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The Passion of the Christ: Arriving August 31, 2004, This Must-See Movie Instantly Became a Box Office Phenomenon, Grossing More Than $375 Million Nationwide and Earning a Spot In The Top 10 Grossing Movies of All Time.

Focusing on the final 12 hours of the life of Jesus of Nazareth's life, the year's most talked about movie, "The Passion of the Christ," makes its highly anticipated DVD and VHS debut on August 31, 2004, it was announced today by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and Icon Productions. Released in theaters on Ash Wednesday, February 25, 2004, the powerful, Mel Gibson-helmed epic went on to gross more than $375 million at the box office -- earning a spot in the top 10 grossing movies of all time. Starring Jim Caviezel in the critically-lauded role of Jesus Christ and Monica Bellucci as Mary Magdalene, The Passion Of The Christ DVD is presented with a maximum bit rate, 5.1 Dolby Digital and 5.1 DTS, offering viewers the highest quality picture and audio. The film, which was shot in Aramaic and Latin, is presented with English subtitles on VHS and English and Spanish subtitles on DVD. Priced to own, the DVD is available in Widescreen or Pan And Scan for $29.98 and the VHS is $24.98.

Beginning June 1 at the film's website -- www.thepassionofthechrist.com -- information will be available regarding bulk orders and high-quality, visually stunning customized church sleeves and other downloads encouraging church ministry participation. Additionally, the site will feature trailers, film synopsis, cast biographies, and soundtrack background, among other information. For retailers from the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA), the DVD/VHS will be distributed through Zondervan, a leading international Christian communications company.

Synopsis

This depiction of the last 12 hours in the life of Jesus opens with his betrayal by Judas, his condemnation by the Pharisees and his appearance before Pontius Pilate. Pilate defers to King Herod, but Herod returns Jesus. Pilate then asks the crowd to choose between Jesus and Barrabas. The crowd chooses Barrabas. Pilate washes his hands of the matter, and Jesus is forced to carry the cross through the streets to Golgotha where Roman soldiers crucify him. Although Jesus briefly fears that God, his Father, has abandoned him, he regains his faith, proclaiming, "Into Thy hands I commend my spirit." At the moment of his death, nature itself over-turns.

"The Passion of the Christ" has a prebook date of August 4, 2004, a running time of 127 minutes and is rated "R" by the Motion Picture Association of America. It is closed captioned for the hearing impaired.

A recognized industry leader, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is the marketing, sales and distribution company for all Fox film and television programming on VHS and DVD, as well as video acquisitions and original productions for the U.S. and Canada. Each year the Company introduces hundreds of new and newly repackaged products, which it services to more than 70,000 retail outlets -- from mass merchants and warehouse clubs to specialty stores and e-commerce -- throughout North America. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is a unit of Fox Filmed Entertainment, a Fox Entertainment Group company.

Brian B.