Mel Gibson's new movie about Jesus, The Passion of the Christ, is due to be released on February 25th and there has been an unusual amount of press for the film. Today, the NY Times published an article on the supposed success of its predecessor. Sources in the article claim that the film Jesus is the most-watched movie of all time. One quote states that the film has been seen 5,057,743,333 times while another mentions that it only made $4 million at the box office. Believe what you'd like about the specifics, but I don't doubt that many people have seen this movie. The question remains, will The Passion have the same success?

Personally, I think it's going to do pretty well. According to Box Office Mojo, it is opening on over 2,000 screens. As a comparison, 50 First Dates, the Sandler/Barrymore movie, is opening on 3,400 screens this weekend. With such a wide release and all this hype, I'd be surprised if it makes under $20 million in the first weekend. That seems like a success as it cost $25 million to make and I would assume marketting a highly religious film is a difficult task.

I'm still not sure if I want to see it. On the one hand, viewers claim that the film blames the Jews for the death of Christ and I don't know if I want to support a movie like that, but I'd also like to make up my own mind. It will definitely be interesting to watch as this develops.

Any thoughts from you about its potential success and your viewing plans?