Jesus Christ Movie Star; Mel Gibson's 'The Passion' Defies Expectations and Opens to a Flood of Tears-And Ticket Sales. That May Not Stop It from Being the Most Divisive Movie in History
Byline: David Gates, With Sean Smith in Los Angeles, Julie Scelfo in New York, Mark Miller in Dallas, Jason McLure in Boston and Patrick Crowley in Cincinnati
Whatever you think about Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ," it's clear that everything Hollywood insiders knew was wrong. After a massive opening on Ash Wednesday last week--the film took in more than $26 million that day--we're not hearing much from all those folks who said nobody would turn out to see an uncompromisingly gory Christian movie in Latin and Aramaic. The mixed reviews--thumbs up from Roger Ebert, thumbs down from almost everybody else--didn't matter. This was the biggest opening day for any movie ever released outside the summer and holidays. "It's incredible," says one studio source. "I don't know if it's 'surprising,' but it's surreal." Not to moviegoers like Lorrie Delaney of Bloomfield Hills, Mich. "I prayed throughout it," she says. "I'm a very, very devout Catholic. I love my faith. I love my God." Nor to the Rev. Jack Graham, president of the …
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Publication information: Article title: Jesus Christ Movie Star; Mel Gibson's 'The Passion' Defies Expectations and Opens to a Flood of Tears-And Ticket Sales. That May Not Stop It from Being the Most Divisive Movie in History. Contributors: Not available. Magazine title: Newsweek. Publication date: March 8, 2004. Page number: 50. © 2009 Newsweek, Inc. All rights reserved. Any reuse, distribution or alteration without express written permission of Newsweek is prohibited. For permission: www.newsweek.com. COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group.
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