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<I>The Passion of the Christ</I> Goes to Video Aug. 31

10 May, 2004 By: Holly J. Wagner

Mel Gibson's Icon Productions and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment will bring The Passion of the Christ to DVD and VHS Aug. 31 (prebook Aug. 4).

The film, which was shot in Aramaic and Latin, is presented with English subtitles on VHS ($24.98) and English and Spanish subtitles on DVD ($29.98). The DVD will be available in widescreen or pan-and-scan and will be presented with a maximum bit rate, 5.1 Dolby Digital and 5.1 DTS.

Separately, MGM Home Entertainment announced it will distribute the title in the United Kingdom, in a deal that also includes U.K. distribution for 21 Grams, Shattered Glass, Sylvia, Dogville, The Singing Detective and Gladiatress.

Beginning June 1 at www.thepassionofthechrist.com, information will be available regarding U.S. bulk orders and customized church sleeves and other downloads encouraging church ministry participation. The site will also feature trailers, film synopsis, cast biographies and soundtrack background, among other information. For retailers from the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA), the DVD/VHS will be distributed through Zondervan, an international Christian communications company.

The movie stars Jim Caviezel as Jesus Christ and Monica Bellucci as Mary Magdalene. Released in theaters Feb. 25 (Ash Wednesday), the Gibson-helmed epic grossed more than $375 million at the box office, learning a spot in the top 10 grossing movies of all time.

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