The Corner

Passion Earns $23.6 Million

The Passion of the Christ earned <A

HREF=”http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1000446045″>$23.6

million during its Wednesday opening. The New York Times was

ready on Thursday morning to <A

HREF=”http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/26/movies/26PASS.html”>explain it

away: “Daytime showings in Tulsa, Okla., and Dallas, where churches had

bought blocks of tickets were sold out, but in Richmond, VA., and Boston,

theaters were less than half-full.”

The afternoon of a workweek is a poor measure of interest in any movie

outside of “Star Wars” or “Lord of the Rings.” Had the reporter of that

story joined me at the 7:00 PM showing of The Passion in

Springfield, VA, she would have seen a rarity: the manager decided to open

up a second theater because the first one was packed full.

All attendees, including elderly people, had to climb the steep steps of a

broken escalator to simply reach the box office window. The elderly folks

I saw may have been out of breath but they remained determined to confirm

Ralph Winter and Mark Joseph’s <A

HREF=”http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/winter_joseph200402250840.asp”>prediction

in NRO on Tuesday.

The popularity of The Passion is remarkable, considering the

intensity of the feelings the film provokes. The <A

HREF=”http://www.christendom.edu/news/releases.shtml#passion”>275

Christendom College students and faculty who attended the film on Ash

Wednesday returned to their college chapel for “a silent holy hour.”

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