DAWN OF THE DEAD prevented Mel Gibson's THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST from winning the box office four weeks in a row. Universal's remake of the cult horror film (with vfx by Camera e-Motion and Mr. X) took in $26.7M to lead the weekend period ended March 21, 2004. Meanwhile, THE PASSION (with vfx by Keith Vanderlaan's Captive Audience Prods.) collected another $19.4M for a second place finish on its way to $295.5M. The Newmarket release continues to add screens in anticipation of a huge Easter weekend April 9-11. Warner Bros.' creepy thriller, TAKING LIVES (with vfx by Les Prods. de l'Intrigue Inc.) debuted at number three with $11.4M. Warner Bros.' STARSKY AND HUTCH slipped to fourth with $10.3M and a total of $67.5M. Sony's SECRET WINDOW dropped to fifth in its second weekend with $9.2M and a cume of $32.7M. Buena Vista's HIDALGO (with vfx by ILM) came in sixth with $8.4M and $48.4M. Focus Features' well-reviewed Jim Carrey-starrer ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND (with vfx by Custom Film Effects) debuted at number seven with $8.1M. MGM's AGENT CODY BANKS 2: DESTINATION LONDON took the eighth spot in its second weekend with $6M for a total of $17.3M. Sonys' 50 FIRST DATES hit number nine with $4.1M and $113M to date. And Buena Vista's CONFESSIONS OF A TEENAGE DRAMA QUEEN came in 10th place with $1.5M and $27.5M.
Meanwhile, Warner Bros.' NASCAR 3D: THE IMAX EXPERIENCE scored an impressive $1.34M in its second weekend, down less than 8% after its record-breaking bow for the studio and IMAX. NASCAR 3D has drawn $3.4M and counting in only 68 theaters. Box office information obtained from boxofficemojo.com.