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TOPIC: The Passion of Christians

The Passion of Christians 09 Feb 2004 19:17 #7899

  • Mike
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Re: Mel's Passion. My phone keeps ringing and ringing. I have been told I will be saved if I play the pic. I have been begged. I have deftly fended off offers to "Help me with the studios." Etc. Etc. My biggest worry with the pic was that this will be the ultimate "inside baseball" Trekkie's Gone Wild flick. I'm afraid: No one who wants to see it will say "Let's wait a couple weeks and see it." Nope: they will want to see it on day one in a way that Harry Potter and Frodo have yet to experience.

After a long weekend of thinking I decided: buzz is buzz and I called Newmarket and put it in both theatres. 3000.00 guarantee in advance. Minimum run 4 weeks. Terms TBD. Near as I can figure it: I'm going to Heaven. And you guys who are not booking it? I think you're dammed.
Come to think of it this is the ultimate "dammed if you do and dammed if you don't"! It will be a lot easier to do a post mortem than a prediction.

Michael Hurley
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Re: The Passion of Christians 09 Feb 2004 20:24 #7900

  • BurneyFalls
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I called Newmarket today also and asked about moveover prints. The rep told me everyone at the break is committed to four weeks minimum, but I should call back on March 2 after they see how it does opening weekend. Then he will be able to give me a better idea of when it will be available. I'll be damned if I would be able to play it for four weeks, even though it is getting some good "poster and phone action" here also. So maybe I just go to Purgatory while you guys have it the first four weeks. And then I might be saved when I play it later?
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Re: The Passion of Christians 09 Feb 2004 20:40 #7901

  • Larry Thomas
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Has anyone been contacted by churchsters who claim they are buying tix on the Internet direct from Icon Prod. and paying with their credit card?
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Re: The Passion of Christians 09 Feb 2004 21:12 #7902

  • trackfood
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I think there are "movie cash" checks out there for this movie. That may be where some people get "tickets".
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Re: The Passion of Christians 09 Feb 2004 23:42 #7903

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Just got a 2nd print of the pic at my place. Advanced sales are going well. Got permission from Newmarket to do a Tues. the 24th show if certain minimums are met. I feel a BIG wave building. I'm revising my predictions of several weeks ago- atleast 80 million opening 5 days and total gross of over 200 million.
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Re: The Passion of Christians 10 Feb 2004 00:30 #7904

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It's so nice to be in Pennsylvania.

Yup... the same terms were quoted here as well. 4 weeks, 70 down, $3,000 guarantee... opps, but wait I said... this is Pennsylvania. Ahhh, oh yes, that's right they said... no guarantees in Pennsylvania.
I booked it in two houses, and now the advance and group sales are pouring in.

Yesterday I had a showing of one of the films in the Jewish film series. They announced a special meeting to discuss "Passion". I didn't say a word.

This is going to be big. Real big.
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Re: The Passion of Christians 10 Feb 2004 07:08 #7905

  • Linda
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We are getting a lot of requests for group sales. Do any of you know what kind of restrictions, etc. Newmarket has for this? This is something we have never done. With the terms and 4 weeks (and our prices), I really can't see doing it, but on the other hand if everyone else is...
What do you do and how do you handle group sales?
I went to www.THEPASSIONTICKETS.com website. They are selling special vouchers for advance tickets for $8.50 plus $1.50 handling fee.
We were thinking about inviting area ministers for a special screening, but haven't been able to find out what kind of restrictions they have for that. We were going to do it for free, but it sounds like we can't do that. What are those restrictions?
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Re: The Passion of Christians 10 Feb 2004 07:32 #7906

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HALLELUIAH, let's all get saved!... The 3K guarantee doesn't spook me, but for a single screen, I wouldn't tie it up for longer than 2 weeks, with the option to hold over for a third... I suspect this will be a one trick pony, and will drop like a rock after the churchies get their fix... And like MIKE says, they all want their bath in the FIRST water...

This all reminds me of 30 years ago, when Billy Graham became a silver screen showman with the 4 wall deals for his made-in-house classics... I negotiated a very sweet deal for the first one, then stood back and watched 'em do their thing... Of course, they slipped a ringer in the deal where I had to do a VIP screening for free, but I still made out... The regular conservative denominations were guardedly enthusiastic, but the smaller fringe groups pulled out all the stops, and it was a hoot watching some of these thumpers vie to be the top rooster in the barnyard... They brought out droves of folks who hadn't seen a movie in 20 years... They even bussed in a bunch of inmates from a nearby reform school!... When the movie ended, they called 'em down in front of the screen to be saved... I'm surprized they didn't demand a horsetank to dip 'em... Elmer Gantry would have been proud!... Of course, all the members got a discount for buying their tickets from their church, so it was hard to get a handle on the gross, but it was sizeable!...

When the next one came along, I upped my end, knowing in advance that they would demand all the freebies they get, but they went for it, and this one grossed even better... The second WAS a much better film which had some mainstream appeal...

Several months later they released a 3rd attempt, and I had a signed contract back in my hands when I read a review... Hmmmmm, this looked like a loser, but my fanny was covered!... 3 days before it was booked to open, the head office called and begged to be released from the contract 'cause this one was all red ink... I was a "nice guy" and let 'em off the hook, even though I had to scramble to fill the date... A year or so later, they released another one, and the SOBs put it in local high schools (I suppose it was 16mm)... No good deed goes unpunished!... I decided they could show any future ones on a sheet in the church basement, as far as I was concerned... To the best of my knowledge, this was the end of their showbiz career... The point of all this being that when you shake hands with these church groups, be sure to count your fingers when you get your hand back: churchgoing and ethics aren't necessarily synonymous...

I don't quite understand Mel Gibson's motivation in making this, I doubt he needs the money, so it must be he either intends to be saved, or it's to be his "gift" to humanity... If it's the latter, Cecil B. beat him to the punch years ago... Whichever, moviemaking and churchgoing make strange bedfellows!... BUT the media has given this enough hoopla to sell it to the dead: too bad the rare really good picture that occasionally comes along doesn't get a fraction of this attention...
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Re: The Passion of Christians 10 Feb 2004 10:58 #7907

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We are doing several different types of special shows for churches. One type is a "revival" show complete with music and message before the show and an altar call following the show. We've packaged it with the ticket and concessions as one price. Printed up some tickets for churches to sell also.
The other deal is a straight buy out of the auditorium for either a during hours or out of hours showing. I needed minimum attendance of 100. Doing most of these at pretty much full price.
We are also doing a pre-opening showing for area pastors on the 24th. A local Christian radio station bought a block of tickets. And one of the largest churches in the area will come that night. Found out yesterday Newmarket would allow that if atleast 500 people showed(at full price). I will easily cover that.
Personal plea to the above poster- I am not at all religious but I am dismayed with your comments over the implied
"hucksterism" of this event and previous such films. Mel Gibson, as I understand it, found God and is deeply sincere in his Catholic beliefs. This movie was his attempt to share his faith with others. Compared to much of the utter crap we have to screen for the public, atleast I won't be embarrassed recommending this to anyone. It's(from all accounts) a well made, thoughtful movie which will attract a sizeable audience that never really comes out to theatres because of Hollywood's utter disregard for these people's sensibilities. Instead of complaining about these types of films(and terms), maybe we should all work harder trying to capture more of this market. God knows it gets harder each year to hold your head up as an exhibitor and say you are proud of the movies you show. Rant off.
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Re: The Passion of Christians 10 Feb 2004 15:45 #7908

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Hey Guys!

Can't we discuss this without the backhanded slaps at people of faith. Christians will be found in every segment of society. But their faith doesn't make them oddballs. It was people of faith who founded this country. It was a man of faith who created the very industry we love. Yes, there are wierd ones just as in any group but that doesn't make all people of faith fodder for ridicule.

As far as Mel's motive for making the film it's my understanding he just wanted to share the story (accurately) with the public. I understand he's a Roman Catholic.

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Re: The Passion of Christians 11 Feb 2004 10:11 #7909

  • Mike
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They just released a documentary on Nat Turner and the problem is you have all these conflicting articles and perspectives so they finally did it in 5 views. The Passion is I believe (I am sure I will be corrected) based on the account of Christ's death written 800 years later. My point is: I have no idea what an "accurate" film on Christ would be.

I am sure you can make as accurate a filmed depiction of crucifixition, torture, and murder as anyone wishes.

The reality of film and movies is that the actual events are much-much worse than any portrayal. Try "Saving Private Ryan" for comparison.

I'm not sure why anyone is upset about how "they" are portrayed in this film. I guarantee you: if there was a hanging/burning/state sanctioned murder anywhere such as Jesus received (along with a number of other fellows) there was a gaggle of guys who pointed him out and a crowd to cheer on his death. These days... they publicly behead in Saudia Arabia every week... and there's a always a good turnout. And there always will be. Because: people are not nice. Even when they have religion. Maybe that's why our founders said: let's keep these two things apart. Church and state. Amen.

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[This message has been edited by Mike (edited February 11, 2004).]
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Re: The Passion of Christians 11 Feb 2004 18:30 #7910

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Because we are opening The Passion of the Christ in a competitive zone, we are not paying a guarantee and we have no restriction as to how long to hold the print. If it grosses, we hold the print.

Also, there will be no "Saving" seats or souls at my theatre.

The big question is: Is this a popcorn movie?
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Re: The Passion of Christians 11 Feb 2004 20:47 #7911

  • BurneyFalls
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I apologize if I offended anyone. My intent was only to add some levity.
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Re: The Passion of Christians 12 Feb 2004 07:53 #7912

  • John Pytlak
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I believe Mr. Gibson is active in Opus Dei, a fairly conservative Roman Catholic group.

John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
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John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Customer Technical Services
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Eastman Kodak Company
Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Telephone: +1 585-477-5325 Fax: +1 585-722-7243
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Re: The Passion of Christians 12 Feb 2004 17:01 #7913

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"Opus Dei" fairly conservative is an understatement.

Burney: I liked it!
Of course I was thrown out of Catholic school for being a bad boy. Count me out as a terminal giggler. If I turn out to be wrong the elavator won't stop in Purgatory.

Michael Hurley
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