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

Weekend of December 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
---  ----------------------------- -----------  -----  ----
11   The Santa Clause 2              3,204,145  1,701    52
     Ken Daurio (screenwriter)     129,836,982
     Cinco Paul (screenwriter)

28   Sweet Home Alabama                209,352    338    87
     C. Jay Cox (screenwriter)     124,779,901

72   Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure    8,222      9   683
     Scott Swofford (producer)      13,748,999
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)
     Sam Cardon (composer)
     Stephen L. Johnson (film editor)

79   Jack Weyland's Charly               4,270     10    87
     Adam Anderegg (director)          563,737
     Jack Weyland (book author)
     Janine Gilbert (screenwriter)
     Lance Williams (producer)
     Micah Merrill (producer, film editor)
     Tip Boxell (co-producer)
     Bengt Jan Jonsson (cinematographer)
     Aaron Merrill (composer)
     Actors: Heather Beers, Jeremy Elliott,
        Adam Johnson, Jackie Winterrose Fullmer,
        Diana Dunkley, Gary Neilson, Lisa McCammon,
        Randy King, Bernie Diamond, etc.

85   China: The Panda Adventure          3,233      4   514
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)    2,978,643

88   Galapagos                           2,912      4  1151
     Reed Smoot (cinematographer)   12,396,908?

97   Ziggy Stardust & Spiders from Mars  1,330      4   166
     Mick Ronson (2nd billed actor)    143,204

SAINTS OF WAR: More information is available about the upcoming Latter-day Saint-themed feature film "The Saints of War." Ryan Little will be both director and director and director of photography, as well as a producer. The other producer is BYU graduate Adam Abel. The associate producer is Brian Brough, who has previously worked as an assistant director for the Latter-day Saint-themed feature films "Brigham City" and "Out of Step.". Little has previously directed one feature film, the Latter-day Saint-themed romantic drama "Out of Step", now available on video and DVD. "The Saints of War" is inspired by the book SAINTS AT WAR, by Robert C. Freeman and Dennis A. Wright. The executive producer is Charles Chan. The movie has already been cast and will be filming in January and February 2003. Principle photography begins Jan. 22, 2003. The movie is scheduled for theatrical release in Fall 2003. With the release of "Out of Step,", Little became the fourth director to release a movie in the modern LDS cinema genre, following Richard Dutcher, Mitch Davis and Kurt Hale. With the release of "The Saints of War," Little will become the third director (after Dutcher and Hale) to release a SECOND Latter-day Saint-themed feature film. "The Saints of War" will be the first LDS-themed feature film to also be a "war film." It will also be the first movie in the genre set in Europe. This will be the second film in the LDS cinema genre (after "The Other Side of Heaven") to be inspired by a non-fiction book. It will be the third film in the genre (after "The Other Side of Heaven" and "Handcart") set in a historical time period. World War II reenactors will be needed as extras for this movie's battle scenes. See the website for more information:

CHURCH PUBLISHES A VERY COOL DVD: "Friends to All Nations" DVD Set Available from Church. See A new two-disk DVD set will be available from Church Distribution Centers beginning Saturday, 21 December. This set presents over 5 hours of video, highlighting activities of the Church and its members during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games hosted by Salt Lake City. The 18 program segments of the set feature, among other things, the "Light of the World" production, staged in the 21,000-seat Conference Center; the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square in their Cultural Olympiad Concert performances; President Hinckley's interviews with NBC's Tom Brokaw; and many other bonus features in the 5+ hours of video.

CATCH ME IF YOU CAN CHARACTER A BYU PROFESSOR? Frank Abagnale's fellow "alternatively legal" folk heroes Butch Cassidy and D.B. Cooper were Latter-day Saints, but we're certain that Frank isn't a Church member. According to a Knight Ridder News Service article by Lance Gould (Salt Lake Tribune, 22 December 2002), Frank Abagnale, the real-life grifter whose whose experiences are the basis for the movie "Catch Me If You Can," claims that he was a professor at Brigham Young University, which is owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The university disputes this. [QUOTING FROM THE ARTICLE:] "We have gone back and searched [our records] under every alias he ever used" and found nothing, said BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins. "One of the telling items is his claim in a speech he gave . . . that the [Utah] Board of Regents questioned the grades he gave at BYU. Well, we're a private university and the board of regents has nothing to do with us."

MOLEN AND MINORITY REPORT: Segments from interviews with producer Jerry Molen are included in a number of documentaries on the "Minority Report" DVD. I don't recall any of the other producers being interviewed. But Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg dominate the documentary material. I don't know why. Perhaps some people think Tom Cruise is better-looking than Jerry. Interestingly enough, Jerry Molen co-starred onscreen with Tom Cruise in "Rain Man." Molen played Dr. Bruner (the psychiatrist), which wa the movie's 4th billed role. This was the biggest on-screen role Molen has had. Dustin Hoffman took home the Best Actor Academy Award for playing the title character in "Rain Man." But did Molen get a Best Supporting Actor nomination? Nope. He was edged out by Kevin Kline, Alec Guinness, River Phoenix, Dean Stockwell, and Martin Landau. Molen's other on-screen roles are "Jurassic Park", "Amistad" and "Days of Thunder" and playing the first mission president in "The Other Side of Heaven."

ANOTHER ACADEMY AWARD NOM FOR MOLEN? Will Latter-day Saint movie producer Jerry Molen, who was overlooked last year in the Best Picture category for his movie "The Other Side of Heaven" AGAIN be shafted at the Oscars this year? Molen won for "Schindler's List," but hasn't been nominated since then. We're not the only ones who think "Minorty Report" deserves Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture. The country's leading movie critic, Roger Ebert, agrees with us. Quoting from Ebert's writeup of his recent interview with "Minority Report" director Steven Spielberg (

NEW YORK--While many directors spend years in gestation before making a film, Steven Spielberg seems cheerfully productive. In June he released "Minority Report," an awesomely virtuoso futurist thriller starring Tom Cruise, and now here it is December, and he's back with "Catch Me If You Can"... We talked last summer, we talk again now. Spielberg seems more relaxed about the new film (opening Wednesday), which was shot on a much lower budget in a relatively short time, and which must have felt like unwinding after the complexities of "Minority Report." I told him I'd just seen "Minority Report" again on the big screen, going down to Times Square to catch it, just to confirm my feeling about how good it was...

Ebert: My opinion of "Minority Report" is exactly the same as it was last summer when I had to use a seven-letter word in order to tell you how much I liked it.

Spielberg: It was a beautiful word, though. I'll never forget it.

Ebert: Is it going to be overlooked at Oscar time just because of that attention gap problem that the academy has?

Spielberg: Well, you know, I'm not the one to say whether something deserves attention or not. We directors are in control of everything we do, except in the Oscar award season. I'm philosophical about that.

GLAD FOR GLADYS: Latter-day Saint sing and celebrity Gladys Knight is cast in an upcoming movie "Hollywood Homicide," which is scheduled for a June 13, 2003 release. Harrison Ford has the lead role. Ron Shelton is the director. In the movie Ford and Josh Hartnett play Hollywood police detectives who investigate the murder of a rap group, possibly staged by their rap label boss. A number of celebrities from the music world appear in the movie. In "Hollywood Homicide" Knight plays the mother of a character played by popular rap singer Kurupt (who recently appeared with Steven Seagal in "Half Past Dead"). There is a major chase scene in which Harrison Ford chases Kurupt, who flees to his mother's house. Knight will have a much larger role -- a supporting role with above-the-line/marquee billing -- in an upcoming Latter-day Saint-themed feature film directed by... Knight is listed as one of the recording artists providing music, as well as a supporting actress, on the mock-up poster for... Gladys Knight is known primarily as a singer and songwriter, but she has done some acting. She had a small part in an independent feature film, "Twenty Bucks" (1993), and had a major supporting role in the TV movie "Desperado" (1987). She sang the title song for the James Bond "License to Kill" (1989). Knight also had a regular role as "Diana Richmond" onthe short-lived TV series "Charlie & Co." (1985). She has also made dozens of guest appearances on TV shows, including sitcoms, dramas, variety shows and musical specials.

THE R.M. THEATERS ANNOUNCED: The official website for the upcoming Latter-day Saint-themed feature film "The R.M." has announced some theaters where the movie will premiere in 5 weeks, on 31 January 2002. The theaters, all in Utah, are: Gateway 8 (Bountiful); Westates Cinema 8 (Cedar City); Cinemark Tinseltown USA (Layton); Westates Water Gardens 6 (Pleasant Grove); Westates Providence 8 (Providence); Cinemark 16 (Provo); Wynnsong Cinemas (Provo); Megaplex 12 at the Gateway (Salt Lake City); Megaplex 17 at Jordan Commons (Sandy); Westates Stadium 8 (St. George); Cinemark 24 Jordan Landing (West Jordan).

DON BLUTH: Don Bluth is working on an animated "Dragon's Lair" feature film, with a screenplay by Todd McFarlane (the popular Spider-Man writer/artist and creator of "Spawn"). You can read about the new "Dragon's Lair" comic book series, the new "Dragon's Lair" 3D computer game, and new "Dragon's Lair" action figures, clothing and more, all based on the animated video games directed by Latter-day Saint animation legend Don Bluth, in the following articles:

YES, THAT WAS ME: This has absolutely nothing to do with movies, but's webmaster had the following letter published in the Salt Lake Tribune on 19 December 2002 ( [QUOTE]:

Hooray for Rocky! As a Latter-day Saint "living abroad," I have followed the plaza controversy.

Until yesterday I felt that Rocky Anderson was a terrible mayor who was doing very bad things to Salt Lake City.

But after his proposal to trade land for peace on Main Street, I think he's a hero.

I hope the Church will provide specific instructions about how members (such as myself) can donate money to build the new Rocky Anderson Community Center on the west side.