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Last Updated: Monday, 22 March, 2004, 07:52 GMT
Zombie film beats Passion in US
Dawn of the Dead
Sarah Polley tries to escape from zombies in Dawn of the Dead
Dawn of the Dead has knocked The Passion of the Christ from the top of the US box chart, winning a cinematic battle of good versus evil.

The remake of the 1978 zombie classic took $27.3m (14.9m) in its opening weekend, according to early estimates.

Mel Gibson's Passion earned another $19.1m (10.4m), bringing its four-week US takings to a $295.2m (161m).

Ethan Hawke thriller Taking Lives made its debut in third place while Starsky and Hutch fell to number four.

Johnny Depp's new film Secret Window, in which he plays a writer haunted by a man who accuses him of plagiarism, entered in fifth place.

Other new entries in the North American top 10 were comedy drama Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and children's sequel Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London.

Dawn of the Dead is directed by newcomer Zack Snyder and reprises George Romero's original in which a group of survivors are trapped in a shopping mall surrounded by hungry zombies.

It follows the success of last year's remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which topped the US box office chart in October.

Meanwhile, The Passion of the Christ continues to attract audiences around the globe. It opened on Sunday in Qatar - the first Gulf state to publicly screen the film.

It is also set to open in the United Arab Emirates on 31 March, according to the UAE's Gulf News.


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