The Corner

The Numbers

As Jim mentioned, The Passion of Christ earned $23.6 million at the box office on Wednesday. (Total gross through Wednesday, including special screenings on Monday and Tuesday, was $26.5 million.) Let’s put that number in perspective. Return of the King earned $34.5 million on its Wednesday opening–so The Passion’s numbers are big but not unprecedented, unless you also consider the fact that it’s a movie with subtitles, for crying out loud. Also, Mel Gibson’s Braveheart also opened on a Wednesday in 1995, earning $1.4 million, then $9.9 million on its first three-day weekend and $75 million total. (The source for my numbers is here.)

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.

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