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

Weekend of August 30, 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
---  ----------------------------- -----------  -----  ----
15   Possession                      1,932,347    614    17
     Neil LaBute (director)          6,533,019
     Aaron Eckhart (lead male actor)

16   Master of Disguise              1,681,200  1,432    31
     Perry Andelin Blake (director) 37,395,336

25   Minority Report                   424,323    301    73
     Gerald Molen (producer)       130,612,530

34   The Divine Secrets of the         143,003    303    87
     Ya-Ya Sisterhood               69,029,674

45   ESPN's Ultimate X                  57,051     31   115
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)    4,061,981

46   Little Secrets                     55,706    147    10
     Blair Treu (producer/director)    381,092
     Brian Sullivan (cinematographer)
     Sam Cardon (composer)
     Jerry Stayner (film editor)
     Actors: Jan Broberg Felt, Rick Macy,
        Tayva Patch, Caitlin E.J. Meyer, etc.

62   The Singles Ward                   36,533     22   213
     Kurt Hale (writer/director)     1,026,048
     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.

64   Cirque du Soleil: Journey of Man   24,948      8   843
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)   13,834,607

72   The Believer                       15,053      4   108
     Ryan Gosling (lead actor)         330,685

80   Galapagos                           8,565      4  1039
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)   13,652,829
82   China: The Panda Adventure          7,760      6   402
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)    2,819,758

83   Ziggy Stardust & Spiders from Mars  7,588      4    54
     Mick Ronson (2nd billed actor)     95,182

108  The Other Side of Heaven              633      1   262
     Mitch Davis (writer/director)   4,689,093
     John H. Groberg (author/character)
     Gerald Molen, John Garbett (producers)
     Steven Ramirez (film editor)

BOX OFFICE NOTES: Acclaimed Latter-day Saint film director Neil LaBute's surprisingly romantic and uncynical feature film "Possession" continued to perform well in its third week, fueled by largely positive reviews and great word-of-mouth recommendations. The film, which opened originally in a relatively limited release, expanded to 614 theaters nationwide, and hung on to the 15th place national ranking it achieved last week. Taking in nearly $2 million over the weekend, the total gross stood at $6.5 million, which meant that it passed LaBute's 1998 feature "Your Friends and Neighbors," which grossed $4.7 million domestically. "Possession" is now LaBute's second-highest grossing film, after "Nurse Betty" (2000), which took in $25 million.

Also its theatrical release is winding down, "Minority Report", produced by Latter-day Saint producer Jerry Molen, took in another half million over the weekend, impressive for a movie in its third month of release. This meant that "Minority Report" just barely snuck by the $130.5 million grossed by Molen's "The Flintstones" (1994). This makes "Minority Report" Molen's 5th-highest grossing film ever, after "Jurassic Park", "Twister", "Lost World: The Jurassic Park", and "Rain Man." That's where it will stay, as there is no chance that "Minority Report" will surpass the $173 million grossed by "Rain Man."

The total gross earnings for Latter-day Saint director Blair Treu's feature film "Little Secrets" rose to $381,092 in the movie's second week of release, enough to put Treu into's list of Top 10 Latter-day Saint film directors who are currently working (ranked by total box office gross). Reviews have mostly been positive. calculates a 62% "Fresh" rating (62% of the reviews judged by that site to be largely positive). That is exactly the same score shows for "Possession."

Also worth noting: "Austin Powers in Goldmember," which was filmed partially in Utah and produced by Utah-native Eric McLeod, was in 6th place nationwide, its $5.5 million weekend after more than a month in release bringing its total U.S. gross to $203 million. "Blue Crush," which on the beaches of BYU-Hawaii, was ranked 7th place nationwide, with a $4.4 million weekend that brought its total gross to $34.7 million. "Serving Sara," the critically eviscerated comedy starring Matthew Perry, featuring Latter-day Saint actress Alaina Kalanj in a small role, was in 8th place nationwide in its 2nd weekend, bringing its total to $12 million.

As for OUT OF STEP, the feature film produced by Cary Derbidge and directed by Ryan Little, which was re-released this weekend (August 30, 2002) in at least 16 theaters across the Wasatch Front: Spanish 8 Theater, Spanish Fork; Water Gardens Cinema, Pleasant Grove; Cinemark 16, Provo; Wynnsong Cinemas, Provo; Scera Theater, Orem; Cinemark West Jordon, West Jordon; Carmike 12, S.L.C.; Holladay Center Cinema 6, S.L.C.; Trolley Corners Theaters, S.L.C.; Ritz 15 at the Hollywood Connection, West Valley City; 5 Star Cinemas, Magna; North Pointe Theaters, Ogden; Tinseltown Newgate 14, Ogden; Gateway 8, Bountiful; Tinseltown USA, Layton; Megaplex 17 at Jordon Commons, Sandy. The regular box office data sources had no record of the movie, and we don't know how it did. The movie is being distributed by a new distribution company, "Pure Works," formed by the film's producers. Evidently they aren't reporting their figures to the same place that everybody else is.

SUDDENLY UNEXPECTED CASTING NEWS: The website for director Mark Potter's upcoming feature film "Suddenly Unexpected" has been updated. Nice picture on the home page of the two actors, in costume, who play the missionaries at the center of story. The senior companion is played by Houston actor Jerald Garner. Garner will be the first African-American featured in the lead role in a Latter-day Saint-themed feature film. (African-American actors were featured in SUPPORTING roles in "God's Army" and "The Singles Ward"). Elder Smith, the new greenie, is played by Utah-based actor Michael Judd, who has a small role in the upcoming Latter-day Saint-themed feature film "Day of Defense." The actor is a "John Candy/Chris Farley" type, says the director. "The Lady" (second most important female role) will be played by Clara Susan Morey, who seems to be EVERYWHERE these days. She has smaller roles in "Jack Weyland's Charly", the Blair Treu feature film "Little Secrets," and she stars in the upcoming Tucker Dansie short film "Two Dimes and a Nickel." The Daughter, the film's female lead role, will be played by Houston-area actress Junie Hoang, marking the first time an Asian actress has appeared in a lead role in a Latter-day Saint-themed feature film. And of course Robert Mock will be playing the war veteran, but we already knew that. He was pre-cast. As has been previously announced, Latter-day Saint director of short films, Tucker Dansie, will be the cinematographer. This will be the first feature film that Dansie has worked on. Check out the updated "Suddenly Unexpecteed" website at

UNIVERSAL EXTOLS "LAND BEFORE TIME" VIDEOS, FEATURING EVERYBODY'S FAVORITE LDS DINOSAURS: Science Fiction Weekly ( reported on Variety reports that Universal Studios Home Video is mounting its biggest campaign yet for the video release of its animated Land Before Time series of films, based on Latter-day Saint animation producer/director Don Bluth's original 1988 animated dinosaur theatrical release. The original, critically acclaimed animated feature was executive produced by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. Bluth did not direct the sequels. The first three sequels were directed by Roy Allen Smith, a native of Cedar City, Utah: "The Land Before Time IV: Journey Through the Mists" (1996); "The Land Before Time III: The Time of the Great Giving" (1995); and "The Land Before Time II: The Great Valley Adventure" (1994). Roy Allen Smith is a 2-time Emmy nominee for his work on "Ren and Stimpy," and recently was the producer of the animated "Silver Surfer" TV series and the director of the primetime "Family Guy" animated series. A year-long 15th anniversary promotion leading up to next year's release of the 10th episode, "The Great Migration," featuring the voices of James Garner and Keifer Sutherland, will kick off this fall, with the Dec. 10 release of The Land Before Time: Journey to Big Water, the trade paper reported. The series has generated sales of more than 50 million copies worldwide, with each of the last several titles selling consistently in excess of 2 million units in the U.S. alone, the trade paper reported. By Easter, Universal plans to have most of the episodes available on DVD.

RISING STAR: Latter-day Saint child actress, Caitlin E.J. Meyer, is currently working on the short film "A Pioneer Miracle," directed and filmed by T.C. Christensen. Meyer recently co-starred on an episode of the TV series JAG, which will air early October. She also will be seen on a national commercial for Tylenol which first airs October 7th. Meyer can currently be seen on movie screens nationwide in Blair Treu's critically acclaimed feature film "Little Secrets." Meyer plays "Isabelle," a nine-year-old girl with a penchant for dressing up as an "adult," who causes trouble when she impersonates her older sister in an online romance with a much older boy.

CHRIS HEIMERDINGER, in his regular email newsletter to fans, thanked those who supported the premiere of his new documentary "Lehi's Land of First Inheritance" last month. He said, "It was a thrill to see so many supportive guests from the website. I want to especially thank LDS authors Rachel Nunes and Jeff Savage for helping out with the program." The balanced documentary focusing on research about possible Book of Mormon geography was screened last week at the Salt Lake City Film Festival, but the award for Best Documentary was taken home by New York Latter-day Saint filmmaker Scott Tiffany's "Forgotten Voyage: The Mormon Sea Trek that Sparked the Gold Rush."

Heimerdinger also noted that his next project "will be to finally develop and complete a story currently entitled, 'Summer of the Nephite.' Those who have been connected with website for a few years may remember when we posted a few sample chapters from this work. The chapters got a lot of praise and attention... I'll first make it into a novel, and immediately thereafter (or simultaneously) I'll develop it into a movie project. Type "summer of the nephites" in the Keywords search area of the questions page if you want to learn more about the project:

PHILO FARNSWORTH, THE LATTER-DAY SAINT INVENTOR OF TELEVISION, was profiled in an excellent Salt Lake Tribune article by Dawn House ( The article notes Farnsworth's Church membership:
"Farnsworth, a lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, stopped attending services when he was 17, after his father died, and did not return until his move back to Utah in 1967. Still, Mormon officials have long evoked his name as the inventor of television working under the influence of the Lord, said Godfrey.

"I am a deeply religious man, I know that God exists," said Farnsworth in a KSL interview a year before his death. "I know that I have never invented anything. I have been a medium by which these things were given to the culture as fast as culture could earn them. I give the credit to God."

NEW CREW INFO FOR "CHARLY": Mary Jane Jones, public relations officer at Excel Entertainment, has answered our request and sent the following key crew list for the upcoming feature film "Jack Weyland's Charly":

Director                        Adam Thomas Anderegg
Producer                        Micah Merrill
Producer                        Lance C. Williams
Associate Producer              Tip Boxell
Executive Producer              Herbert Christensen
Screenplay                      Janine Whetton Gilbert
  (Based on the novel by Jack Weyland)
Director of Photography         Bengt Jan Jonsson
Editor                          M. William Merrill
Production Designer             Kee Miller
Sound                           Paul Maritsas and Jeff Kimball
Wardrobe                        Shari Ohnam
Makeup                          Greg Moon
Composer                        Aaron Merrill
Unit Production manager         Russ Kendall

The names of the director (Adam Thomas Anderegg), producers (Merrill, Williams, Boxell and Christensen), the composer (Aaron Merrill) and writers (Janine Gilbert, and of course Jack Weyland) have previously been announced by this website, the official movie website, and other sources. The other names are news to us. We are familiar with the individuals, but had not known they were the behind-the-scenes crew for "Charly."