Natl Film Title Weekend Gross Rank LDS/Mormon Filmmaker/Star Total Gross Theaters Days --- ----------------------------- ----------- ----- ---- 1 The Santa Clause 2 (NEW) 29,008,696 3,350 3 Ken Daurio (screenwriter) 29,008,696 Cinco Paul (screenwriter) 7 Sweet Home Alabama 4,598,229 2441 38 C. Jay Cox (screenwriter) 113,447,131 8 Punch-Drunk Love 4,003,535 1,252 24 LDS actors/characters: 10,861,175 David Stevens, Nathan Stevens, Michael D. Stevens, Jim Smooth Stevens (James Smooth) 42 Master of Disguise 94,894 136 94 Perry Andelin Blake (director) 40,143,371 49 City by the Sea 70,769 185 59 Eliza Dushku (actress) 22,369,941 57 Jack Weyland's Charly 30,795 23 38 Adam Anderegg (director) 435,797 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. 60 Cirque du Soleil: Journey of Man 26,742 6 913 Reed Smoot (cinematographer) 14,259,082 66 Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure 15,158 10 633 Scott Swofford (producer) 13,565,537 Reed Smoot (cinematographer) Sam Cardon (composer) Stephen L. Johnson (film editor) 73 Galapagos 10,096 8 1102 Reed Smoot (cinematographer) 13,791,525 94 China: The Panda Adventure 3,994 5 465 Reed Smoot (cinematographer) 2,916,832 105 Handcart 1,920 4 24 Kels Goodman (director/DP) 60,932 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 107 ESPN's Ultimate X 1,520 5 178 Reed Smoot (cinematographer) 4,193,901 109 Mark Twain's America 3D 1,254 2 1585 Alan Williams (composer) 2,281,741 114 The Singles Ward 875 2 276 Kurt Hale (writer/director) 1,250,798 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. 124 Ziggy Stardust & Spiders from Mars 234 2 117 Mick Ronson (2nd billed actor) 118,853
THE JOLLY OLD ELF VERSUS THE SPY - Those of you who get our daily mailing list noticed that LDSFilm.com's positively jingoistic founder and webmaster threw down the gauntlet on this one: Which film would have a better opening weekend - "The Santa Clause 2" or Eddie Murphy's "I Spy"? As Hunter put it: "Family-shmamly. I just want to see our boys trounce Eddie Murphy -- again." He hastened to add: "I like Eddie, really I do. Good guy. 'Beverly Hills Cop' on TV -- very funny stuff. Loved him in 'Mulan.' I even liked 'Coming to America.' But, Eddie, don't mess with us. You picked the wrong weekend." (Both films were scheduled to open November 1st, both in over 3,000 theaters.) Arguing that once again, Eddie Murphy would fall short of the number one spot, thanks to competition from "our boys", Hunter cited the following historical record:
Last time Murphy had a movie open it was "The Adventures of Pluto Nash." It opened (on August 16, 2002) in 10th place nationwide. Ouch! It got thrashed by another movie opening that weekend: "Blue Crush", which not only stars Utah native Matthew Davis in the lead male role, but which was also filmed on the beaches by BYU-Hawaii, with lots of BYU coeds as extras and stuff. ("Blue Crush" opened in 3rd nationwide, behind "xXx" and "Signs", which were in their 2nd and third week.) The Eddie Murphy movie before that was "Showtime", which opened on March 15, 2002 in 3rd place behind "Ice Age" and "Resident Evil." Okay, I've got nuthin' to say about that. But the Eddie Murphy movie before that one was "Doctor Dolittle 2", which opened on June 22, 2001. EVERYBODY thought it would be number #1 at the box office. But "The Fast and the Furious," starring Latter-day Saint actor Paul Walker in the lead role, came out of nowhere and completely smoked Eddie. (And don't give me that "kids came to see Vin Diesel -- not surfer boy Paul" line... Paul was at the top of the marquee.) You've got to go back to the previous Eddie Murphy movie to find at time where Eddie opened in the #1 spot: "Shrek" (opened May 18, 2001). Yes the same computer-animated "Shrek" whose original producer was none other than John Garbett, of "The Other Side of Heaven" fame. In fact, Eddie Murphy was the only star who was retained in "Shrek" from the time that Garbett was the movie's producer. After Garbett stepped down to work on other projects (including "Heaven"), Cameron Diaz replaced Janeane Garofalo as the princess and Mike Myers replaced his late friend Chris Farley as the ogre.
So how did it turn out this weekend? Would history repeat itself, or would Hunter end up eating crow? Which film did better in the box office? As previously mentioned, "The Santa Clause 2" took the number one spot, grossing over $29 million in its first weekend. Eddie's film? With a weekend box office gross of just under $13 million, it came in at #3, behind SC2 and the thriller blockbuster, "The Ring". Now if Eddie Murphy were to take a dramatic turn as Elijah Abel... THAT might be a Number 1 movie...
FESTIVAL PROGRAM PROMISES BIGGEST LDS FILM EVENT IN HISTORY - The 2ND LDS FILM FESTIVAL 2002 will take place November 13-16 at the historic Provo City Library. The festival program includes screenings of over 50 short films and documentaries, many Q&A's with the filmmakers, a dozen FILMMAKER'S PRESENTATIONS and workshops, a 24-HOUR-INSTANT-FILMMAKING-MARATHON, an LDS FILM FORUM with presentations by LDS scholars and a panel discussion. "This is probably the biggest LDS film event in history," says Christian Vuissa, founder and organizer of the festival. Invited guests include Kurt Hale and Dave Hunter ("Singles Ward," "The RM"), Adam Anderegg and Micah Merrill ("Charly"), Lee B. Groberg ("Sacred Stone: The Temple at Nauvoo"), Dean Hale (Distributor of "God's Army," "The Other Side of Heaven"), Ryan Little ("Out of Step"), Gary Rogers ("Book of Mormon Movie"), Nathan Smith Jones ("The Work and the Story"), and many, many more. The theme of the 2ND LDS FILM FORUM is "Fantasy and Reality in LDS Media." Five presenters have been invited to discuss the roles of reality and fantasy in LDS media past, present, and future. The presentations are followed by a panel discussion about "The LDS Cinematic Audience." The panel examines the nature of the LDS film audience: exactly who and where they are, what it is that they "want," and what further steps may be necessary to truly establish an audience and, therefore, an identity for "LDS cinema."
GET READY FOR THE 24-HOUR-INSTANT-FILMMAKING MARATHON - The LDS FILM FESTIVAL is launching its first 24-HOUR-INSTANT-FILMMAKING MARATHON. Everyone is invited to get together with a group of friends and be part of this exhilarating competition. On Wednesday, November 13, at 10.30 a.m. participants will receive a theme for a short film, and on Thursday, November 14, no later than 10.30 a.m. they have to hand in their finished films. That same evening all films will be screened and judged at the 2ND LDS FILM FESTIVAL. Participants will be allowed to use any equipment of their choice. They have only 24 hours to write, shoot and edit their film. The finished film can be no longer than 5 minutes. No more than five people (cast and crew) per group will be allowed to take part. All films must be completely original. The entry fee is $ 20.00 per participating group. All participants contribute to the prize money that will be awarded to the winner of the 24-HOUR-INSTANT-FILMMAKING-MARATHON. The best film will also be part of the "BEST OF 2002" program and tour around the world. This is a great chance to become a well-known filmmaker in 24-hours...
FINALISTS FOR FILM AND SCREENPLAY COMPETITION SELECTED - 36 short films have been selected as finalists for the 2ND LDS FILM FESTIVAL 2002. Four competition programs including the long awaited Female Filmmakers program will be screened during the festival. The very best films will be selected by both a jury and the audience for the "BEST OF 2002" program, which will be screened on Saturday, November 16. The screenplay competition will now be divided into two separate competitions - a short script competition and a feature script competition. Due to a generous donation by R. Don Oscarson the award money could be raised to $ 2,600.00.
PRE-FESTIVAL SCREENINGS THIS WEEK AT BYU IDAHO - On invitation of the theatre department, the LDS Film Festival will 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 presentations are planned for Saturday, November 9. Participating filmmakers are Bryan Lefler (USA), Andrew Black (Scotland), Jason Faller (Canada), Jason Conforto (USA), Magnus Henriksen (Norway) and Christian Vuissa (Austria). They will answer audience questions and prepare workshops and presentations for those interested in the filmmaking process. For an outline of the festival program go to: http://www.ldsbox.com/cgi-bin/program2002.php To view this year's festival finalists, go to: http://www.ldsbox.com/cgi-bin/finalist.php
SLOVER WINS - A screenplay version of Latter-day Saint playwright Tim Slover's hit play "Joyful Noise" won second place out of 1,255 etries in the 2002 International Screenplay Competition, sponsored by the American Screenwriters Association and "Writer's Digest" magazine.
A FILM FROM JEANNE MCKINNEY AND ANNE BRADSHAW - Screenwriter, Jeanne McKinney, and author, Anne Bradshaw, have adapted the novel, Terracotta Summer into a screenplay for a proposed motion picture they would like to find investors for entitled Season of Fire. For more information, visit http://www.cedarfort.com/news/bradshaw_movie.html
VOICES FROM THE DUST - The official website for the "Voice from the Dust" feature film series, a planned series of films based on the Book of Mormon, is online. The URL is: http://www.voicefromthedust.com The primary crew members involved, according to the website, are: Producer/Writer/Director: Peter Johnson; Producer: Steven DeVore; Producer: Craig Peterson; Producer/Production Manager: Scott Swofford; Writer: Neil Newell; Director of Photography: Reed Smoot; Film Editor: David Broberg; Production Executive: Quinn Coleman; Production Designer: Richard Jamison; Production Artist - Designer: Joseph Brickey; Production Accountant: Michael Roberts; Transportation Coordinator: Kelly Padovich; Historical Consultant: S. Kent Brown. Scott Swofford, Reed Smoot and David Broberg have been above-the-line filmmakers on at least half a dozen Academy Award-nominated films, only some of which are mentioned on the "Voice from the Dust" website. The production company is named "Timpanogos Partners I, LLC."
IMPORTANT TO NOTE: This is a different project than the recently announced Gary Rogers project - "The Book of Mormon Movie". It will be interesting to compare the two approaches as both films are scheduled to be released in 2003. For the latest casting information for the Gary Rogers project, visit http://www.boo ofmormonmovie.com/cast/index.html, including information on how to send a videotape audition.
OFFICIAL "THE R.M." WEB SITE - The all new official website for "The R.M." is online. Teaser video, cast and cameos info, soundtrack, new images, etc. Check it out: http://www.rmthemovie.com/
KIRBY'S STAR RISING - Just two months away from the Jan. 24th release of "The R.M.," starring Kirby Heyborne in the lead role. Kirby had a supporting role in "The Singles Ward," AND he recently has been cast in the lead role in the upcoming Latter-day Saint-themed feature film" "The Best Two Years of my Life." He also has a small role in the upcoming Latter-day Saint-themed feature film "The Work and the Story." Heyborne also had a lead role in the independent film "Social Suicide," an independent film made by SLC filmmaker David Wells. Two lead roles and a supporting role will mean that Heyborne will be among the most prolific stars in Latter-day Saint-themed feature films, matched only Richard Dutcher (God's Army, Brigham City, The Work and the Story) and Jeremy Elliott (Testaments, Charly, Out of Step). Will Swenson also has a lead role in "The Singles Ward" and "The R.M." Matthew Brown had a lead role in both "God's Army" and "Brigham City." Michael Buster had a lead role in "Out of Step" and a supporting role in "God's Army."
WHAT IN THE WORLD IS JOHN LYDE UP TO? - What has John Lyde been up to? John Lyde, best known for his feature-length film about missionaries, "The Field is White" (now in LDS bookstores nationwide on VHS and DVD), has apparently been busy. He has completed a new film which are competing in the upcoming LDS Film Festival, to be held in two weeks in Provo. One is a comedy, "My One True Love": Young Mahanri must stop his childhood love from marrying the wrong man. Lyde is also competing in the short screenplay competition, with a script titled "Mariah's Prayer." We're guessing it is not about Mariah Carey. Okay, actually, it is about a young girl who is afraid of the monster under the bed and learns that with God we have nothing to be afraid of. He has also made a 30 minute short called "Shadowman" It is about nine junior high students in after school detention. One by one they start to disappear. Plus, he has written a 30 page script for a film he will be shooting over the next couple of months called "In the Service of God." No, it is not about missionary work. It is about home teaching. It should be finished by the end of the year. As if that's enough, John also plans to shoot "Mariah's Prayer" around Christmas time.
BOOK ABOUT THE MAKING OF HEAVEN - New in stores this week - a gorgeous hard cover photography book takes you behind the scenes and into the making of the movie "The Other Side of Heaven.": JOURNEY OF FAITH: The Making of The Other Side of Heaven - Nearly 250 breathtaking color photos from photographer Anita Schiller take you into the world on the other side of the movie cameras. Shot on location in Rarotonga in the Cook Islands and in New Zealand, Schiller's photographs give insight into the filmmaking process as well as into the journey taken by the filmmakers who brought the amazing and true story of John Groberg to the big screen. Side by side with the behind the scenes photos are archival photos from John Groberg's own collection as well as stills from the film. Accompanying all the photos is commentary from Academy Award-winning producer Gerald R. Molen, producer John Garbett and director Mitch Davis. Additional excerpts from John Groberg's letters and journals give additional insight into his incredible adventures on the island of Tonga. "The Other Side of Heaven" opened in movie theaters around the nation in 2002. The movie told the true story of John Groberg's mission to the Kingdom of Tonga in the 1950's. It grossed over $4.7 million, becoming the highest-grossing LDS-themed film to date. For additonal information and to view sample pages, please visit the website www.vantagepointpress.com.
REALLY LOONEY ALIEN - An alien from the movie "This Island Earth," based on the same-titled novel by devout Latter-day Saint writer F. Raymond Jones, is slated to appear in next year's "Loony Tunes: Back in Action" feature film. "Looney Tunes: Back in Action" is currently shooting, with a November 2003 release date in mind.
UTAH SPIDEY CONNECTION - "Spider-Man" will be released on video and DVD tomorrow. The signature effect in the movie is Spidey's webslinging. Although many of the film's special effects are digital, there are also extensive practical effects. Kevin Chase, a resident of Moab, Utah and his company, Worldwide Specialty Rigging, Ltd. worked extensively on the the stunt and camera rigging for "Spider-Man". Chase's other recent credits include "Mission Impossible II" for director John Woo and "Stuart Little 2."
THE SPIDER MEETS THE RAVEN - A totally separate subject: Best Latter-day Saint character in the Spider-Man comic book series: Our pick would be Detective Jacob Raven. Raven, a devout Church member from Salt Lake City, first encounted Peter Parker in a classic story chronicled in J. M. DeMatteis' classic 3-issue limited series "Spider-Man: The Lost Years" (1995). Raven later traced Peter Parker to New York City, and had him arrested and jailed for murder. (Peter was later found innocent.) The 3 issues of the "Spider-Man: The Lost Years" limited series present a fond look at Salt Lake City in general and at Raven in particular. These are probably the best "Jacob Raven/Spider-Man" stories, but Jacob Raven appeared in other issues of Spidey's various series: Spider-Man #'s 53, 54, 57, 59, 60; Web of Spider-Man #'s 121, 122, 123, 124, 126; Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #'s 222, 223, 226, 231; Amazing Spider-Man #'s 400, 402, 403; Amazing Spider-Man Unlimited # 9; Scarlet Spider Unlimited # 1. That Detective Jacob Raven will be making an appearance in any Spider-Man motion picture sequels is still considered a long shot.
ANDEREGG UP IN THE RANKINGS - The weekend's box office gross for "Jack Weyland's Charly" has brought the movie's total gross to $435,797, bumping director Adam Thomas Anderegg into the Top 10 list of currently working Latter-day Saint film directors (based on total career box office gross). (To see the entire list, visit our home page - http://www.ldsfilm.com.) Anderegg switched places with Blair Treu, whose first theatrically-released feature film, "Little Secrets", grossed $405,182 at the box office this year. (Of course, if the video sales and TV revenue from Treu's five other feature films were added to the "Little Secrets" box office, the total would be far higher. But this list is based only on box office gross at theaters.) In January 2003, Anderegg may battle director Kurt Hale for 9th place... A nationwide expansion of "Charly" is planned for the new year -- at about the same time that Hale's 2nd feature film, "The R.M." is released. Based on the performance of "The Other Side of Heaven", Excel Entertainment's last release, which also was distributed nationwide, it is conceivable that the box office gross for "Jack Weyland's Charly" could eventually exceed Richard Dutcher's combined box office gross ($3,533,902 from "God's Army" and "Brigham City"), or even the box office gross for Mitch Davis' "The Other Side of Heaven" ($4,718,431). But after that, it's a long climb to the $40 million plateau that marks 6th place on this list. Of course, a list ranked by total box office gross may be seen as a crude (literally "gross") yardstick of a director. Note that the list ranked by average critical response to directors' movies corresponds hardly at all to the list based on box office receipts.
LDS FILM FESTIVAL FINALISTS: I've been looking over the the list of 36 finalists competing in the LDS Film Festival, to be held November 13-16 in Provo. Man, oh man, this is some serious competition... If you were hoping to win, most of you can just forget it. Be grateful if you made it as a finalist. Matthew Janzen "Funky Town" is in competition??? This was an Angelus finalist AND was one of 12 film students honored yesterday in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 28th Annual Student Academy Awards competition. How do you go up against that? Bryan Lefler's got TWO films in competition: "Warplay" and "Barren Earth", both of which have ALREADY won awards all over creation. Clint Carpenter's "Iscariot" is competing... starring Richard Clifford, who was one of the most talented actors to star in "Brigham City." Andrew Black's "Avernus" wracked up a bunch of major awards at BYU's Final Cut competition. Plus Black has ANOTHER film... a comedy titled "The Snell Show"... Jeremy Coon's "Logjammin'" also won awards at Final Cut, as did some of the other competitors... Tyler Measom has a comedy? Measom is certainly no novice... He's got stuff on store shelves, including Maren Ord and Jericho Road music videos... "Simplicity" was made by Chet Thomas, Darren Fletcher a couple of yount Turks who have worked on over 40 feature-length movies, from IMAX to direct-to-video to everything in between... Magnus Henriksen is competing with Oscar's Ashes, which I've heard good things about. Magnus' dad won the Silver Bear Award at the Berlin International Film Festival, which is, like one of the Big Four, along with Cannes, NYC and Venice. Susan Teh has a new documentary, which I'd hate to compete against... It's like competing against a young Lee Groberg or a young Jessica Yu... Jared and Jerusha Hess have competing comedies? That should be fun... Issac Goeckeritz is VERY young, but he was profiled in a KSL news segment... If Rob Allen's "How They Go" is anything like his last animated film, "Signal Strength", then it will be a stunning piece of work... Tyrone Davies, Tawnya Cazier, Christopher Rawson, Jason Faller, Tim Skousen, John Lyde, Spanky Ward... Pretty much any one of these is ready to helm a feature film... Yeah, I'd be biting my nails for the next two weeks...
LDS FILM FESTIVAL FEATURE-LENGTH SCREENPLAY COMPETITION: The finalists in the feature-length screenplay competition at the 2nd LDS Film Festival, to be held November 13-16, 2002 in Provo, Utah, were announced on November 5th. "Anxiously Engaged," written by Matthew Ball and Mark Greenhalgh, is one of 25 feature-length screenplays in the competition. First prize is $400 cash. The 2nd place winner will receive $150.00. Third place receives $50.00. The only competitor who has had a feature-length screenplay filmed is Aaron Orullian, writer/director of the independent feature film "The Appleby Sensation" (1997). Two notable authors are in competition: novelist Anne Bradshaw and Church media spokesman Coke Newell. A few competitors are known have completed short films: Ben Gourley, Dustin "Spanky" Ward, Brian Taylor, Brandon Dayton, Andy Arness, Kyle Snarr, and Hubbel Palmer. The names of the other competitors in the feature-length screenplay competition are new to us, and are not known to have written anything that has actually been filmed: Kory Koontz, Tom Laughlin, Marcia Wendorf, Heather Lawver, Anthony R. Petersen, Derek DeWitt, Scott Wilhite, Anne Pratt, Matthew Anderson, Emily Stephens, Diana Bahtishi, Karl W. Beckstrand, Nathan Scoll.
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COMPARING CRITICAL RESPONSE TO LATTER-DAY SAINT CHRISTIAN MARKET FILMS TO NON-LDS CHRISTIAN MARKET FILMS:
"Brigham City" is the most critically-acclaimed Christian market feature film.
"Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie", "God's Army", "The Singles Ward" and "Jack Weyland's Charly" round out the country's Top 5 Christian films list.
Latter-day Saints, who comprise only about 2% of the U.S. population, may be surprised to learn that although the number of non-LDS Christians in the U.S. far exceeds their numbers, there has not been a comparatively larger number of non-LDS Christian market feature films during the last 10 years. In the Christian genre section at BoxOfficeMojo.com, only 13 theatrically screened non-LDS Christian market films are listed, going back to 1990. Also listed in that section are 5 of the 7 LDS-themed feature films released since 2000, beginning with "God's Army."
These movies are also listed at http://www.adherents.com/movies/christian_box.html
It's possible there's a theatrically-released Christian market film missing from this list, but I've done fairly extensive research on the topic and I'm not aware of any.
RottenTomatoes.com has listings with lists of reviews and RottenTomatoes.com scores (percentage positive versus negative) for all of the non-LDS Christian market films except for "Road" and "China Cry," and for all of the LDS Christian market films except for "Handcart" and "Out of Step."
It is a fairly straightforward matter to compare the accumulated critical responses to the two sets of feature films.
I compiled two sets of scores for the movies: The RottenTomatoes.com score, which is the number of positive reviews out of the total counted. This is fairly selective. The website only scores reviews with a clear preference, and only from reviewers it holds to certain standards.
The other score is the average grade given by reviewers on a letter grade or star scale (standardized to a 1-to-100 scale). The reviews included in this average were for the most part only those listed on the RottenTomatoes.com website. But when graded reviews from other sources (including Salt Lake Weekly, Ogden Standard Examiner) were included when known.
I also combined the two scores. In every list (RottenTomatoes percent positive, average review grade, and combined score), "Brigham City" is ranked as the #1 most critically acclaimed Christian market film by reviewers nationwide.
"Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie" was ranked #2 on the RottenTomatoes.com score list and on the combined list, but was #5 on the average grade list. Based on the average grade from 17 different reviews, "The Singles Ward" was #2 on the average grade list. With a small number of reviews, "Out of Step" was actually the 3rd highest ranked movie on the average grade list, but it was not on the other lists because there was no RottenTomatoes.com listing for it (even though half of the reviews tabulated in its average are from regular RottenTomotes.com review sources).
RottenTomatoes.com score (% positive): Average for 11 non-LDS Christian movies: 19.2% Average for 5 LDS-themed movies: 49.4 % Average numerical/star grade from reviews: Average for 11 non-LDS Christian movies: 41.8 Average for 7 LDS-themed movies: 60.6 COMBINED score (RT.c +/- with average grade): Average for 11 non-LDS Christian movies: 30.5 Average for 5 LDS-themed movies: 55.6
Full data sets can be found at http://www.adherents.com/movies/christian_rev.html and http://www.ldsfilm.com/lds_rev.html
Regarding potential bias. The RottenTomatoes.com scores are based on reviewers by reviews from across the country. The scores are based on the same restricted set of reviewers for all movies. For some (but not all) LDS-themed feature films, the reviews are predominantly based in Utah, but come from secular sources. It appears that at least half of the time, the local reviews of LDS-themed feature films exhibit lower average grades or higher percentage negative reviews than the non-Utah reviews for those same movies.
The possibility of local favoritism towards LDS-themed feature films seems outweighed by the stated Evangelical/Protestant Christian leaning by a number of review sources included in the RottenTomatoes.com scores, including: Christian Spotlight on the Movies; Movie Parables; Crosswalk.com Movies; eBeliever.com. There is one LDS-owned newspaper included among RottenTomatoes.com sources: The Deseret News. There are no LDS websites among RottenTomatoes.com review sources. Unlike local Utah reviewers which did not appear to yield grades or positive/negative scores significantly different from national averages, many of these explicitly Christian (non-LDS) sources consistenly appeared as outliers, that is, their grades were notably higher than grades from other sources. Nevertheless, none of these sources seemed to "rubber-stamp" Christian market films. The grades and reviews they gave varied between different films, even if they did consistently give higher grades to Christian market films that most sources panned.
NUMERICAL AVERAGE OF GRADED SCORES FROM REVIEWS: # OF REVIEWS AVG. FILM TITLE DIRECTOR AVERAGED GRADE ---------- -------- -------- ----- Brigham City Richard Dutcher 39 71.1 The Singles Ward Kurt Hale 17 63.8 Out of Step Ryan Little 6 63.7 God's Army Richard Dutcher 26 61.9 Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie Nawrocki/Vischer 57 61.1 Mercy Streets Jon Gunn 10 57.9 Jack Weyland's Charly Adam Thomas Anderegg 8 57.8 The Other Side of Heaven Mitch Davis 56 54.2 Revelation Andre Van Heerden 2 52.0 Road to Redemption Robert Vernon 4 51.8 Handcart Kels Goodman 7 51.4 Extreme Days Eric Hannah 14 48.3 Joshua Jon Purdy 28 44.6 Time Changer Rich Christiano 7 44.1 Left Behind Victor Sarin 42 42.6 Megiddo: Omega Code 2 Brian Trenchard-Smith 16 37.7 Carman: The Champion Lee Stanley 8 35.5 Omega Code Robert Marcarelli 28 27.9 The Judas Project James H. Barden 2 0.0 ROTTENTOMATOES.COM RATINGS Film Title Director Pos Neg % Positive ---------- -------- --- --- ----- Brigham City Richard Dutcher 16 5 76.2 Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie Nawrocki/Vischer 35 16 68.6 God's Army Richard Dutcher 5 4 55.6 The Singles Ward Kurt Hale 4 4 50.0 Jack Weyland's Charly Adam Thomas Anderegg 2 3 40.0 Carman: The Champion Lee Stanley 3 6 33.3 Mercy Streets Jon Gunn 2 4 33.3 The Other Side of Heaven Mitch Davis 9 27 25.0 Joshua Jon Purdy 4 16 20.0 Time Changer Rich Christiano 1 4 20.0 Left Behind Victor Sarin 6 32 15.8 Megiddo: Omega Code 2 Brian Trenchard-Smith 2 11 15.4 Extreme Days Eric Hannah 1 6 14.3 Omega Code Robert Marcarelli 2 18 10.0 Road to Redemption Robert Vernon 0 1 0.0 The Judas Project James H. Barden 0 1 0.0 Revelation Andre Van Heerden 0 1 0.0 COMBINED RT.c AND NUMERICAL AVERAGE SCORES Avg. Title Director Grade RT.c Combined ----- -------- ----- ---- -------- Brigham City Richard Dutcher 71.1 76.2 73.7 Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie Nawrocki/Vischer 61.1 68.6 64.9 God's Army Richard Dutcher 61.9 55.6 58.8 The Singles Ward Kurt Hale 63.8 50.0 56.9 Jack Weyland's Charly Adam Thomas Anderegg 57.8 40.0 48.9 Mercy Streets Jon Gunn 57.9 33.3 45.6 The Other Side of Heaven Mitch Davis 54.2 25.0 39.6 Carman: The Champion Lee Stanley 35.5 33.3 34.4 Joshua Jon Purdy 44.6 20.0 32.3 Time Changer Rich Christiano 44.1 20.0 32.1 Extreme Days Eric Hannah 48.3 14.3 31.3 Left Behind Victor Sarin 42.6 15.8 29.2 Megiddo: Omega Code 2 Brian Trenchard-Smith 37.7 15.4 26.6 Revelation Andre Van Heerden 52.0 0.0 26.0 Road to Redemption Robert Vernon 51.8 0.0 25.9 Omega Code Robert Marcarelli 27.9 10.0 19.0 The Judas Project James H. Barden 0.0 0.0 0.0