The Passion Of The Christ took $ 2.36m on its opening weekend from 406 screens, but it was robbed of the No. 1 ranking by Disney's Brother Bear which picked up over $ 4.6m from 741 sites. Brother Bear also scored the weekend's highest screen average with $ 6,240, followed by Passion's $ 5,829 and Berlinale Golden Bear winner Head-On's $ 5, 298.

According to The Passion's distributor Constantin Film, admission figures for the film were uniform throughout Germany, with over 2,500 tickets sold in the first three days for screens at such multiplexes as the Cinedom in Cologne, Mathaser in Munich and the Cinecitta in Nuremberg. A series of exit polls conducted by RMC Medien Consulting on 18 and 19 March in Aschaffenburg, Dresden, Leipzig, and Wuppertal saw 26.3% of those questioned rating the film with "very good" and 38.9% with "good". 55.6% said that they wanted to recommend the film to other people, while only 20.1% indicated that they wouldn't be making any recommendation.

At the same time, The Passion's opening in Austria was "somewhat below the expectations", according to Constantin Film's managing director Christian Langhammer: the film was seen by between 38,000 and 40,000 cinema-goers in the first four days, compared to 70,000 for Brother Bear.

Meanwhile, Back To Gaya, Germany's first fully computer animated feature, mustered only 56,592 admissions and $ 355,848 box office from its 300 prints for Warner Bros. to take No. 9, and Kim Ki-Duk's festival favourite Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...And Spring just missed out on the Top 10 for Pandora Film, but opened strongly with a screen average of $ 4,183 from its 50 prints.