Icon's The Passion Of The Christ grossed A$3,610,618 from 145 screens in its first five days in Australian cinemas, giving it a whopping screen average of A$20,504. It opened on Wednesday, instead of the usual Thursday, but without its opening day tally it still came in just short of an impressive A$3m. The figure was actually A$2,973,157.

Only one other film has opened bigger this year, and that was The Last Samurai, which took A$3,401,421 over four days from 274 or nearly 130 more screens.

The only other opener in the top 20 chart was BVI's Once Upon A Time In Mexico, which sold A$1,452,269 worth of tickets to 199 screens to grab the second spot. It and the third most popular film of the weekend, Columbia TriStar's Mona Lisa Smile, together failed to attract as many admission as The Passion. The Julia Roberts vehicle took A$1,358,038 from 237 screens in its second week.