The Return Of Mel Gibson
Mel Gibson has apparently been successful in his public efforts to redeem himself among his core fans. According to L.A. Weekly columnist Nikki Finke, his Apocalypto, which opens next weekend, is tracking stronger than the thriller Blood Diamond, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, both of which open on Friday. In her online Deadline Hollywood website, Finke wrote: "This is exactly what Disney, the distributor of Mel's Mayan epic, was hoping for: that his The Passion of the Christ audience would reward him with their moviegoing loyalty (and not hold his drunken anti-Semitic ranting against him). If even a third of the Passion audience turns out for Apocalypto, it will pay off at the box office. Meanwhile, Sunday's Los Angeles Times reported that Gibson was so spendthrift during the production of the film that on some occasions, a thousand extras would arrive at 1:00 a.m. to be costumed and made up elaborately for filming that began eight hours later, only to learn that Gibson was filming with his leads and that they wouldn't be needed. "Extras are so cheap [in Mexico] and Gibson's so rich from Passion of the Christ it didn't matter," an unnamed department head told the Times.