The Associated Press reports that the Gospel According to Mel has taken in an estimated $15 million to $20 million in its first day and a bit in theaters:
"That falls far short of the single-day record of $43.6 million held by "Spider-Man," but "The Passion" already has passed the receipts that other modern religious films took in during their entire runs, among them "The Last Temptation of Christ" ($8.4 million) and "The Omega Code" ($12.5 million).
To my mind, those comparisons actually make The Passion's performance seem a bit less than inspiring, though a lot will depend on what happens through the weekend. For some perspective on box office results, check out this chart at Movies.com. You may end up asking yourself whether we're in an age of miracles or in the Anti-Christ's interregnum that 50 First Dates has grossed over $70 million in two weeks and Miracle and Barbershop 2 over $50 million each in three weeks.
One sign that God still exists: After a week in theaters, Welcome to Mooseport and Eurotrip have grossed less than half of what The Passion pulled in so far.
UPDATE/ACT OF CONTRITION: Let me say an act of contrition for my reading skills. As several readers pointed out, I mistook the full-run grosses for The Last Temptation of Christ and The Omega Code for their opening-day grosses. Hence, my mischaracterization of the boffo b.o. for day one of The Passion. It'll be five Hail Mary's, three Lord's Prayers, and two Glory Be's for this lapsed Catholic. And wearing scapulas for a week.