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

Weekend of October 18, 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   Sweet Home Alabama              9,559,978   3282    24
     C. Jay Cox (screenwriter)      98,472,245

15   Punch-Drunk Love                1,480,932     78    10
     LDS actors/characters:          2,045,863
         David Stevens,
         Nathan Stevens,
         Michael D. Stevens,
         Jim Smooth Stevens
           (James Smooth)

53   Jack Weyland's Charly              43,285     30    24
     Adam Anderegg (director)          331,651
     Jack Weyland (book author)
     Janine Gilbert (screenwriter)
     Lance Williams, Micah Merrill (producers)
     Tip Boxell (co-producer)
     Bengt Jan Jonsson (cinematographer)
     Aaron Merrill (composer)
     Micah Merrill (film editor)
     Actors: Heather Beers, Jeremy Elliott,
        Adam Johnson, Jackie Winterrose Fullmer,
        Diana Dunkley, Gary Neilson, Lisa McCammon,
        Randy King, Bernie Diamond, etc.

57   Master of Disguise                 36,973    104    80
     Perry Andelin Blake (director) 39,867,996

58   Minority Report                    36,771     60   122
     Gerald Molen (producer)       131,976,147

60   City by the Sea                    30,439     54    45
     Eliza Dushku (actress)         22,271,212

62   Cirque du Soleil: Journey of Man   29,650      6   899
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)   14,154,226

69   Handcart                           19,175     12    10
     Kels Goodman (director/DP)         48,225
     David Greenslaw Sapp (producer)
     Mark von Bowers (screenwriter)
     Eric M. Hanson (composer)
     Joel Petrie (film editor)
     Actors: Jaelan Petrie, Stephanie Albach
        Chris Kendrick, Shannon Skinner,
        Gretchen Condie

77   Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure   14,030      9   619
     Scott Swofford (producer)      13,512,472
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)
     Sam Cardon (composer)
     Stephen L. Johnson (film editor)

115  China: The Panda Adventure          4,487      4   451
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)    2,883,008

121  Mark Twain's America 3D             2,808      2  1571
     Alan Williams (composer)        2,277,684

124  ESPN's Ultimate X                   2,577      8   164
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)    4,187,736
128  The Singles Ward                    2,373      7   262
     Kurt Hale (writer/director)     1,247,613
     John E. Moyer (writer)
     Dave Hunter (producer)
     Ryan Little (cinematographer)
     Cody Hale (composer)
     Wynn Hougaard (film editor)
     Actors: Will Swenson, Connie Young,
        Daryn Tufts, Kirby Heyborne,
        Michael Birkeland, Robert Swenson,
        Wally Joyner, Lincoln Hoppe,
        Sedra Santos, etc.

131  Galapagos                           2,170      4  1088
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)   13,747,594

140  The Other Side of Heaven              547      1   311
     Mitch Davis (writer/director)   4,718,431
     John H. Groberg (author/character)
     Gerald Molen, John Garbett (producers)
     Steven Ramirez (film editor)

YOU WILL HEAR IT HERE FIRST - Next week there will be a MAJOR announcement about an upcoming LDS Cinema film, and we've got the scoop on it. co-webmaster Thomas C. Baggaley (a film composer) sat down for an exclusive three-hour interview with the producer of this exciting new film today, and we have been given permission to release the results of this interview and, in fact, all of the information on this upcoming multi-million-dollar production a full 24 hours before the press conference where the production will be announced to the rest of the world. (No, Baggaley will not be scoring this particular film, so that means if you hurry you'll probably still be able to afford his services for your own project.) Anyway, stay tuned for the exclusive scoop!

BE CAREFUL! HANDCART'S IN WYOMING AND YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENED LAST TIME - "Handcart", the eagerly anticipated feature film directed by Kels Goodman about the Martin Handcart company, is opening in Wyoming at Evanston, Wyoming. The Strand (1028 Main) - (307) 789-7040. OPENS WEDNESDAY OCT 23. On Jan 4th, "Handcart" will be going to Arizona, California, Las Vegas and even Iowa City.

NUMBERS for "Handcart" and "The Singles Ward" arrived late this week. UPDATE: "Handcart" distributors wrote to inform us that this weekend's box office figure total was $20,485, in 12 theaters. EDI-based tables reported partial figures of $5,895 in 8 theaters, for a (partial) total of $33,034.

PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE, starring the Stevens brothers as thugs from Provo, topped the nationwide revenue-per-theater-chart for the second time this weekend. An expansion to 78 theaters reduced its per theater average last week's amazing $73,441 to a still huge $18,986 or so.

4 IN THEATERS: Apparently a total of 4 Latter-day Saint-themed feature films were playing in commercial theaters this weekend of October 18, 2002. "Out of Step" was no longer playing at the Carmike and we are unaware of it playing anywhere else. But "The Other Side of Heaven" was still playing in a single theater and "The Singles Ward" was also still in theaters: the Showcase Cinemas 6 in West Jordan, Utah; Cinemark Movies 8 in Provo, Utah; Kaysville Theater in Kaysville, Utah; Silver Cinemas at the Superstition Mall in Mesa, Arizona; Captain's Family Theatre 5 in Brea, California; Centre Theatre in Idaho Falls, Idaho. These were generally second-run theaters. Apparently even a month after "The Singles Ward" DVD/video has been released, there is still sufficient demand for this movie to remain on the big screen. "Jack Weyland's Charly" remained in widest release, in 30 Utah and Idaho theaters, while "Handcart" played in 12 theaters in Utah as well as at Carriage House in Car! dston, Alberta. The Utah theaters were: Fiddler 6, Cedar City; Cinemark Tinseltown, Layton; Movies 5, Logan; Blue Mountain Cinema, Monticello; North Pointe, Ogden; Scera Theater, Orem; Megaplex 12 at Gateway, S.L.C.; Carmike 12, S.L.C.; Jordan Commons, Sandy; Stadium 8, St George; Cinema 6, Tooele; Carmike Ritz Hollywood Connection 16, West Valley City.

MOVIES WHICH OPENED THIS WEEKEND. Critics nationwide hate most of the new movies (non-LDS-made) that opened this weekend:
* Spirited Away: Miyazaki's latest anime; one of the best films of the year

* The Ring: one of the best, scariest R-rated horror movies in a long time; compares to The Exorcist

* A Song for Martin: not a bad movie, except for the fact that it is mind-numbingly boring; in Swedish with English subtitles

* Abandon: pathetic, substandard dreck (but it's got Benjamin Bratt in it)

* Just a Kiss: tasteless, mysoganystic dreck

* Formula 51: utter and total dreck

Best bets: Spirited Away, Handcart (2.5 stars from both Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News), Jack Weyland's Charly (2 stars from Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News), The Singles Ward (now on DVD and VHS), Kiki's Delivery Service (DVD/VHS: essentially the same story as "God's Army," except it's Japanese anime from Miyazaki).

THE BEST TWO YEARS FILM - We have received additional confirmation that Scott S. Anderson is developing a feature film version of his play "The Best Two Years of My Life." The movie is currently scheduled for a Fall 2003 theatrical release.

CHARLY SOUNDTRACK REVIEW - The Deseret News reviewer gave "Charly" soundtrack CD 3.5 out of 4 stars. The review noted that the music was "composed for the film primarily by newcomer Aaron Merrill (with some help from Cherie Call, Jeremy Elliott, Brett Raymond, Cassey Golie, Alex Boye and Alexander E. Jenkins), features a mix of styles and genres from pop to jazz, with a bit of rap thrown in." Also: Jenny Jordan sings on the "Charly" CD. [Shameless self-promotion: Baggaley would like to remind you that when you go to the store for your copy of the Charly Soundtrack, it will be very convenient to pick up a copy of his own CD "Spirit of the Sabbath" as well.]

CHARLY PRESS RELEASE - From a press release from Excel Entertainment: The holiday weekend brought moviegoers out in full force to see "Jack Weyland's Charly." According to numbers released by box-office tracker AC Neilsen EDI, box office receipts for "Charly" on Monday night (Oct 14th) were up 55% over the previous week's Monday night. These latest box office figures confirm that "Charly" is defying the Hollywood trend that says box office receipts generally decrease dramatically in the first few weeks after a film opens. Word of mouth buzz around the film is high. Based on the best-selling novel, Charly, by Jack Weyland, the film is striking a chord with movie-goers along the Wasatch Front. The story centers around the up and down relationship between Sam, a likeable if somewhat uptight Mormon boy, and Charly, a vibrant, sophisticated and beautiful New Yorker who comes to Utah unsure of what she might find. What seems to be drawing most moviegoers in is the unlikely love st! ory and the subsequent crisis of faith that embroils both Charly and Sam.

Also charming moviegoers is the breakthrough performance from lead actress Heather Beers, who plays Charly in her first major role in a feature film. Steve Salles of the Standard Examiner called Beers "the perfect Charly" and Sean Means of the Salt Lake Tribune said that "Beers shows impressive range as she conveys Charly's exuberance, joy and quiet intensity."

CHARLY PRESS RELEASE NUMBER TWO - Fans and critics agree...

We have been overwhelmed with emails and calls from people who are loving CHARLY. Here is just one email we wanted to share with you:

"I loved 'Charly!' You guys did an excellent job portraying Charly's personality. Heather Beers was perfect. I have seen it three times and I plan to see it a few more times. You know it's a great movie when nobody leaves the theatre after it's over--this happened all three times I saw it. I liked how the story wasn't cheesy. Also, the technical work was very professional. You did a super job! I hope 'Charly' does well. I have been telling all of my friends to go see it. Thank you so much for making 'Charly' a movie. You couldn't have done a better job!" --E. Smart

And here's what the critics are saying:

"A Must See Film. A well-done modern romance. Heather Beers is not only exceptional, she's a find. Anyone who has ever fallen in love, lost his faith, or suffered unspeakable heartache will appreciate this movie." --Ron C. Eggertsen, Journal Publications

"Heather Beers was the perfect Charly. [Director Adam Anderegg] shows a lot of potential and may be one of the bright, young hopefuls in a growing LDS-based movie industry. And lest I forget, take a lot of Kleenex." --Steve Salles, Standard Examiner

"Charming and Sincere" --Brian Davidson, Post Register

"Directed with great competence and compassion by first-timer Adam Thomas Anderegg, the film version of the book (adapted by Janine WhettenGilbert) is true to Weyland's story while expanding and improving it. The movie's sentiments are lovely." --Eric D. Snider, Daily Herald

LDS FILM FESTIVAL 2002 - The 2ND LDS FILM FESTIVAL 2002 is on its way. Get ready for a weekend of new films, filmmakers and discussions. The festival will be held NOVEMBER 13-16, 2002, at the PROVO CITY LIBRARY at Academy Square. On invitation of the theatre department, the LDS Film Festival will also visit BYU-Idaho November 8 and 9 to present finalists of this year's and last year's festival program. Two 2-hour screenings are scheduled. Additionally, workshops and filmmakers' presentations are planned for Saturday, November 9. Several filmmakers including Bryan Lefler, Andrew Black and Christian Vuissa will answer audience questions and prepare workshops and presentations for those interested in the filmmaking process. The 2ND LDS FILM FESTIVAL 2002 had an astonishing 50% increase in submissions compared to last year's entries, totaling more than a hundred entries for the film and screenplay competition. 62 films have been submitted for the festival competition, compared t! o 41 last year, totaling more than 14 hours of programming. Only a third will be selected for festival screening. Due to demand the festival accepted feature length screenplays for the first time. With 25 feature scripts and a total of over 40 screenplays, this year's screenplay competition is the biggest of its kind. The festival is planning on establishing a script library that can be accessed by filmmakers looking for original material.

First 24-hour-instant-filmmaking marathon - The LDS FILM FESTIVAL will launch its first 24-HOUR-INSTANT-FILMMAKING MARATHON. Get together with a group of friends and be part of this exhilarating competition. On November 14 at 9.30 a.m. you'll receive a theme for a short film, and on November 15, no later than 9.30 a.m. you hand in your finished film. That same evening your film will be screened and judged at the 2ND LDS FILM FESTIVAL. The entry fee is $ 20.00. All participants contribute to the prize money that will be awarded to the winner of the competition. The best film will also be part of the "BEST OF 2002" program and tour around the world. This is your chance to become an accomplished filmmaker in 24-hours...

Finalists and program TBA soon - We are in the final stages of selecting the finalists and putting together the program for this year's festival. This is a difficult task, considering the number of entries and quality of work. We look forward to an exciting festival schedule that includes great films, filmmakers and film lovers. For more information visit

AML CONFERENCE - This Friday, Oct. 25, is the deadline for preregistration to this year's Mormon writers conference, sponsored by the Association for Mormon Letters. (Note: You can register at the door, but the price will be $10 higher and you will not be guaranteed a luncheon.) For complete details about the conference, including an updated schedule of events, visit

MORE KEENE CURTIS - Native Utahn and Tony-winning actor Keene Curtis is further remembered in this Deseret News article:,1249,410020131,00.html Mentioned is the time that Elder Nelson (now of the Quorum of the Twelve) bought the portrait of Curtis in his famous stage roles and donated it to Pioneer Memorial Theatre. Curtis, a non-churchgoing Latter-day Saint, died last week after suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

THE NEW LITTLE ENGINE THAT CAN (SEARCH THAT IS) - The old cgi search engine we have been using was okay for a while, but the size of the site has grown considerably, and that search engine just wasn't up to the task. We've replaced it with a great new search engine from The new engine, like the old one, has no ads. But it is much faster because when you search, the whole site is pre-indexed. The engine searches ONLY the site, of course. You can search for phrases, any word, and even use NOT logic. This should make research even easier. The website now has 429 separate pages and over 2,000 capsule biographies. The search engine can be accessed from the homepage.

SCREENPLAY WORKSHOP - The first set of readings in the Prof. Eric Samuelsen's WDA (Writers/Directors/Actors) workshop takes place this week. The WDA workshops three plays for the first half of the semester,and three more for the second half, with readings following each working period. The first set of readings will take place this week, Tuesday through Thursday, Oct. 22-24, at 5:00, in the Nelke Theatre in the Harris Fine Arts Center (HFAC) at BYU. Admission is free.

Tues. Oct. 22, we will be reading a new play by Eric Samuelsen, called "Mount Vernon." Mount Vernon is about the last day in the life of George Washington. He's visited by a man from our time, an African American history professor, who promises Washington a few more years of life in exchange for . . . well, I'll let that be a surprise.

Wed. Oct. 23, we will read a new play by Melissa Leilani Larson, working title "A Play About A Movie." (The title will change.) It's about female film directors in the silent film era, and it's a comedy. Fun piece.

Thurs Oct. 24, we will actually read a screenplay. "Last Dance in the Heartland," written by Laird Roberts, to be produced and directed by Kirt Strickland. [sic: his actual name is "Kirk Strickland"] It's a lovely movie about a small farming town facing a wave of foreclosures from the local bank; the main character is the banker.

OPEN INVITATION AND CALL FOR FILMS - is passing along this note/press release from Dan Harville:
"Many LDS filmmakers have good films but can't seem to find a distributor or market for them. One of the largest video merchants online has opened its doors to the indie filmmaker, giving anyone who owns a film, a place to sell that film. LifeIsAMovie.Com ( - specializes in rare, hard-to-find, and niche films, TV shows, and documentaries. LDS filmmakers constitute a niche. says site owner and LDS filmmaker Dan Harville. Any LDS filmmaker who wants to put his feature, short, experimental, student film, or documentary on DVD, VHS, or VCD, do a little jacket insert artwork, and write a description of the film can offer it on the site. Everyone gets exposure. Everyone gains access to the film viewing and buying public. I'm interested in the lesser-known films by movers and shakers as well as up and comers. There's a market for them all." Contact: Daniel at for details.

GOOD THINGS UTAH - The Salt Lake Tribune featured an article about "Good Things Utah", a new show on KTVX casting a spotlight on local celebrities and even regular people.