George, Utah ( is a very friendly venue for Utah-made, Latter-day Saint-made, and quality family-friendly films. The festival currently has a call for entries posted, and its founders are looking forward to hearing from some of you.

AUGUST is an unusually big month for movie releases by Latter-day Saint directors. Starting things off, feature film production designer Perry Andelin Blake marked his directorial debut with "Master of Disguise" written by and starring "Saturday Night Live" alum Dana Carvey. The movie opened in the #1 spot nationwide, behind the much anticipated debut of M. Night Shyamalan's "Signs" starring Mel Gibson and the 2nd week of "Austin Powers in Goldmember" (produced by Moab, Utah native Eric McLeod). Blake's "Master of Disguise" took in $12.5 million over the weekend. The critical response was... well, let's call it "unanimous." On the bright side, critics generally singled out Carvey for criticism, and left Blake alone. A number of them said that the movie's production design was quite good -- not surprising for a movie directed by a very talented and experienced production designer.

We're just ten days away from August 16th, the debut of Neil LaBute's LONG-awaited "Possession," starring fellow BYU graduate Aaron Eckhart and Academy Award-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow. Mark Swan's equally LONG-awaited animated feature "The Princess and the Pea" will have a Salt Lake screening that same day. Blair Treu's "Little Secrets" (from Samuel Goldwyn Films) is having a by-inviation preview screening in Utah on August 14th, and then opens nationwide August 23rd. Finally, August wraps up with the August 30th wider release of producer Cary Derbidge and Ryan Little's feature film "Out of Step," featuring Alison Akin Clark as a Latter-day Saint dance student in love with a non-LDS musician played by Jeremy Elliott, while pursued by a Latter-day Saint film student played by Michael Buster. Also, Chris Heimerdinger's documentary "Lehi's Land of First Inheritance" and Christian Vuissa's award winning short film "Roots and Wings" are scheduled to hit stores in August. Then in September, "Jack Weyland's Charly" and "Day of Defense" will premiere.

THE R.M. WRAPS: Kurt Hale wrapped production last week on the Latter-day Saint-themed comedy "The R.M." Excellent newspaper articles appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune (, Deseret News (,1249,405021210,00.html?), and Daily Universe ( Cameos in the movie include Olympic gold medalist Rulon Gardner, Utah broadcaster Ruth Todd, and business mogul/JAZZ owner Larry H. Miller. Pop singer Maren Ord has been heard in a number of films (including "Thomas and the Magic Railroad", 2000), but makes her onscreen feature film debut in a supporting role as the R.M.'s little sister.

In other HaleStorm Entertainment news, Kurt Hale's debut feature film, "The Singles Ward" reached a total box office gross of $893,957 this week, and is set to pass "Brigham City" next week to become the 3rd-highest grossing "LDS Cinema" film, after Davis' "The Other Side of Heaven" ($4.7 million box office) and Dutcher's "God's Army" ($2.6 million box office). HaleStorm's "Singles Ward" (with a production budget of about $425,000) already has the 2nd best box office to production budget ratio in the niche, after "God's Army" ($300,000 budget).

(This is a good place to remind readers that "box office receipts" DO NOT equal "profits." Theaters and distributors take in a significant portion of box office receipts. A film whose production and advertising budget is matched by box office receipts is not yet profitable to investors -- a movie may need to take in 3 to 4 times the production budget in order to turn a profit. On the other hand, box office receipts are not the only revenue stream for movie. Video/DVD sales and rentals, as well as television rights, often make the difference between profitability and loss for a movie. Many movies also profit from licensing deals. But don't expect to see "Singles Ward" action figures any time soon.)

T.C. CHRISTENSEN is currently in production on "A Pioneer Miracle", a short film about Latter-day Saint pioneers. Christensen is one of the most accomplished and prolific cinematographers in Latter-day Saint film history. He has been the D.P. on numerous Church videos and films, IMAX films, Feature Films For Families videos, and other projects. He was recently the co-director of the new Church-produced film "The First Vision," and the Kirtland Visitors Center film, both of which will debut at Church historic site visitor's centers in early 2003.

TROY THROUGH A WINDOW is feature-length documentary recently completed by Brad Barber. The film should debut some time soon on television or in a film festival. Barber describes his film: "Troy Through A Window" is a feature-length documentary (57 minutes) completed by Latter-day Saint filmmaker Brad Barber in 2002. Barber, a Brigham Young University film school student, describes his film: "Troy Through A Window is a film about family, homosexuality, belief and the boundaries of love. It began in 1993, when Troy, a model son, Eagle Scout and returned missionary for the LDS Church, announced that he was gay.›On that day, it was as if a window had dropped through the Barber household; placing Troy on one side, his siblings and parents on the other. How do they cope with this new dynamic?› How do they reach through the unspoken, unseen barrier between them? How do they accept?› How do they maintain the unrestrained warmth that always existed in their home? Must they accept fundamental differences in belief and faith in order to love? Seven years later, filmmaker Brad Barber went home to Tennessee for Christmas break to try to answer some questions. The result is a challenging, emotional, and redeeming look at the effects of this complex, seldom talked about issue in his family."

JAMES C. CHRISTENSEN RECEIVES CHESLEY NOM: [From Science Fiction News of the Week,] Organizers have announced the nominees for the 17th annual ASFA Chesley Awards, named for astronomical artist Chesley Bonestell and recognizing excellence in fantastic and science fiction art in the year 2001. The Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists also presents the awards to people and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to ASFA and the science fiction and fantasy art community as a whole. The awards will be presented at this year's WorldCon, also known as ConJose, which takes place in San Jose, Calif., on Labor Day weekend. ASFA is an international organization of professional and amateur artists, art directors, publishing professionals, collectors and enthusiasts.

In the category "Best Cover Illustration: Magazine", Latter-day Saint painter and BYU professor James C. Christensen has been nominated for his cover for _The Leading Edge_ No. 41, April '01. Christensen is the illustrator and co-author of the book _Voyage of the Beagle_, which was adapted to the odd and highly-underrated TV miniseries _Voyage of the Beagle_, starring Beau Bridges (2000).

Also nominated in this same category is illustrator Jael (also a Mormon, I believe), for her cover for _Science Fiction Chronicle_, July '01. Jael is also nominated in the category "Best Color Work: Unpublished".

Christensen is also nominated in the category "Best Product Illustration" for "Faery Tales" (fine art print for The Greenwich Workshop)