< link rel="DCTERMS.isreplacedby" href="http://bokertov.typepad.com/ btb/" >

Thursday, February 26, 2004

One lady had fatal heart attack watching Gibson's graphic crucifixion scene, but movie likely a box office smash

NY Post: "The Passion of The Christ" opened to huge crowds yesterday - but the premier was marred by tragedy when Peggy Scott had a fatal heart attack while watching the graphic crucifixion scene at a theater in Kansas.

In New York, moviegoers streamed into the more than 30 theaters across the city where Mel Gibson's film was being shown, while movie houses throughout the country were packed capacity.

Observers predicted a box office smash. Alan Nierob, Gibson's publicist, said, "The New York box office was brisk. "Today is going to be a very successful day at the box office for this film," he added.

In Wichita, Kans., 57-year-old Scott was attending a 9:30 a.m. screening of the graphically violent film when she suffered the heart attack 20 minutes before the end of the film - during the gory crucifixion scene, witnesses said.

"It was the highest emotional part of the movie," a spokesman for the radio station where Scott worked told Reuters. . .

Gibson has said he made the film so violent because he wanted to shock people. "It's very violent and if you don't like it don't go," Gibson said in an interview last month.

But the violence, and charges of anti-Semitism, didn't keep people away from theaters, with box office analysts predicting the movie would post huge numbers for its opening day.