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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 June, 2004, 09:27 GMT 10:27 UK
Gibson sues over Passion takings
The Passion of the Christ
The Passion has taken 348m in the US
Mel Gibson's film distribution company is suing a US cinema chain for more than $40m (21m) in a dispute over revenues for The Passion of the Christ.

Gibson's Icon Distribution says Regal Entertainment Group - the country's biggest cinema chain - owes it the amount in unpaid box office receipts.

Icon lawyer George Hedges said Regal had agreed to pay 55% of receipts, but later reneged and offered 34%.

A spokesman for Regal Entertainment declined to discuss the legal action.

Icon filed the case on Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, saying Regal owed the company "in excess" of $40m.

Regal Entertainment was formed in 2001 by Colorado billionaire Philip Anschutz from three debt-laden cinema chains.

Regal spokesman Dick Westerling said: "We do not comment on our business practices with the studios."

The Passion of the Christ is at number seven on the all-time US box office charts after taking $370m (200m).


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