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The Passion and NASCAR 3D Break Records

In only its third weekend, Mel Gibson's THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST (with vfx by Keith Vanderlaan's Captive Audience Prods.) passed MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING as the all-time indie box office champ, ringing in $32.1M for a total gross of $264.5M for Newmarket. That puts it fourth on the list of best third weekend performers, behind SPIDER-MAN, TITANIC, STAR WARS: EPISODE I -THE PHANTOM MENACE.

Sony's Johnny Depp thriller, SECRET WINDOW (with vfx by Camera e-Motion, Gray Matter FX, Keyframe Digital Prods. and Les Productions de l'Intrigue), debuted in second with $18.2M. Warner Bros.' STARSKY AND HUTCH dropped to third with $16M for a two-week cume of $51.5M. Disney's HIDALGO (with vfx by ILM) came in fourth with $11.8M and two-week gross of $35.6M. MGM's AGENT CODY BANKS 2: DESTINATION LONDON debuted in fifth place with $8M. Sony's 50 FIRST DATES drew the sixth spot with $5.4M and $106.7M to date. Paramount's TWISTED (with vfx by ILM) grabbed seventh with $3M and a total of $21.1M. Disney's CONFESSIONS OF A TEENAGE DRAMA QUEEN (with vfx by Intelligent Creatures) captured $2.4M and eighth place for a total of $24.9M. New Line's THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING (with all those Oscar kudos for Weta Digital) hung around for number nine with $2M and $371M. And Warner Bros.' David Mamet thriller, SPARTAN, debuted in 10th place with $2M.

Meanwhile, NASCAR 3D: THE IMAX EXPERIENCE debuted at number 11 with an astounding $1.4M -- the best start ever for an IMAX original. The first IMAX 3D collaboration between Warner Bros. Pictures and IMAX bowed in only 68 theaters for an a whopping per-screen average of $21,579. Box office information obtained from boxofficemojo.com.

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Rick DeMott
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