It looks like The Passion is set to become very successfu. It made an estimated $20 million on its first day and could top $100 million. I don’t have the figures, but I wonder if it could become the highest grossing religious film ever. It’s already passed The Last Temptation of Christ, which only made $8.4 million total.
I also watched the video of Gibson’s interview with Bill O’Reilly (look for the links in the sidebar on the page linked above). There were some interesting nuggets in the interview, but I was annoyed, as usual, by O’Reilly constantly inserting himself as the center of everything. At one point, he even says, “I’ve taken a lot of hits for defending you. Don’t you feel sorry for me?” I think he was only half-joking. What an egomaniac.
On the topic of the Vatican kerfuffle over what the Pope did or didn’t say, I did catch Gibson saying that you can’t blame a whole institution for the actions of a few individuals. Either that’s a well planned remark or it’s a hint as to how he feels about the Church.
My sense of Gibson is that he’s not a political guy. He’s not up on the latest Lefebrvist vs. Traditionalist vs. orthodox distinctions. He knows what he likes, knows that he’s Catholic, and doesn’t see himself as schismatic. He comes across as a guy just trying to be the best Catholic he can be.
By the way, I would think that if Gibson was really a Lefebrvist or belonged to a schismatic group that the group would be trumpeting his membership as a vindication and endorsement. There’s been complete silence as far as I can tell. That should say something.
Finally, you may guess from the above that I haven’t seen the movie yet. Unfortunately, all the showings locally were sold out last night, so I bought a ticket for tomorrow night.