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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 July, 2004, 15:03 GMT 16:03 UK
Gibson sues over Passion profits
The Passion of the Christ
The Passion of the Christ has made millions despite splitting the critics
Mel Gibson's film distribution company is suing a second US cinema chain in a dispute over revenues for The Passion of the Christ.

Gibson's Icon Distribution says Muvico Theatres owes it about $1m (0.53m) based on an agreement to pay 55% of box office receipts.

Icon sued the Regal Entertainment Group last month for at least $40m (21.34m) in a similar dispute.

Muvico, which owns 233 screens, was not available for comment on Thursday.

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

Smash hit

The Biblical epic was honoured at the 2004 Ethnic Multicultural Awards in May, winning two awards.

The movie was named best film at the media awards, known as the Emmas.

Romanian actress Maia Morgenstern won the award for best film actress for her portrayal of Mary, mother of Jesus.

The controversial film topped the list of most-pirated films earlier this year, according to a US internet analyst.

Tracking firm BayTSP, which monitors web traffic, said 36,693 copies of the film had been found on the internet during April via file-sharing services.

Gibson's film, released in the US in February, will not be available on DVD in the US until August.

The film graphically depicts the final hours of Christ and it has attracted both rave reviews and condemnation in equal measure.

Critics said the film was bloodthirsty and an assault on the senses.

It also upset some Jewish groups who accused it of being anti-Semitic.


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