The Passion of the Christ: According to The Hollywood Reporter, Newmarket Films' The Passion of the Christ continues to defy convention and surprise even the most seasoned Hollywood veterans as early weekend estimates were revised upwards Monday when final numbers came in. The film opened with a stunning $83.8 million, bringing the total boxoffice to a massive $125.2 million, which includes $3 million in private previews.

Early estimates on Sunday put the weekend at $76.2 million and the total at $117.5 million. But that projection was based on a somewhat typical weekend model that is a standard in the film industry, where Saturday is the biggest day of the weekend, followed by Friday, and Sunday is the slowest day of the three.

"Passion" rendered that model irrelevant. When the final grosses were in, Friday's was $22.9 million, Saturday's was $33.1 million, and Sunday's was $27.9 million -- 22% higher than Friday and down just 16% from Saturday.

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For a film to sustain such a small drop from Saturday to Sunday, and likewise make that big of a leap from Friday's gross, is unheard of at the boxoffice in this day and age.

Brian B.