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

Weekend of July 16, 2004

[If table lines up improperly, use mono-spaced font, i.e. Courier]

Natl Film Title                Weekend Gross  %B.O. Theatrs
Rank LDS/Mormon Filmmaker/Star   Total Gross  Chnge  $/Thtr  Days
--- ---------------------------  -----------  ----- -------  ----
 3  Anchorman:                    13,849,313  -51%   3,104     10
      The Legend of Ron Burgundy  56,956,256        $9,193
    Brent White (editor)

 7  The Notebook                   5,651,212  -14%   2,288     24
    Ryan Gosling                  53,880,561        $2,857
      (1st billed star)

17  Napoleon Dynamite                750,491  +35%     179     38
    Jared Hess (writer/director)   4,214,617        $4,193
    Jerusha Hess
      (writer/costume designer)
    Jon Heder (1st billed star)
    Aaron Ruell (3rd billed star)
    Jeremy Coon (producer/editor)
    Sean Covel (producer)
    Chris Wyatt (producer)
    Munn Powell (cinematographer)
    Cory Lorenzen
      (production designer)
    Curt Jensen (art director)
    Tim Skousen, Brian Petersen
      (assistant directors)

28  Riding Giants                    195,317   +45%     41     10
    Jeff Clark (star)                415,652        $4,763
       (1 of the 3 surfers
       featured in this documentary)

28  Bugs!                            181,751    N/A     31    497
    stars Papilio,                10,711,492        $5,862
      a Great Mormon butterfly

32  Around the World in 80 Days      131,996  -62%     149     31
    Perry Andelin Blake           22,626,931          $886
      (production designer)

42  Home on the Range                 56,914  -34%     146    108
    Roseanne Barr (actress)       49,795,115          $390
      (1st billed star)

64  The Young Black Stallion           6,499  +70%       4    207
    Reed Smoot (cinematographer)   6,439,382        $1,625

72  The Best Two Years                 4,561  -21%       6    150
    Scott S. Anderson                912,726          $760
    Michael Flynn (producer)
    Fred C. Danneman (executive producer)
    Gordon Lonsdale (cinematographer)
    Wynn Hougaard (editor)
    Michael McLean (songwriter, music supervisor)
    Dave Sapp
      (line producer/1st A.D./unit production manager)
    Darin Anderson (production manager)
    Michael L. McDonough (sound editor)
    Rebecca Nibley (costume designer)
    Actors: K.C. Clyde, Kirby Heyborne,
      David Nibley, Cameron Hopkin,
      Scott Christopher, Michael Flynn

98  China: The Panda Adventure         3,225  +29%       2   1088
    Reed Smoot (cinematographer)   3,799,550        $2,500

"BEST TWO YEARS" PASSES "BRIGHAM CITY" - "The Best Two Years" passed "Brigham City" this week in the total box office gross charts, moving up to the #6 spot among LDS Cinema flicks. Currently, "The Best Two Years" has brought in $912,726, but at its current rate will take another 8 or 9 weeks to pass the $1 million mark. Of course, films distributed by Halestone have traditionally gotten a second bump up at the end of summer (about a month away) as they move into new markets once the summer blockbusters have run their course, so it may reach that total a bit earlier. Whether that extra bump will be enough for "BTY" to catch "The R.M." which is next up the ladder having grossed $1,111,615 during its theatrical run remains to be seen. BTY's total ranks 5th best among LDS Cinema films after 22 weeks, behind the pace of the "The R.M." at the same point but ahead of "The Singles Ward" at the same point, although the latter film ended up grossing more in its final total than "The R.M." did. "The Best Two Years", by the way, so far, has proven to be a perfect model for the average LDS Cinema film in terms of box office performance, grossing each week almost exactly what would be expected of the "typical" LDS Cinema film for that week of its theatrical run. If that trend continues, expect "The Best Two Years" to end up grossing just barely over $1 million.

LDS-THEMED MINISERIES TOPS EMMY NOMINEE LIST - "Angels in America," the LDS/GLBT-themed miniseries about Latter-day Saints and/or GLBTs in New York City topped the Emmy nominee list announced tomorrow. Three lead actors who played Latter-day Saint characters in the show already received Golden Globes and other awards.

The "Angels" actors are most likely to win the Emmy, based on how well this miniseries has done in previous awards shows. Tommy Lee Jones previously won an Emmy Award for playing a Mormon character: Gary Gilmore (The Executioner's Song, 1982). For the Deseret News article detailing the Emmy nomimnees, see:,1249,595077477,00.html

ALL NEW "SAINTS AND SOLDIERS" WEBSITE NOW ONLINE - You really should take a moment to check out the new "Saints and Soldiers" website. Very impressive work... the site is a match for most any mainstream Hollywood studio website, and even exceeds the "Pride & Prejudice" website... which was my previous pick for best LDS Cinema official movie website:

"Saints and Soldiers" opens in theaters August 6, and life for LDS Cinema fans may never be the same.

REVIEW OF JOHN LYDE'S "HOOPS", STARRING KIRBY HEYBORNE, MICHAEL BIRKELAND - has reviewed John Lyde's latest production, a 22-minute short film titled "Hoops" which stars Kirby Heyborne and Michael Birkeland. See:

"THE WORK AND THE STORY" BOX OFFICE TOTAL UPDATE - In consultation with director Peter Nathan Smith, we have updated the box office total for his film "The Work and the Story" to $14,473.50.

This takes into account recent screenings in Los Angeles and at dollar theaters in Utah and Arizona. This comedy mockumentary -- made in the same vein as "Spinal Tap", Will Swenson's "Sons of Provo", or Woody Allen's "Zelig" -- is now sold available at LDS book stores and video stores nationwide, as well as at Blockbuster, which purchased 2,700 copies after buyers saw the movie and realized how funny and entertaining it is.

"The Work and the Story" DOES indeed feature Utah actor and Movie show host Scott Christopher discussing whether or not "Goin' Coconuts" should be counted as LDS Cinema... But you have to look for it in the half-hour long extra reel. Also, be sure to watch the closing credits all the way through so you can see veteran television actor Richard Moll (who played "Bull" on the TV sitcom "Nightcourt", and once played Joseph Smith in a low budget feature film) discussing whether he is a Mormon, and whether he would ever allow his daughter to date a Mormon.

NEW CHARTS ANALYZING THE LDS MARKET ON-LINE - has posted several new charts providing analysis of the LDS market and the box office performance of LDS Cinema films. These charts are only a small portion of the LDS Cinema-related charts and tables that Thomas has developed and maintains. (He tends to overanalyze things and has a little bit too much time on his hands while he waits for the director to lock picture on the next feature he will be scoring.)

The charts can be found at:

jpg files:
Total Gross Tracking -
Weekly Per Theater LDS Cinema average by week of year (All films) -
Per Theater LDS Cinema gross (Tracking) -

pdf files:
Total Gross Tracking -
Weekly Per Theater LDS Cinema average by week of year (All films) -
Per Theater LDS Cinema gross (Tracking) -

WHICH FILMS HAVE PERFORMED THE BEST ON A PER-SCREEN BASIS? - In a given week, a theater owner playing the so-called "typical" LDS Cinema film can expect to take in a certain amount of money in ticket sales (gross). Of course, this amount changes at different times of the year. Certain times of the year are better for premiering LDS Cinema films. During the summer months, most LDS Cinema films are relegated to budget or "dollar" theaters, so each ticket sale brings in less income. Holidays and conference also affect films' performance. But which films have most consistently brought in MORE on a per-screen basis than what would be considered "typical" for that week of the year? Here's how they rate (with the percentage of weeks that the film outperformed what would be considered "typical" for that week of the year):

1. The Singles Ward (70.00%)
2. The Book of Mormon Movie (69.70%)
3. God's Army (57.58%)
4. The Best Two Years (52.38%)
5. Brigham City (31.58%)
6. The R.M. (29.41%)
7. Pride and Prejudice (22.58%)
8. The Other Side of Heaven (19.61%)
9. Charly (15.63%)
10. Handcart (7.14%)
11. The Home Teachers (0.00%)

Sufficient data was not available to include "The Work and the Story," "Out of Step," "Day of Defense" or "Suddenly Unexpected" in the calculations. It is not likely that inclusion of these films in the data would have impacted the results significantly since their theatrical runs were minimal. For those interested, "The Legend of Johnny Lingo" would have fallen between "The Best Two Years" and "Brigham City."

The "typical" box office per theater number for each week was generated by taking the sum total box office gross for all LDS Cinema films during that week of the year and dividing it by the total number of screens showing an LDS cinema film during that week of the year. Weeks are considered to begin on Friday and end on the following Thursday. So, for example, the "typical" box office per theater gross for LDS Cinema films in the week beginning with the first Friday in January is $4,164. When an average of per-theater averages for each film is used instead of the above formula, the results are similar, with Pride and Prejudice moving down two slots (the only change in the rankings).

Admittedly, as with most statistics, these numbers can be misleading. For example, for 20 of its last 21 weeks in theaters, "The Other Side of Heaven" performed below the "typical" per-theater box office gross for that week. However, despite low per-theater performance that would typically signal the end of a film's theatrical run, the film hung around in one or two theaters for weeks and weeks. Its entire theatrical run was 51 weeks long! This longevity obviously affected its performance in this particular list. ("The Other Side of Heaven" still holds the LDS Cinema records for highest single week, highest single weekend, lowest single week AND lowest single weekend box office totals.)

HESS CLIMBS LDS BOX OFFICE CHART - Bro. Jared Hess has jumped up a few spots with the succes of "Napoleon Dynamite," and now his career total box office has surpassed that of Kurt Hale ("The Singles Ward", "The R.M.", "The Home Teachers"), and Richard Dutcher ("God's Army", "Brigham City").

With the continued rollout of "Napoleon Dynamite", made by LDS filmmakers and distributed by Fox Searchlight, Hess' box office total should pass that of Mitch Davis ("The Other Side of Heaven", $4.7 million) - probably this week. But from there it's a LONG climb to the $40 million level occupied by Blake.

Detailed tables are available here:


MOVIE RATINGS ARE 'CREEPING' - See:,1249,595077318,00.html

LDS MAN IS SUPER CHAMP ON "JEOPARDY" - There have been countless news stories about Bro. Jennings, in newspapers, local and national news. We heard about him weeks ago, but I think this is the first article we've actually forwarded to list. You probably already know all about him.


CORRECTION TO THE ABOVE ARTICLE PROVIDED BY READER - An reader provided this correction to the New York Times article we forwarded:

Eddie Timanus, the blind man who played Jeopardy, was not undefeated. He appeared 5 times, but lost on what would have been his final fifth appearance.




DESERET NEWS REVEALS JENNINGS' MIYAZAKI FETISH - A Totoro doll??? What's up with that. "Each night viewers learn something new about Jennings, from where he lives and what he does at work, to random facts like how he writes trivia questions for the National Academic Quiz Tournament and that he carries around a Totoro doll for good luck. A few nights Trebek has joked about not having anything left to discuss with him, he has been on the show so long." Excerpted from:,1249,595077158,00.html


NEW LDS/UTAH-MADE SHOW AIRING ON ESPN - Producer Andy Nicholson has informed us that there is a new show that began airing on Thursday, July 8th at 4pm EST on ESPN2 which was filmed mostly in Utah and features mostly Utah-based cast and crew. The show is a sports production titled "United Rockcrawling and Off-road Challenge."

Here is a list of various talent/crew

Producer: Andrew Nicholson
Host: Danny Canada (Danny Allen)
Host: John Currie
Hostess: Crystal Stone
Hostess: Bonnie-Jill Laflin
Director of Photography: Mike Robinson
Line Producer: Brett Monson
Camera Operators: Dave Skousen, Cammon Randle, Doug Hayduk, Nick Olson, Casey Niederhauser, David Chase, Mike Worthen
Sound: Roger Davis
Production Assistants: James Dayton, Terry Longden, Mike Simmons, Ann Sparks
Post Production: John Crossman

The season schedule is as follows:

Episode 1
St. George, UT
4:00pm EST

Episode 2
Vernal, UT
4:30pm EST

Episode 3
Cedar City, UT
4:00pm EST

Episode 4
Jellico, TN
4:00pm EST

Episode 5
Farmington, NM
4:00pm EST

Episode 6
St. George, UT
4:00pm EST

Episode 7
4:00pm EST