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Posted 09 Apr 2002   For week ended February 01, 2002
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 01Feb02
By Mormon News Film Editor
Download to My Handheld!

'The Singles Ward' Debuts, 'Ocean's Eleven' Drops from Top 10

DALLAS, TEXAS -- With four major new releases in the top 10, "Ocean's Eleven" was finally bumped out of the top 10 movies nationwide this week: After 7 weeks it was in 11th place, down from 6th place last week. This marks the first time in months that a movie with Latter-day Saint characters or made by Latter-day Saint filmmakers was not among the nation's top at the box office. "Ocean's" has now passed the $175 million mark, which makes it the 10th top-grossing film of the year.

"Behind Enemy Lines" went from 21st to 27th place after 59 days in release. "The Other Side of Heaven" was 3rd on the "LDS Movies" list, taking in $93,809 in just 33 theaters. It was in 36th place nationwide, down from 34th place last week. "Mulholland Drive" was just behind "Heaven" -- in 37th place this week, down from 33rd last week.

"The Singles Ward", the first "LDS Film" of 2002, premiers at the Jordon Commons (in Sandy, Utah) on Wednesday, January 30th. All proceeds from the "Utah black-tie", all-star affair will benefit the National Kidney Foundation. Two days later, on Friday, February 1st, "The Singles Ward" opens in theaters all over Utah (and Rexburg, ID). As you doubtless know by now, "The Singles Ward" is based on an original semi-autobiographical story by Latter-day Saint stand-up comic John E. Moyer. The screenplay was written by Moyer and the film's director, first-time feature helmer Kurt Hale. With this movie Hale becomes only the 3rd director in the post-Dutcher era to release a commercial feature film made by and about Latter-day Saints (after Dutcher himself and "The Other Side of Heaven" director Mitch Davis). "The Singles Ward" is unique in that it is the first comedy.

In "The Other Side of Heaven", producer Jerry Molen played the mission president and the actual John H. Groberg and his wife Jean Sabine Groberg appear briefly in a wedding scene. Some real-life TV journalists appeared as reporters in Dutcher's "Brigham City." So "The Singles Ward" is not the first LDS niche film to use cameos. But it is the first to make EXTENSIVE use of cameos. It has a ton of them. Bit parts are played in the movie by such famous individuals as Richard Dutcher, Julie Stoffer (MTV's "The Real World"), Steve Young, Thurl Bailey, Sean Bradley, Danny Ainge, Ruth Hale, LaVelle Edwards, Ron McBride (the only one who is not Mormon), and Wally Joyner. The budget for "The Singles Ward" was $500,000, and we're predicting the movie will be a huge critical and financial success.

Here's an interesting little item: That venerable sage Orson Scott Card has long made clear his interest in movies. The adaptation of his popular novel "Ender's Game" into a movie is a perennial topic of interest. It's true that the screenplays for quite a number of Living Scriptures animated videos were penned by Card. But if you want to see what Card might do as a DIRECTOR or as writer of an ORIGINAL story, there was nothing available... Until now! You can now browse on over to the official OSC site at and check out Card's new short film "Remind Me Again." The RealPlayer format movie can be downloaded or watched as a streaming video. The 13-minute film was shot and edited by the director's son Geoffrey Card (film student and author of the "God's Army" novelization).

"Remind Me Again" stars Card's daughter Emily, as well as Dustin Evans, Aaron Johnston and Lauren Johnston. The story is about a man who has lost his memory, but he isn't Jim Carrey. FYI: There are no insectoid aliens, magic-wielding prophets, talking trees, sleeping princesses, or time-traveling Mayans. (Or does it?) And be warned: "Remind Me Again" is oddly interesting and well made given the equipment constraints, but it is very low budget (maybe even no-budget). Don't expect a Nike commercial.

Finally, up-and-coming filmmaker John Lyde announced this week the completion of his first major feature-length film: "The Field Is White." The 52-minute movie is being distributed by Thompson Productions and will arrive in LDS bookstores everywhere within a few weeks. "The Field is White" is about a returned missionary who struggles with his faith in post-mission life, but recalls his mission experiences as he re-reads his journals. "The Field is White" stars Tyson Downey, Kirt Fairbank and Lynne Carr. Audiences will remember Lynne Carr as "Sister Beecroft", the mission president's wife in Dutcher's "God's Army" (2000). "The Field is White" will also give you a preview of actor Jaelan Petrie, in a smaller role. Petrie is the star of Kels Goodman's upcoming feature film "Handcart."

[If table below doesn't line up properly, try looking at them with a mono-spaced font, such as courier - Ed.]

Weekend Box Office Report (U.S. Domestic Box Office Gross)
Weekend of January 25, 2002
Film Title
LDS/Mormon Filmmaker or Actor
Weekend Gross
Total Gross
11Ocean's Eleven
LDS characters: Malloy twins
27 Behind Enemy Lines
David Veloz (screenwriter)
36The Other Side of Heaven
Mitch Davis (writer/director)
John H. Groberg (author/character)
Gerald Molen, John Garbett (producers)
37Mulholland Drive
Joyce Eliason (producer/writer) 88,160
44Out Cold
A. J. Cook (female lead)
61 China: The Panda Adventure
Reed Smoot (cinematographer)
Reed Smoot (cinematographer)
78Island of the Sharks
Alan Williams (composer)
79 Mark Twain's America in 3D
Alan Williams (composer)
88Cirque du Soleil: Journey of Man
Reed Smoot (cinematographer)


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