The new movie, “The Passion of the Christ,” will be released in theaters at midnight tonight. Advanced ticket sales are skyrocketing, and tickets are hard to come by.
At the Cinemark on Powers, tickets are selling well. In fact, the theater is having a 24-hour marathon of the movie starting at midnight tonight. However, theaters aren't the only businesses profiting from this film.
At All Things Catholic in the Chapel Hills Mall, there was a promotion today. In addition, a local Christian radio station is giving away tickets to the “Passion” movie. Store owner Diane Clemman hopes the giveaway increases foot traffic for this locally owned store. She claims, however, she saw a rise in business even before the movie hype started. Clemman says, “Like any business, the longer you are there, the more people realize where you are at and how they can get to you. So, every year we see an increase.”
Clemman says a healthy bottom line is about more than just dollars and cents. “I think religion is an important business. I think we're here to serve each other, and if you are in a position to where you can put material out there for people to learn, then yes.. its an important business.” She believes the increased intrest in Christianity is a sign of the times. “When things get so far out of whack, and I think they probably have, people need to focus on what's important,” says Clemman.
Many hope the controversy surrounding the movie will spur ticket sales. If that happens, they believe movie executives will take notice. Julie King, one ticket winner, says, “Maybe this would even influence Hollywood to make more stories to go along this line and get the message out.”