The Easter When ‘The Passion of the Christ’ Beat ‘Hellboy’ For #1 at the Box Office

In 2004, Easter fell on the second weekend of April.

It featured Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” as the #1 film, ousting Guillermo del Toro’s “Hellboy.” That was no accident as part of a brilliantly executed release that achieved results far beyond anything Gibson anticipated.Sixteen years isn’t that long ago, but the box-office weekend was full of titles and results that are impossible to imagine today.

But first, here’s the context and some major achievements for Gibson’s film (all figures adjusted to 2020 ticket prices):More from IndieWireBox Office Future: Exhibitors Hope to Reopen in June, Audiences Say Slow Your RollGamechangers in Box Office History: How ‘The Matrix‘ and ’10 Things I Hate About You’ Broke the Rules• The first is a record that will likely never be broken.

This was the biggest grossing non-studio independent film ever, by far.

At $559 million domestic,

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