Owing to a heavy turnout by Christian moviegoers and weeks of intense media attention, Gibson's film opened to blockbuster success on February 25 -- Ash Wednesday. "The Passion" has gone on to generate nearly $300 million in North American ticket sales alone, becoming the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time.
"Life of Brian," stirred an uproar all its own 25 years ago, with some Christians condemning the film as blasphemous. The film only got made when former Beatle George Harrison stepped in to finance the picture after EMI Films withdrew from the project, fearing that it was too controversial. (con't)