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

Weekend of September 3, 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 Change  $/Thtr   Days
--- ---------------------------  ----------- ------ -------   ----
 7  Collateral                     6,480,801 +0.2%    2,348    31
    Bryan H. Carroll*             88,897,193        $2,760
      (assoc. producer
      2nd unit director)

13  Napoleon Dynamite              3,742,949  +80%     886     87
    Jared Hess (writer/director)  27,199,631        $4,224
    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)

17  Suspect Zero                   2,521,808  -27%   1,501     10
    Aaron Eckhart                  7,227,348        $1,680
      (1st billed star)

23  The Notebook                     826,716  +41%     562     73
    Ryan Gosling                  78,480,132        $1,471
      (1st billed star)

29  Benji: Off the Leash!            429,145  -31%     406     17
    Actors: Nick Whitaker,         3,430,446        $1,057
      Chris Kendrick, Duane Stephens,
      Neal Barth, Christy Summerhays,
      Lincoln Hoppe, Scott Wilkinson

33  Anchorman:                       312,579           258     59
      The Legend of Ron Burgundy  84,789,585        $1,211
    Brent White (editor)

45  Bugs!                            146,396  +48%      31    542
    stars Papilio,                12,723,279        $4,722
      a Great Mormon butterfly

46  Mean Creek                       130,544  +51%      41     24
    LDS lead character               295,919        $3,184

55  Riding Giants (documentary)       88,311   +1%      59     59
    Jeff Clark                     1,992,893        $1,496
      (featured LDS surfer)

60  Saints and Soldiers               74,559  +41%      25     31
    Ryan Little                      585,291        $2,982
    Adam Abel (producer)
    Brian Brough
     (assoc. producer/produc. manager)
    Wynn Hougaard (editor)
    J Bateman (composer)
    Matt Whitaker (screenwriter)
    Jennifer Buster (casting)
    Actors: Corbin Allred, Larry Bagby III,
      Kirby Heyborne, Lincoln Hoppe,
      Curt Dousett, Ben Gourley,
      Ethan Vincent, etc.

72  Around the World in 80 Days       43,620  -29%      63     82
    Perry Andelin Blake           23,976,128          $692
      (production designer)

84  The Best Two Years                23,391  -19%      17    199
    Scott S. Anderson              1,050,759        $1,375
    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

111 The Young Black Stallion           3,932  +74%       1    256
    Reed Smoot (cinematographer)   6,512,741        $3,932

123 China: The Panda Adventure         1,803   +5%       2   1137
    Reed Smoot (cinematographer)   3,854,663          $901

93  Home on the Range                  7,364  -54%       8    143
    Roseanne Barr (actress)       50,026,353          $920
      (1st billed star)

NOTE: The box office figures shown above are for the 4-day Labor Day weekend.

The total number of days a film has played (in the "Days" column) is for the number of days through Sunday.

THE BEST TWO YEARS PASSES $1 MILLION MARK! Here are the 4 day numbers: Bro. Scott S. Anderson's critically acclaimed LDS Cinema film "The Best Two Years" passed the $1 million mark over the weekend. In its 29th weekend of release it played on 17 screens and took in total of $23,391 (an average of $1376 in each). The box office total for the movie is $1,050,759. Six out of 16 LDS Cinema films released thus far have now grossed over $1 million at the box office. The only LDS Cinema films that grossed more than "The Best Two Years" are: The Other Side of Heaven; God's Army; The Book of Mormon Movie, Vol. 1: The Journey; The Singles Ward; The R.M.

* * *

LDS TV STAR-TURNED-DIRECTOR RICK SCHRODER DEBUTS NEW FILM THIS MONTH: "BLACK CLOUD" Bro. Rick Schroder's film production office has contacted us (and followed up with a phone call), to announce the premiere this month of Brother Schroder's directorial debut: "Black Cloud".

The film will premiere on September 27 in Scottsdale, AZ, and will be released in select cities on October 1. Rick joined the church 4 years ago.


"Black Cloud" features a predominantly Native American cast in a story about a Native American training for a shot to compete on the U.S. Olympics team. It is also a romantic drama and a story of identity and spiritual awakening. Rick Schroder has a supporting role, as does Wayne Knight ("Newman" from "Sienfeld," and also a star of "Third Rock from the Sun" and "Jurassic Park.")

Much information and a great-looking movie trailer are available on the website.

Schroder is best known as the star of the TV sitcom "Silver Spoons." He recently co-starred with Dennis Franz on the critically acclaimed TV series "NYPD Blue," but he resigned from the show after 2 seasons in order to spend more time with his family. Schroder's most recent theatrically-released movie was "Poolhall Junkies" (2003), which was filmed in Utah. Schroder co-starred with Christopher Walken and the film's writer/director. Many people have been aware that Schroder joined the Church four years ago, and many people have asked us why we did not list him on the website. We do not access Church membership records or include listings of celebrities based only on information from friends and fellow ward members. Our policy is to not list living, working celebrities on our site unless they talk about their Church affiliation in published media interviews, articles, official website, etc., or contact us themselves. At his behest, we are now in the process of adding Ricky Schroder's filmography to the film actors page, the TV series actors page, and (one film: Black Cloud) to the director's page.

For the record, we are huge Rick Schroder fans, we were very sad to see his departure from "NYPD Blue," and we can't wait to see "Black Cloud," which looks fantastic!

"Black Cloud" has already received prestigious film festival awards and may well mark the beginning of a remarkable actor-turned-director career comparable to that of Robert Redford, Kevin Costner, Mel Gibson, etc.

Currently only a handful of theaters are scheduled to show "Black Cloud." If the movie looks interesting to you, you may wish to contact your local theater and/or distribution company and ask (or DEMAND) that they book the film.

* * *

ABOUT THE MAILING LIST: Bro. Kieth Merrill mentions and the mailing list in his current article with Meridian Magazine. For new subscribers to both of the mailing lists (and for the many other subscribers), here are a few notes:

- The main/daily list can be a high-volume list. Sometimes there may be only one or two messages sent in a day. But sometimes, when more news comes in or more research is done, there may be ten to twenty messages in a single day. Most of the subscribers to this list are industry professionals: film directors, producers, distributors, screenwriters, actors, critics, etc. Many other people prefer the once-a-week-only daily list, which includes the weekly box office numbers for films in theaters made by Latter-day Saint filmmakers, as well a capsule (but not all material) of material sent out during the week. Feel free to subscribe to whichever list works better for you.

- USE THE DELETE BUTTON on the messages from this list. If you receive a large number of mailings, scan the subject headings and use the delete button to simply delete whatever you might be interested in. We're not offended if you don't read every post. WE don't read every post all the way through. I don't even read half the stuff that I myself write. Also, there is no need to keep all of these materials stored in your email database on your personal email account webserver or on your computer. We have the messages archived and most of the material shows up soon enough online in our archive at If you remember reading something and you have since deleted the message, just do a search for it on the website, or write to us and we'll be able to provide the information.

- Drop any time. If either or our lists isn't for you, simply email us to unsubscribe. We take people off the list immediately and think nothing of it. Please don't put our email address in any filters. We do not want to send out any email messages to people who prefer not to receive them. We do not want to tax already-taxed filters.

- Feel free to reply to news or share information with the list. This is mostly a one-way list. We send news and research and press releases, etc. to subscribers. But we are happy to forward comments, commentary, observations, news about your own film work, etc. If you have something to say or share, respond and write to us. To save time, mark it as intended for all of our readers. By default, we do not forward any communications until we receive express permission to do so.

- We don't share email addresses with ANYBODY. In fact, only one of's webmasters has ever seen the subscriber lists. The subscriber lists are stored only on a Macintosh computer (immune from common internet viruses and programs that attempt to hijack such lists). It is NOT stored in any kind of database or email software program that some virus programs can hack into. The list is NOT stored anywhere online. The email address you subscribed with is secure on our end.

- We forward ALL LDS film news: bad and good, offensive and inoffensive. Most subscribers find that this is a very positive list on balance. That's because most of the news relating to the LDS film world is upbeat. But we don't filter anything out that is on topic. From news about new Church-made videos to news about HBO's "Big Love" polygamy series set in Salt Lake City... all are fair game.

- The box office report includes all films in theaters made by Mormon/LDS filmmakers and actors. Most names that appear in the box office report table belong to active Church members, but some are not. Ryan Gosling (star of "The Notebook"), for example, is somebody who has publicly identified himself as a Latter-day Saint in media interviews and other published sources, but based on the latest available interviews and reports he is not a current churchgoer. Filmography lists of celebrities known to be non-churchgoers ("non-practicing") are accompanied by a superscript 1. But is not anybody's bishop. Actors and other filmmakers are listed in the box office table and on other pages because they have identified themselves as Latter-day Saints, not because we have determined that their acting or film editing have sufficient merit to count themselves as worthy Church members, or because we have current information about the last time they attended church services.

- Capsule biographies for most of the names you will see in the box office tables appear in our Biography section: If you see the name of a person you would like to read more about, check there.

* * *

CHRIS HEIMERDINGER MOVIE "PASSAGE TO ZARAHEMLA" NEARLY FUNDED: From newsletter: "Magnificent month for fund-raising. 4 new investors just in the past two weeks--and again, ALL have been webguests of My partners have set a goal--we want to be fully funded on this motion picture before the end of Oct. Many of you have inquired and are still ruminating. If I can possibly tip the scales and encourage a positive decision, I will. And, of course, I welcome all new inquiries. I really do believe in this. Please help if you can. WE'RE SO CLOSE!!! For a business overview go to:

LDS ANIMATION DIRECTOR RICHARD RICH RELEASES ANIMATED "PASSION OF THE CHRIST": Excerpt from Deseret News article about a number of new DVDs being released which are about Jesus,,1249,595089272,00.html ("DVDs examine the life of Jesus", by Chris Hicks, 8 Sep 2004):

"The Animated Passion" (Nest/Anchor Bay, 2004, not rated, $14.98). Utah native and former Disney animator Richard Rich, who has been making his own animated films for a couple of decades now (from Book of Mormon videos to the theatrical feature "The Swan Princess"), is behind this family-oriented entry.

The primary draw is the newest, a half-hour animated adaptation of the ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, titled "Worthy Is the Lamb," with music by Kurt Bestor. It's not a bad way to help young children understand some Gospel messages, presented in a simplistic manner. (Although I'm not sure about the portrayal of Judas in a silly Snidely Whiplash manner.)

Better is the second 30-minute short, "He Is Risen," which Rich did in 1988, with a script by Orson Scott Card, music by Lex and Julie de Azevedo, and lots of Utah actors providing voice talent. This one focuses on the resurrection and is actually quite touching.

Rich also takes great pains with a prologue on each film to ensure that no one interprets them as anti-Semitic.

Another feature is a 36-minute sing-along, a collection of animated clips of biblical stories with subtitled lyrics.

Extras: Full frame, two short animated films, sing-along activities, optional text Bible captions, language options (English, Spanish), subtitle options (English, Spanish), chapters.

SUICIDE OF LDS FILM ACTRESS AND MOTHER'S GRIEF RESONATE ACROSS NATION: Raeanin Colleen Simpson was a young Latter-day Saint woman hoping to be a writer. She appeared in two family films directed by Latter-day Saint writer/director Craig Clyde (co-screenwriter of "The Book of Mormon Movie" volumes 1 and 2). After her shocking suicide, her mother wrote an emotionally powerful obituary that she paid to have published in the local newspaper. There was a national response to this, and the moved people even beyond San Diego. Excerpt from article (, "Young woman's apparent suicide and her mother's grief resonate across the nation", by Jeff McDonald, San Diego "Union-Tribune," September 5, 2004): "The brown-haired girl who drew rainbows on her schoolwork and diligently kept a journal turned to acting in the church theater. During one performance, a talent agent spotted Rae. The next thing the preteenager knew, she was a budding movie star. 'Little Heroes,' a family drama about a troubled girl who relies on her beloved dog to cope with a difficult home life, was released in 1991. 'Wind Dancer,' a feature film about a teenager injured in a fall from her horse, came out three years later."

"THAT'S GOT HIS OWN": NEW NBA/LDS SCREENPLAY POSTED: A new full-length screenplay has been posted for all to read at "That's Got His Own" is a screenplay by Alan Rex Mitchell, which took third place honors at the 2004 LDS Film Festival. It is "a sports, buddy, clash-of-culture movie with the feeling of Jerry McGuire and 48 Hours. A PG-13 movie that talks about NBA vs. Missionary life, Whites that love Black culture, Blacks who are culturally White, and the barriers of races, religion, and success."

Utah Short Film & Video Festival, Thursday, June 17 at 9:00 pm Best of Festival. Description of film: "Elder" by Tyler Stockton of Ventura, CA. Short narrative film. 25:00 (25 minutes). A comedic satire in which two missionaries with clashing personalities unravel their own sheltered lives as well as the lives of their potential converts.

Other award winners:

The 2004 Utah Film & Video Festival Awards

Honorable Mentions in Narrative
The Rose Laundry by Jenna Smith
Terminal by Eli Sasich and David Sasich

Honorable Mention in Documentary
Polygamy and Me by Lareena Smith

Honorable Mention in Animation
Radical Digital Funck Underground by Dale Angell

Best Young Media Artist
Goodbye, Weitzel by Elizabeth Jaussi

Best Video Narrative
The Baboon Reaction by Tommy Heffron

Best Video Animation
Unwelcome by Nathan Buchanan

Best Documentary
Clean Flicks by Jennifer Van Eenenaam

Best Experimental
Black Magic Best Friend by Kevin Dazet

Best 16mm Film
The Bookshelf by Yohei Kawamata

Mort Rosenfeld Award
Eureka! by Anne Marie Kocherhans

Best of Festival
Elder by Tyler Stockton

FAMILY FLIX MOVES OFFICES, PRODUCTION FACILITY TO PROVO: (,1249,595088984,00.html, Deseret News, September 4, 2004): "Family Flix, a supplier of edited movies, recently moved its headquarters and production facility to Provo. Family Flix will focus on building its partnership with LDS Overstock and Edited Entertainment, headquartered in Ogden. The companies will open 15 retail product stores this year, and 50 more next year, Family Flix said in a statement. According to the partnership arrangement, LDS Overstock retail outlets will feature Family Flix edited movie rentals."

OFF TOPIC: LDS SEMINARY TEACHER COMPETING IN ATHENS 2004 PARALYMPICS: This is just an alert, so you can get more information if you're interested: An LDS seminary teacher from Utah is going to the Athens 2004 Paralympics. He will compete in Men's wheelchair basketball.

Jeff Griffin is the athlete. Information can be found at:

His manager, Randall, has media information available in the "Press Box" section. He can reached via email: #########

Randall's number is ###########. He's open to talking to media representatives of all kinds. As webmasters and media gurus, I thought you might be interested to watch this develop.

[Feel free to contact us if you would like further information or if you would like to be contacted by Bro. Griffen.]

* * *


To Whom It May Concern:

I am 17 years old. All my life I have been a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have been taught that "...if there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praise worthy (A of F 1:13)" that we should seek these things.

The prophet (and the others before him) have repeatedly told us that we are a "choice generation" and that we need to make righteous choices. Each sunday, in Young Women's, we stand and repeat a theme. A theme that states: "We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him. We will stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things and in all places. As we strive to live the YW values, which are, Faith, Divine Nature, Individual Worth, Knowledge, Choice and Accountabilty, Good Works, and Integrity. We believe as we come to accept and act upon these values, we will be prepared to strengthen home and family, make and keep sacred covenants, receive the ordinances of the temple, and enjoy the blessings of exaltation."

How can we continue to stick to our values, when there is so much bad around us? And how again, can we stick to our values, and live up to our being a choice generation? How can we make righteous choices and stand as witnesses of God at ALL times and in ALL things, and in ALL places? How can we live to be people of Integrity? How can we act upon the values that we are taught to live, to strengthen our homes and our families? And how, can we enjoy the many blessings that our Heavenly Father wants to give us, if we do not live up to the standards he has given us--if those that choose to make films, choose not to live by these standards and others like them?

I have done a lot of research on the ratings of movies, because I want to stick to the things I believe, and because I have chosen to never watch anything that is degrading or vulgar--and all the "LDS" films that I have searched for (and even were excited to see, until I learned more about the ratings and content) do not match up to what I always understood "LDS" to be.

We cannot begin to accept the ideas of the "world" as ideas of "LDS" members who believe so differently from what I am seeing portrayed.

Most movies I have seen (LDS Films or not) are rated Pg or higher, with simply the explanation of "Rated for some thematic elements" or "mild language" and even more alarming explanations.

Are these the kinds of things that go along with our beliefs as an LDS people? Is this the way we want the "world" to view us as an LDS people? We are better than that.

I know that history has had many things happen and I know that if the society we live in now had a rating, it would be rated R or worse. Our society is quickly losing sight of all the things that are important in life and the values that our country was founded upon.

Even so, I think that we need to be above that.

I have read Jack Weyland's Charly, and have heard of Elder Groberg's many experiences. Yet, when I talk to people about the movies that come because of the books, they don't match up.

When "God's Army" came out--the first thing I heard was, "its a missionary show about a missionary that.. . .dah dah dah...." and what I heard didn't match up!

Why do you add all this "extra" stuff to your movies, when you should be trying to delete all this "extra" and add things that are better.

I hope to see a good "family film" that sticks to and upholds the values we try so hard to teach our families.

I encourage you, strongly encourage you, to re-evaluate what you are trying to teach and what you are trying to accomplish with your movies.

If you do, I know that you will bless many more lives, and that others will look at the LDS people and know that we truly are people that live our beliefs. (something that your films (from what I've read about them and talked to people about) do not live up to.)

Please, take a stand.

Thank you.

Sarah Kirk, hopeful that you will live up to some better standards

* * *


When I decided to go to Film School, I went with the intention of learning the "Art" of film, without getting into the "art" of film, if that makes any sense.

At school I wrote a script for a short film that was chosen to be produced as a Senior project. I was 1 of 3 "directors" that prepared a directors proposal for my script. When I saw or heard about the other directors intents with MY script, I was horrified. My script was a simple tale, with nothing offensive in it (or at least I DIDN'T THINK). The main characters name was "Weed", but excuse me for being gullible, I didn't name him after a "drug". The character was based on a kid I went to high school with, whose last NAME was "Weed". The lead actress in my film showed up on set wearing a low cut t-shirt, and I asked her to change (much to the disappointment of my mostly male crew).

When I left school, I too was faced with either trying to tell a "real" "gritty" tale of characters or I could have made LDS films, which I felt had to be "real" and "gritty" to an extent, or nobody would watch them or LEARN from them.

And that is my point. As much as LDS filmmakers (and filmmakers in general) SAY they are making the movie for themslves, or a specific audience, we are forced to put in certain things that could generate a larger interest in the film, quite simple for our own (financial) survival. Simply put: Nobody is going to fund a LDS feature film that doesn't have SOMETHING for those outside of the religion.

The other point to be said for some LDS films (i.e. "God's Army") is that by showing LDS characters in the "real-world" we are hoping that there will be people out there that will realize that, even though it can be a challenge, it is possible to be a good Latter Day Saint even amongst all the evils of the world.

The real question is, who are LDS films made for? LDS audiences or the rest of the world that has never heard of us? And isn't that what the Prophets REALLY talk about when they encourage us to use the Arts to show the world about our religion? Do they really mean that we make movies for ONLY us. Wouldn't that make us a bit pretentious if we didn't include everyone else?

I am faced with this question everyday and everyday I seem to come up with a pretty decent idea for a movie, I don't act on it because I'm not sure how to depict it. In "REAL LIFE", it isn't all peaches and ice cream, and I think that some LDS films have done a great job of showing that.

I think we have to face facts though, when it comes down to it, film is a business and in order to be profitable at it the filmmakers have to show life as it really is, not how we WISH life was.

I guess that's why I'm making a mild attempt at "Life's Little Lessons" short films, to teach the values inherint to society. But it sure doesn't pay the bills!


Too bad "Suddenly Unexpected" never played here, I worked on that film and the script was FULL of great values. I was consistently amazed that the mostly non-LDS cast and crew where so affected by the LDS overtones in that. But heck, I have yet to see it and I was the cinematographer!

[ABOUT TUCKER T. DANSIE: (This is totally me, the webmaster of, adding this note about Dansie. He absolutely was not tooting his own horn or anything, and he didn't write the following paragraph.) Tucker T. Dansie is a talented Salt Lake City-based filmmaker whose many short films include a number of well-made comedies, and also a wonderful series of films called "One of Life's Little Lessons": short films based on true stories which teach valuable ethical lesson. The series includes: "The Wooden Bowl", "Two Dimes & A Nickel" and "The Lesson." Dansie is also the director, producer and editor of a documentary about the LDS popular music band COLORS. A cutting-edge DVD/CD set featuring the documentary, concert footage, and other material can be purchased in select stores. Dansie was the Director of Photography for the LDS Cinema film "Suddenly Unexpected." Dansie wrote and partially cast the LDS Cinema film "Love Logs On," a contemporary romantic comedy with cyberspace influences. His website is: I've probably seen more of Dansie's films than most anybody, and I consider myself a definite fan of his professionalism and distinctive filmmaking style.]