Mel’s Passion Trumps Jackson’s Rings

DVD and VHS sales of Mel Gibson’s ultraviolent religious paean, The Passion of the Christ, have gone through the roof, breaking the all-time record for U.S. sales of a live-action movie, which had been held by Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. Astonishingly, the DVD version of Passion contains none of the “extras” that filmbuyers usually crave. A massive e-mail and print marketing campaign appears to have helped sales: “More than six million Christian homes received e-mails about the DVD release of the controversial religious epic, and churches were also offered deals on bulk orders of the film.”