Hollywood film-maker Mel Gibson is suing an American cinema chain over its alleged failure to pay the correct share of box office receipts from his controversial hit movie The Passion Of The Christ.

The WHAT WOMEN WANT heart-throb is asking for over $40 million (GBP22 million) from film theatre giant REGAL ENTERTAINMENT GROUP for disputed takings from his movie about the last 12 hours of Jesus Christ's life.

Gibson's film has taken an amazing $370 million (GBP) in North America alone and $598 million (GBP332 million) worldwide since its release in February (04).

In the lawsuit filed on Monday (07JUN04) in the LOS ANGELES SUPERIOR COURT, Gibson claims his company ICON DISTRIBUTION INC agreed it would receive 55 per cent of ticket sales and Regal would retain 45 per cent.

The suit alleges Regal offered to pay Icon only 34 per cent.

Gibson formed Icon Distribution Inc in 1990 to distribute films produced by his ICON PRODUCTIONS film company.

09/06/2004 09:34