Sunday, February 29, 2004

And I Thought Walking on Water Was Impressive

The Numbers Speak:
Jesus Christ Works Miracles at Box Office

By Dean Goodman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Mel Gibson (news) turned water into wine at the North American box office as the faithful flocked to watch the writer/director's controversial labor of love, "The Passion of the Christ," over the weekend.

The gritty movie, which revolves around the last 12 hours of Christ's life, sold an estimated $76.2 million worth of tickets for the three days beginning Feb. 27, officials for the film said on Sunday -- the seventh-best three-day opener of all time, and the best for a new release in February.

Since opening on Wednesday, "Passion" has grossed $117.5 million, which included about $3 million worth of group sales for preview screenings the prior two days. The tally represented the second-best for a Wednesday release, behind only 2003's "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" with $124.1 million in its first five days.

However, the Friday-to-Sunday sum for "Passion" beat the equivalent three-day haul for "The Return of the King" of $72.7 million. The three-day record of $115 million is held by the 2002 hit "Spider-Man."

"Passion" also ranks as the second-best R-rated opener, behind last year's "The Matrix Reloaded" with a three-day sum of $92 million.

Jasper Speaks:
This is awesome! I have refrained from making remarks about this film since I saw it more from lack of time than "passion". I keep telling people that it is not so much a movie as an "experience". (Yes, I realize how hokey that may sound but it is true). I was moved to tears over the simple moments of the movie. The scourging scene hurt me deeply but it was the actual lines written from Scripture that Christ actually said that moves me to tears.

I am taking my small group a week from Wednesday (when Kaleb gets back from his trip to Ecuador). I am looking forward to the conversation it stimulates. It has been interesting talking to other Youth Pastors and people from my church that have seen it. It has seemed to deeply affect everyone who has seen it.

I do realize that even we as Christians come into the movie with prejudices. We want to like the movie. We want to be moved. So I can understand why those who come in looking for wrong and inconsistencies find them. As I have written here before, Jesus is still controversial. I am just glad that so many Christians especially have been challenged by this new look at this central story of our faith.

I am encouraged to see that the movie is making this much money. I pray that it will continue to move people for a long time.

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