Story by: Jack Foley
ZOMBIES proved no match for Christs suffering at the UK
box office at the weekend, as Mel Gibsons violent epic,
The Passion of the Christ, stormed to the number one spot at the
UK and Ireland box office.
The film, which depicts the final 12 hours in Christs life,
enjoyed weekend takings of £2.01m - a three-day figure which
marks the highest-ever opening for a subtitled film.
Zombie thriller remake, Dawn
Of The Dead (which toppled Mels movie in America, after
being released some weeks later), entered the film charts at number
two, with takings of £1.94m, while TV remake, Starksy
and Hutch, fell to third place.
The UK success of the film should help to keep The Passion of
the Christ on course to overtake Titanic as the most successful
film of all-time, and has helped to revive box office fortunes
in what has proved to be a fairly tepid year, so far.
In America, its success has helped to push Winter box office
takings to their highest-ever level, as ticket sales for the period
were more than $1.78bn (£1bn), a 15% rise compared to last
Had it not been for The Passion, however, estimates put the figures
five per cent down on 2003.
The film has subsequently taken more than $302m (£167.7m)
in the US alone, making a mockery of news reports, at the time
that it was announced, that it would never find a distributor.
It has also prompted a murder confession from a Texan man, who
killed his girlfriend, who said that the film had him feel remorse.
And it has been blamed for the death of at least two people,
who died while watching it.