Hellboy Overcome by Passion

The weekend’s box office estimates resemble something from scripture as Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ rose again to conquer the spawn of hell. The CG-heavy Hellboy descended to the No.2 spot in the wake of The Passion’s industry-stunning $17 million Easter holiday resurrection.

Even Disney’s big-budget historical epic, The Alamo, proved no match for NewMarket’s Passion, which has made around $354 million domestically in seven weeks and may overtake The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King as the year’s top earner. The Alamo suffered a fourth place finish behind fellow newcomer Johnson Family Vacation, which brought in around $11.6 million for FoxSearchlight. In its second week, MGM’s remake of Walking Tall finished out the top five with an estimated $8.3 million.

Disney’s animated Home on the Range may be floundering in sixth place with around $8.2 million for the weekend, but it still did better than newcomers The Whole Ten Yards from Warner Bros. ($6.7 million), Ella Enchanted from Miramax ($6.1 million) and The Girl Next Door ($6 million.)

The "turn the other cheek" philosophy will be challenged next week when vigilante justice comes to theaters with Miramax’s Kill Bill Vol. 2 and the Lions Gate/Marvel comic book adaptation The Punisher. Kill Bill Vol. 1, featuring an anime segment by Production I.G., lands on video shelves tomorrow.