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2004 The Passion of the Christ

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Gap divides critics, viewers as ‘Passion’ keeps top spot

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Among the top 50
Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of The Christ” – grossing more than $213 million since its Feb. 25 release – already is among the top 50 films of all time at the box office.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--As "The Passion of The Christ" took the top spot at the box office for a second weekend and touted estimated earnings in excess of $213 million, the divide remains wide between movie critics and viewers.
      "People are checking it out because of word of mouth," Bob Berney, president of Passion distributor Newmarket Films, told USA Today. "It's gone beyond churches renting out theaters. We're across the board with ethnic groups and ages."

Nothing else would work: Man watches ‘Passion,’ accepts Christ

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--When nothing else worked, Betty Neal said, "The Passion of The Christ" caused her longtime friend to accept Christ.

FIRST-PERSON: Revisionism takes on ‘The Passion’

NEW ORLEANS (BP)--The movie was not out yet and already it had caused a major debate. Why would a movie depicting a story so commonplace within Western culture cause such division? Hundreds of movies about Jesus are rerun every Easter. Why would this new one bring out the critics?

Professions of faith, recommitments among results of ‘Passion’

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Power of the cross
An empty cross – evidencing the finished work of Christ – is part of the effect of “The Passion of The Christ” in pointing people to the Savior as the Mel Gibson movie continues showing nationwide. An Austin, Texas, congregation, for example, has counted 90 professions of faith.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Great Hills Baptist Church in Austin, Texas, began planning for "The Passion of The Christ" last fall when the congregation organized a lay-led ministry team to develop a plan for maximizing the impact of the film.
      One of the major components of the effort was to rent a theater and pass out decision cards to everyone who attended the showing of The Passion. During an early showing the church secured the day before the movie officially opened, 59 people indicated on the decision cards they had accepted Jesus as Savior after watching the film and listening to a Gospel presentation.

With permission slips, high school students attend ‘Passion’

ARDMORE, Okla. (BP)--With permission slips from their parents, more than 500 high school students in the Ardmore, Okla., area viewed “The Passion of The Christ.”

FIRST-PERSON: Jesus in the movies

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (BP)--How does an actor portray a personage that is both man and God? Here are several movies that have tried. While Jesus is not the central figure in some of these films, the power of who He is is evident:

FIRST-PERSON: To-may-to, to-mah-to: Reviews vary

McMINNVILLE, Ore. (BP)--Rotten Tomatoes (www.rottentomatoes.com) is a website dedicated to all things cinematic. Among its offerings, it provides visitors with access to a huge collection of critical reviews. The site boasts of having information on more 100,000 movies and links to 360,000 reviews. To say Rotten Tomatoes seeks to be comprehensive would be an understatement.

Reports of changed lives abound as thousands take in ‘Passion’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--After months of speculation surrounding Mel Gibson's "The Passion of The Christ," the film opened as a blockbuster Feb. 25 with estimated first-day earnings exceeding $20 million. But more significant than the dollars is the number of changed lives that emerged from the 3,000-plus theaters on the first day alone.
      In Maryland, 13-year-old Michael McKoy said the movie about the last 12 hours of Jesus' life has caused him to reconsider his daily behavior.

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Clear vision
Chris Rouse, minister of worship at College Heights Baptist Church in Hendersonville, Tenn., had to take several moments to gain his composure before he was able to share his thoughts with Baptist Press. Photo by Morris Abernathy
      "There are some days when I wake up in the morning, when I feel like I do not have the time to pray, to read the Word of God," McKoy said. "While I have read the Gospel accounts of the passion, seeing it portrayed on the big screen, seeing the length that Jesus was willing to go to die for me, makes it impossible for me to wake up in the morning and feel like I don't have time to read the Word and to pray."
      In Dallas, 27-year-old Lauren Reagin found the film to be emotional and difficult to watch. She said knowing that at any time during the excruciating beating Jesus had the power to say it was enough and quit was a powerful testimony that will have an impact on her outlook for the future.

Chapman, MSNBC panel discuss question, ‘Who killed Jesus?’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--In contrast to what some critics have said, "The Passion of The Christ" portrays the biblical truth that all of humanity -- and not just one group of people -- is responsible for Jesus' death, Morris H. Chapman told a national television audience Feb. 25.

FIRST-PERSON: ‘The Passion’ & the Book

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP)--There is at once consternation and criticism, along with much anticipation and excitement regarding Mel Gibson's retelling of the crucifixion of Christ in "The Passion of The Christ."