Weekend of the Dead

It’s ironic that the only movie that has been able to end the boxoffice reign of Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ is another bloody story of resurrection. Universal’s remake of the 1979 George A. Romero zombie cult classic Dawn of the Dead scared up an estimated $27.3 million at the North American box office and took the No. 1 movie spot.

Featuring visual effects by Mr. X, Dawn of the Dead stars Ving Rhames, Sarah Polly, Mekhi Phifer and Michael Barry as members of group that tries to survive a zombie holocaust by holing up in an abandoned shopping mall. The film has been receiving mostly positive reviews, though many critics note the regrettable absence of Romero’s biting, satirical take on consumerism among the "me generation."

Newmarket Films’ The Passion of the Christ took in around $19 million in its fourth week, putting it close to a staggering $300 million in domestic receipts alone. Captive Audience Prods. contributed visual effects to the depiction of Christ’s prosecution, crucifixion and ultimate resurrection.

Rounding out the top five films at the box office are Warner Bros.’ thriller Taking Lives with an estimated $11.4 million, the Warner Bros. comedy Starsky and Hutch with an estimated $10.6 million and Sony’s chiller Secret Window with around $9.6 million.