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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 September, 2004, 08:21 GMT 09:21 UK
Passion 'beats Rings DVD record'
The Passion of the Christ DVDs
The DVD has been heavily promoted to churches
Biblical epic The Passion of the Christ has broken the record for sales of a live action movie on DVD and VHS in one week in the US, according to a report.

It sold almost nine million copies in its first week on release, beating The Lord of the Rings titles, according to the Hollywood Reporter trade paper.

Film studio 20th Century Fox launched a massive marketing campaign for the DVD among US religious communities.

Animated films top the sales - Finding Nemo sold eight million in one day.

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.

Focusing on the last 12 hours of Jesus Christ's life, the DVD contains no extras or commentary by director Mel Gibson.

Of the nine million DVD and VHS sales, more than four million were bought on its first day on release.

The Passion of the Christ, starring Jim Caviezel as Jesus, was also one of the year's biggest cinema hits, taking more than $600m (335m) at the global box office.




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