Contrary to previous reports, The Passion did not make $117 million in its first five days of release ... it made $125 million! It seems that the Monday estimates were based on a typical weekend, but there was a higher than usual number of Sunday moviegoers. Gee, I wonder why. So how does the movie compare with others historically?
The weekend debut of the Icon Prods. film is by far the biggest opening in history outside of the near-summer and year-end holiday periods; it’s the ninth-highest grossing weekend of all time; the biggest opening in February, topping MGM’s “Hannibal” ($58 million); it’s the second-biggest debut for an R-rated film, behind Warner Bros. Pictures’ “The Matrix: Reloaded” ($91.8 million); and it’s the largest debut ever for an independent film.
“Passion” holds the crown for the second-highest-grossing first five days for a film opening on a Wednesday. Minus the $3 million in previews, the first five days of “Passion” pulled in $122.2 million, just behind New Line Cinema’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” ($124.1 million), but ahead of 20th Century Fox’s “Star Wars: Episode I—The Phantom Menace” ($105.7 million).
Wow! So if you include the previews (i.e., people who would have gone in the five day period anyway), it would have been the biggest five-day opening ever! That’s mighty impressive. I think it’s going to continue to surprise as well.