Monday, April 12, 2004

T&T: The Passion earns $1.5M+ TT

FOR the two and a half weeks since its premier, the controversial movie The Passion of the Christ which was produced and directed by Australian movie star Mel Gibson, has grossed approximately TT $1.5 million! The movie which has been described by some cinema-goers as "racist" and "too violent" is scheduled to be shown for at least another month at MovieTowne, while Caribbean Cinemas 8 (CC8) in Trincity will continue featuring it "until the crowd dies down." Speaking with Sunday Newsday yesterday, Marketing Manager at MovieTowne, Louanna Borde revealed that the cineplex had recorded a whopping 30,000 viewers of the show in the two and half weeks, which amounted to TT $1,050,000.

Stating that movie-goers of "all races, religion and ethnicities" had been visiting the theatre, Borde saidÝ The Passion could possibly be the largest money-earner for the year, and was being compared to other top grossers such as the Harry Potter films, the Lord of the Rings trilogy and even the Matrix movies. Questioned as to whether MovieTowne had instituted an age restriction, Borde said no as the Board of Film Censors had tagged it "PG/For all ages." However, management has since posted a disclaimer in the box office window requesting adults to view the movie before deciding whether it was suitable viewing for their children.

Newsday was informed of an incident where a family had purchased tickets for the movie, and following the start, the father had to exit the theatre with his son who was upset at the violence. He had to later purchase another set of tickets for a comedy, in order to get his son to calm down. Operations Manager at MovieTowne, Kwesi Wickham said while the evening shows continue to be sold out, the earlier shows have been "kinda quiet" as much of the crowd have been reserving tickets for the later showings. Commenting on the crowds' reaction, both Borde and Wickham said it was amazing to note that instead of persons rushing out of the theatre as the credits are shown, they instead tend to remain quietly seated for at least ten minutes.
This is only one theatre. When places like San Fernando, Gulf City, Princes Town and other nothern venues are factored in, the movie is making mega-bucks.

What an audience reaction! As I've contended, The Passion fully drives home the meaning of "Christ died for us."


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