''Passion'' reclaims No. 1 over Easter weekend -- Mel Gibson's film about Jesus' crucifixion surges forward after seven weeks of release

By Dave Karger
Updated April 10, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT
The Passion of The Christ: Phillippe Antonello
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Has a new Easter tradition been born? ”The Passion of the Christ,” which was expected to see a holiday-weekend box office boost, surged back to the top of the chart in its seventh weekend with a fantastic $17.1 million take, according to studio estimates.

That’s the second-highest seventh weekend ever (behind, of course, ”Titanic”) and a 61 percent increase from its $10.6 million gross last weekend. Mel Gibson’s film — with a total of $354.9 million — is now the No. 8 top grosser of all time, less than $3 million behind No. 7, ”Jurassic Park.” At this rate, ”The Passion” should become only the sixth film in history to earn more than $400 million domestically.

Second place went to ”Hellboy,” which dropped 52 percent in its second weekend to $11.1 million. After 10 days, the comic-book-based flick has earned $41.1 million.

Two new films tied for third place: ”The Alamo” and Cedric the Entertainer’s ”Johnson Family Vacation,” both with $9.2 million. (”Johnson” has grossed $11.6 million since opening last Wednesday.) It’s a disappointing showing for ”The Alamo,” which was originally supposed to debut last December.

The Rock’s ”Walking Tall” completed the top five, plummeting 54 percent to $8.3 million in its second weekend. But the biggest losers of the weekend were the three other new wide releases. ”The Whole Nine Yards” placed 8th with $6.7 million, ”Ella Enchanted” was 9th with $6.1 million, and ”The Girl Next Door” came in 10th with $6 million. During this holy weekend, people apparently didn’t have comedy on their minds.

Ella Enchanted

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  • PG
  • 95 minutes
  • Tommy O'Haver