Culture

Big Passion

Culture

Issue: "Year in Review 2004," Jan. 1, 2005

Whatever its faults, that Mr. Gibson put on screen such a singular, uncompromising vision as The Passion of the Christ is an achievement. But the real lasting impact of The Passion probably lies more in the success of its marketing strategy than its power to communicate the gospel. It stands now as the third-highest-grossing film of the year, with earnings made almost entirely outside of the studio system, tapping into a previously ignored movie-going audience: evangelical Christians. This is a model that probably won't be replicated to quite the same degree, but one that's already seeing measurable success. The New York Times recently reported that Christmas with the Kranks, a film universally panned by critics, developed into a modest sleeper hit by marketing to that same church-going audience and securing the endorsement of some key Christian leaders.

Top money makers

1. Shrek 2

2. Spider Man 2

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3. The Passion of the Christ

4. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

5. The Incredibles

6. The Day After Tomorrow

7. The Bourne Supremacy

8. Shark Tale

9. I, Robot

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