THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST OPENS AT NO.1 AT THE US BOX OFFICE GROSSING $117,538,465 FOR A FIVE DAY OPENING WEEKEND
The Passion of the Christ directed, produced and co-written by Mel Gibson is to open across the U.K. on the 26th March 2004. The film stars Jim Caviezel as Jesus Of Nazareth, Monica Bellucci as Mary Magdalene, Maia Morgenstern as Mary, Mattia Sbragia as Caiphas, the High Priest, Hristo Naumov Shopov as Pontius Pilate, Claudia Gerini as Claudia Procles, Pilate’s wife, Sergio Rubini as Dismas & Luca Lionello as Judas Iscariot.
Written by Benedict Fitzgerald & Mel Gibson, produced by Mel Gibson, Bruce Davey, Stephen McEveety, Enzo Sisti is executive producer. Music by John Debney, cinematography by Caleb Deshanel, production design by Francisco Frigeri, set decoration by Carlo Ervasi, costume design by Maurizio Millenotti with special effects make up by Keith Vanderlaan and Greg Cannom.
The Passion of the Christ is a film about the last twelve hours of Jesus of Nazareth’s life. The film opens in the Garden of Olives (Gethsemane) where Jesus has gone to pray after the Last Supper. Jesus resists Satan’s temptations. Betrayed by Judas Iscariot, Jesus is arrested and taken back to within the city walls of Jerusalem where the leaders of the Pharisees confront him with accusations of blasphemy and his trial results in a condemnation to death.
Jesus is brought before Pilate, the Roman Governor of Palestine, who listens to the accusations leveled at him by the Pharisees. Realizing he is confronting a political conflict, Pilate defers to King Herod in the matter. Herod returns Jesus to Pilate who gives the crowd a choice between Jesus and the criminal Barrabas. The crowd chooses to have Barrabas set free and to condemn Jesus.
Jesus is handed over to the Roman soldiers and flagellated. Unrecognizable now, he is brought back before Pilate, who presents him to the crowd as if to say “is this not enough?” It is not. Pilate washes his hands of the entire dilemma, ordering his men to do as the crowd wishes.
Jesus is presented with the cross and is ordered to carry it through the streets of Jerusalem all the way up to Golgotha. On Golgotha, Jesus is nailed to the cross and undergoes his last temptation - the fear that he has been abandoned by his Father. He overcomes his fear, looks at Mary, his Holy Mother, and makes the pronouncement which only she can fully understand, “it is accomplished.”
He then dies: “into Thy hands I commend my Spirit.”
At the moment of his death, nature itself overturns.