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

Weekend of September 20, 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
---  ----------------------------- -----------  -----  ----
12   City by the Sea                 1,978,445   2150    17
     Eliza Dushku (actress)         20,209,428

22   Master of Disguise                322,302    663    52
     Perry Andelin Blake (director) 39,200,907

24   Possession                        296,400    416    38
     Neil LaBute (director)          9,670,175
     Aaron Eckhart (lead male actor)

35   Minority Report                   143,871    272    94
     Gerald Molen (producer)       131,552,004

43   The Divine Secrets of the          74,505    155   108
     Ya-Ya Sisterhood               69,471,140

60   The Singles Ward                   28,054     22   234
     Kurt Hale (writer/director)     1,195,097
     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.

73   Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure   19,465     10   591
     Scott Swofford (producer)      13,430,632
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)
     Sam Cardon (composer)
     Stephen L. Johnson (film editor)

76   The Believer                       19,048     10   129
     Ryan Gosling (actor)              377,884

78   ESPN's Ultimate X                  17,029     16   136
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)    4,152,329

88   Cirque du Soleil: Journey of Man   12,242      8   871
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)   13,991,616

102  Galapagos                           6,209      4  1060
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)   13,708,722

109  China: The Panda Adventure          4,934      4   423
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)    2,849,575

120  Little Secrets                      2,364     12    31
     Blair Treu (director/producer)    405,182
     Brian Sullivan (cinematographer)
     Sam Cardon (composer)
     Jerry Stayner (film editor)
     Actors: Jan Broberg Felt, Rick Macy,
        Tayva Patch, Caitlin E.J. Meyer, etc.

128  The Other Side of Heaven            1,798      5   283
     Mitch Davis (writer/director)   4,711,000
     John H. Groberg (author/character)
     Gerald Molen, John Garbett (producers)
     Steven Ramirez (film editor)

135  Ziggy Stardust & Spiders from Mars    833      1    75
     Mick Ronson (2nd billed actor)    100,034

148  Mark Twain's America 3D               468      1  1543
     Alan Williams (composer)        2,268,845

CHANGES IN THE LDSFILM.COM MAILING LIST: Thank you everybody who sent in your response to our question about how frequently you would like mailings on this list. The results make things slightly difficult, because the responses were evenly split between those who want only a daily or weekly email, and those who like one-topic emails, so they can get them frequently and (more importantly) quickly read to see the topic, and keep only the ones they're most interested in. We're in the process of making a separate list that will feature only the weekly LDS Box Office Report (which includes a weekly news digest). Those who are currently signed up will see no change. They'll get the weekly Box Office Report as well as the individual news items we send out every few days or many times a day. Those who want less frequent mail -- just a weekly digest -- will be able to sign up for the weekly Box Office Report. The option to sign up for that is not yet online, but we should have it rea! dy by tomorrow.

LDSFILM.COM ANNOUNCES A NEW NETWORKING RESOURCE FOR LDS FILMMAKERS: has partnered with a new website for LDS filmmakers - The LDS Film Insider - to provide a networking resource specifically for LDS people in the film industry. The site, located at, is now ready to go live. The webmasters of this new site are asking the film community to visit and give them feedback. The goal of the site is to have an interactive place for LDS filmmakers to visit and share their needs and services with other LDS filmmakers. There is no cost to add info or to view the site. Industry members can add themselves to the Ad Board - this is the place to list your services or your talents. The Job Board is where filmmakers can post job listings for their productions or browse the jobs or needs available. There will soon be a Project Collaboration section where filmmakers can get together and develop projects. The site is meant to be interactive and it is ful! ly database backed and automated. Check it out and add yourself to the Ad Board so others can see what you have to offer.

LONG-AWAITED RELEASE: "Jack Weyland's Charly" is scheduled to be released in Utah and Southern Idaho this coming weekend. The film, which is being distributed by Excel Entertainment, the same company which has distributed most of the major LDS-themed pictures including "God's Army", "Brigham City" and "The Other Side of Heaven" will then open in other theaters in Boise, Phoenix and Tucson on October 11th - which is also the day that the next LDS-themed feature film, "Handcart" is scheduled to be released on 20 theaters in Utah, Idaho, Arizona and Nevada. A nationwide release - similar to the one "The Other Side of Heaven" received - is expected to occur after Christmas to avoid competing with Hollywood's usual holiday blockbusters, including the next Harry Potter film and the second film from the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy.

PREMIERE: The official premiere for "Charly" will actually be this Thursday at Jordan Commons Theaters in Sandy, Utah. There will be live music performances at Jordan Commons that day, and at the center of the party will be a 90-foot ferris wheel which will be set up in the Jordan Commons parking lot - very fitting if you are familiar with the story. Tickets to the premiere showing are $20 which includes a ferris wheel ride and popcorn, or you can just ride the ferris wheel for $2 per person per ride (or for free if you have a receipt from Deseret Book for the purchase of Jack Weyland's book). Proceeds will benefit an 8-month-old little girl named Emily Heaps who was born with a condition called SCID (Severe Combined Immunodeficiency) meaning she was born without an immune system. Those interested can contact the Jordan Commons Customer Service Desk (801-304-4577) or check out the web site at

SNEAK PEEK: co-webmaster and film composer Thomas C. Baggaley got a sneak peak at "Charly". Here are some of his thoughts after seeing the film:

The lesson of this film compared to many of the other LDS-themed films we have seen is this: It all starts with a good, well-written story. True, this is an oft-repeated saying in the movie business, but it bears repeating. My advice to all aspiring LDS filmmakers is this: take a bunch of extra time and get the script absolutely right before you ever start to get ready for production. Charly is a well-established story with a long track record, and the difference shows. The whole audience laughed and cried throughout. There were no weak points in the story, no moments which didn't seem character driven. As a result, the excellent acting seemed even better, the music seemed all the more fitting, the whole film from the cinematography to the sound effects just seemed a thousand times more professional than it would have otherwise. In sum, it all starts with the script. If you have the right story and a very well-written, well-polished script, it will be that much easier to do ! everything else well, because everything will come naturally. Without that, you're fighting an uphill battle all the way.

Fearless prediction: "Charly" will be the best-received of all LDS-themed films to date. Why? Because it gets LDS cinema right - the way it should be. It's been said that good science fiction is made up of good stories that happen to be set in space (or the future or whatever the sci-fi element is). "Charly" is a great story that happens to have LDS characters. True, their religious beliefs are an important part of who they are, just as it is for all of us, and these beliefs do play an important in the plot, simply because they are an important part of the characters. However, in the end, the story is character-driven, NOT religion-driven. Religion comes into play because of the who the characters are, not the other way around.

Sean Means, of the Salt Lake Tribune, wrote an article in which he gave a bunch of unsolicited advice to LDS filmmakers. The best thing he said is this: "Don't try to make the best LDS movie. Just try to make the best movie. The rest will sort itself out." That is why, in my opinion, "Charly" succeeds. It's simply a great movie that just happens to be an LDS movie.

Walking away from the theater, I couldn't help but think that "Charly" by all rights should have been the first successful LDS Cinema film - nothing against "God's Army" of course. It just should have been made into a film long ago. That's how right they got it.

VOLUNTEER: Volunteers needed for the Second Annual LDS Film Festival in preparation for and at the festival itself in October in Provo. Contact Christian Vuissa at

INCREDIBLE OPPORTUNITY: Need Male Lead Actor to appear in a major motion picture. (Actor living in Utah preferred). Must be between 20-25 years old, at least 6 ft., muscular-athletic build, handsome, exceptional talent. For more info and to arrange an audition, call Gary Rogers at 801-557-3515

TRIB ON EXCEL: Here's an essential article in the Salt Lake Tribune, focusing on Jeff Simpson and Excel Entertainment, the distributors of most of the LDS-themed feature films that have been released so far:

TRIB ON LDS FILM: The Salt Lake Tribune published an article titled "Free Advice to Help LDS Filmmakers Avoid Sophomore Slump", written by SL Trib regular movie reviewer Sean P. Means who is, as far as we know, neither a filmmaker nor a Latter-day Saint. The article mentions "Out of Step", the success of "The Singles Ward", and Nathan Smith Jones' upcoming feature "The Work and the Story," starring Richard Dutcher. Read it here:

KBYU ON SACRED STONE: KBYU has a press release/article about the long-awaited new Lee Groberg documentary "Sacred Stone" which can be read here:

DN ON SACRED STONE: An article in the Deseret News which talks about the documentary can be read here:,1249,405032022,00.html?

HUNTER ON LDS FILM: The current issue of the print magazine LDS Living features an in-depth article about the LDS-themed film genre.'s webmaster is quoted extensively.

MISSIONARY FLICK: According to a sidebar in the LDS Living article, Scott S. Anderson is working on a feature film based on the true story of 4 missionaries in Holland, titled "The Best Two Years of My Life." Anderson is listed as director, with prolific Utah character actor Michael Flynn as producer. "The Best Two Years of My Life" was a musical that Anderson wrote and starred in a few years ago, which was filed and released on video (available in LDS bookstores). The original musical also starred Duane Tuft, Steven S. Sater, J. Dean Anderson and Alan Waterman.

WIN A FREE COPY OF FILM COMPOSER THOMAS BAGGALEY'S NEW CD "SPIRIT OF THE SABBATH": New polls are online at you can predict what the box office gross for "Jack Weyland's Charly" will be, in an anonymous poll. PLUS: You can also email this site a prediction at The person whose guess is closest to Charly's actual box office gross as reported on the first weekend box office report of February will receive a free "Spirit of the Sabbath" CD by film composer (and co-webmaster) Thomas C. Baggaley. More importantly, the winner will have bragging rights as the genre's top box office predictor. Get your guesses in quickly, because we'll stop taking predictions on September 27th once the film is playing in theaters.

MORE POLLS: Two OTHER polls (no prizes, however) are online: Vote for which leading man or leading lady from an LDS-themed feature film you would most like to see in a lead role in a new movie. Among the leading men, choose from Michael Buster, Richard Dutcher, Jeremy Elliott, Rick Macy, Jaelan Petrie or Will Swenson. Among the leading ladies, choose from Stephanie Albach, Heather Beers, Alison Akin Clark, Joy Gardner, Jacque Gray, Carrie Morgan or Connie Young.


NEW CAST INFORMATION FOR "SUDDENLY UNEXPECTED": The official "Suddenly Unexpected" website has been revised once again. Now, instead of the semi-detailed descriptions of parts character types, the cast section features the names and photos of cast members. Very brief descriptions of the characters remain on the main cast index page. Even the names of most of the featured extras are on the website.

** Cast **

Elder Jones
an average missionary having a very bad day.
Jerald Garner

Elder Smith
Jones' quirky new green companion.
Michael Judd

The Man
the kind, lonely war vet.
Robert Mock

The Dog
a loveable mutt.

The Daughter
self-absorbed but likeable landlady.
Junie Hoang

The Lady
the snappily-dressed kleptomaniac.
Clara Susan Morey

Chair Man
out looking for a bargain.
David George

A Person
trying to buy the missionary's bike from under them.
Ron Finberg

Man #1
moving things out of the Elder's place.
Fortune Diginee

Postal Person
wants to go home at the end of the day and can't.
Jack Gonzales

** Featured Extras **

The Donut Woman
Mary Margaret Allen

Man #2
Kenneth Goodwin

Woman in Car
Jalen Mack

Driver of car with Woman
Mary Margaret Allen

Elder Westly
Martin Estridge

Elder Robinson
Brendan Estridge

Elder Sayers
Benjamin Ellis

Elder Raven
Nick Ronan

The crew page announces that the underscoring will be done by Brian Satterwhite. His web site is No other crew members are listed.

Ron Finberg ("A Person" trying to buy the missionaries' bicycles) is a Houston, Texas-based actor and filmmaker. Finberg (along with collaborator Amir Valinia) won the Audience Choice Best Short award for his film "The Audition" (Northstar Filmworks) at the Third Annual Bare Bones Film Festival, held in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 2001. He may be the same person as the "Ron Finberg" who is the executive producer of the album Portrait of a $erial Player, featuring the singer "Born 2wice," as well as Rhythm D., Nanci Fletcher and Kool Keith. Finberg has no major film or television credits.

As has been noted before, the lead actress Junie Hoang has film experience in the Houston area, and supporting actress Clara Susan Morey has film experience in Utah ("Two Dimes and A Nickel", "Jack Weyland's Charly", "Little Secrets"). The rest of the cast appear to have little or no film and television experience, and are making their bug screen debut in "Suddenly Unexpected."