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  1. #1
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    Question A Passion-ate Box Office Performance?

    I don't know if any of you guys do this, but I play around with movie stocks on www.hsx.com.

    I'm not going to bother getting into the details, but currently Mel Gibson's "Passion" is trading at a price that estimates that it will make over $60M in it's first month of release at the US box office. That would put its earning above current movies like Mystic River, Paycheck, and School of Rock.

    Do think this movie will really be THAT big?

    I'm not sure what to think. Religious movies rarely do very well. Omega Code and the VeggieTales movies both had a lot of buzz within parts of the American Christian community and even showed up on weekend top ten box office lists, but ultimately they didn't perform exceptionally.

    On the other hand, the Passion's getting incredible reviews, even from non-Christians (see aintitcool.com for reviews by non-church goers). Its trailer is currently ranked #3 on ML's list and has been on the top five of ML's download list since July (it's currently the #1 download). Yahoo movies says its Passion page is the fourth most requested (see here).

    Is this movie going to make a lot of money for Mel? Or is this all just good hype? If it does make a lot of money and acclaim for Mel, do you think studios are going to jump onto the bandwagon and make more biblical epics?

    Curious to hear your thoughts.
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  2. #2
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    Good question.
    Because of the subject matter, I would say it won't do very well.
    But on the other hand, because of the hype, and because it's Gibson, it could do very well.

    As for HSX... At $60M, I wouldn't buy it. Too risky.

  3. #3
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    HA! I knew this would come up! I mentioned last year that this movie might be a landmark for more religious movies to be made like Hollywood did in the past. They have phases. Could this be a new phase?

    Originally posted by enkydu

    Do think this movie will really be THAT big?

    I'm not sure what to think. Religious movies rarely do very well. Omega Code and the VeggieTales movies both had a lot of buzz...
    Religious movies have actually done VERY well in the past. Most of them have more valve as a movie than todays. Ben-Hur, The Robe, Ten Commandments, King Of Kings and the Nobel Prize winning story turned movie Quo Vadis. Theres are the most popular I can think up (that I liked) but I'm sure there is many more. The movies you mentioned are purely fiction and not even called religious in nature. More so, twisting or making fun of it.

    btw... y hasn't anyone done a high budget picture of Joseph & The Technicolour Dreamcoat? Or have they? Surprised it hasn't been touched!

    As for if The Passion will do well? I would agree with JPB on this. Also that there has been a wide break between this type of movie from decades ago, this movie could attract a old audience from the past (all our parents and their parents).
    Last edited by Kn'thrak; 02-05-2004 at 12:36 PM.
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  4. #4
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    Gambling..

  5. #5
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    I just found this story. It's about the film's marketing campaign.
    click here
    I'm begining to wonder if Mel is marketing to churches because he truly wants people's lives to be changed by this film, or if he sees them as an untapped vehicle for movie marketing.

  6. #6
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    Originally posted by Kn'thrak
    Ben-Hur
    URGH!!!

    That film is seriously considered religious because some film maker remains adamant that a few shots of the back of somebodies head makes his film "A tale of the Christ"? Hate it, IMHO it's one of the worst films ever to get credit as a masterpiece. Not worst as in, I respect it but it bores me, as in 2001, but worst as in bad film making and an attrotious "Best Actor" winning performance from Mr. Chisel Jaw!!!
    http://www.epinions.com/content_125092793988

    Anyway, back on topic. I predict that film fans will be drawn to this film out of curiosity, and if for nothing else than the cinematography. However the graphic violence and non English language will put off the masses.

  7. #7
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    I dont go to church, Im not religous, but this film looks good, Im gonna take a look at it and I think lots of people will be like me and check it out, like carl said, out of curiousity. There is even a chance that this WILL become a epic and people from many different cultures will see it, not based on religion but based on the experience. If I was Mr. Gibson, Id go to all differernt cultural groups to advertise and tell them that this is not to say "We're right your wrong" but TO change peoples lives!
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  8. #8
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    Here's a very interesting story on the Passion.

    Chicago Tribune

    Among the things that this article points out are the following:

    • advance ticket sales were close to $5 million three weeks before the Feb. 25/Ash Wednesday release date.
    • The Passion is receiving by far the widest release ever for a subtitled film
    • As of Wednesday, the online/phone ticketing service Fandango reported that "The Passion" already was accounting for 54 percent of its total ticket sales.


    Currently the film is trading around $80 on HSX. I'm not sure that's over-inflated when you consider that it already has $5 million in the bank for opening weekend.

  9. #9
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    I know... I've got a sneaking suspiscion that this movie is going to exceed everyone's expectations...
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  10. #10
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    Originally posted by blugh
    I know... I've got a sneaking suspiscion that this movie is going to exceed everyone's expectations...
    The media frenzy is incredible. Its HSX price hit $95 this weekend. It's got over $5M in pre-ticket sales and its got another week before its release.

    I spoke to a large group last weekend (over 600 people) and made a passing reference to the movie. People seemed very interested in that part of my talk. Plus over a dozen people came up to me afterwards and said things like "I don't normally look forward to seeing movies, but I REALLY want to see this." I think there's a lot of very interested people out there.

    Blugh, I think you may be correct. This movie could be huge.

  11. #11
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    I have already purchased my ticket for the opening day on Ash Wednesday. I am wondering about the media attention it is going to receive, from the news as well.

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    ill be going opening day for sure
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  13. #13
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    from boxofficemojo newsletter:

    -------------------------
    BOX OFFICE MOJO
    THEATER COUNTS UPDATE, ETC.
    -------------------------

    'PASSION' PLAYDATES

    Exhibitor demand for 'The Passion of the Christ' keeps on spreading as its
    Feb. 25 release date approaches. The theater count has gone from 2,000+ to
    2,650 to 2,800. Now, the latest count is a whopping 2,965 ˆ making Mel
    Gibson's $30 million production arguably one of the unlikeliest
    super-saturation releases ever.
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  14. #14
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    Estimates are out for Wednesday's box office totals.

    Passion might have hit $20M on Wednesday! Even if over the long term its performance drops off like Matrix Revolutions (which also opened with a $20M Wednesday), it'll make at least $130M. That's a good chunk of change.

    For more see this article on boxofficemojo.com

  15. #15
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    Fueled by unprecedented media frenzy and religious fervor, Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ is delivering on the hype. Playing on 4,643 screens at 3,006 theaters, the movie should hit the high teen millions and could reach over $20 million today. If The Passion comes in at the high end of projections, it could set the opening day record for a non-summer, non-holiday movie. Hannibal is the current title holder with $19.8 million posted in February 2001. Although The Passion's projections include around $3 million from private screenings for church groups on Monday and Tuesday.
    The Passion had rung up over $7 million from matinees alone. That's about 18% behind what The Return of the King had at the same point on its opening day, and around 4% behind The Matrix Reloaded. Return of the King went on to take in $34.5 million that day, the Wednesday record.

    By the end of Thursday, The Passion could become the highest-grossing Christian movie of recent memory. It's a genre that's been ghettoized as a niche market up until now – current champ Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie grossed a modest $25.6 million in its entire run.
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