Confirmed figures releasedtoday (March 1) reveal The Passion Of The Christ grossed an astonishing $125.2m in its first five days, making it thebiggest Wednesday-to-Sunday five-day US opening of all time.

Released through NewmarketFilms, Mel Gibson's self-financed crucifixion epic took $26.6m on its openingWednesday (25) and added $22.9m on Friday (27), $33.1m on Saturday (28) and$27.9m on Sunday (29) for a remarkable $83.8m three-day total.

It exceeds the previousrecord-holder which was The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of the King, which took $124.1m last December. However accounting for the roughly $3m from paid previews included in the five-day total, Passion ranks second.

Passion scored the sixth biggest three-day bow ever -yesterday it ranked eighth by estimate - behind Spider-Man ($114.8m, May 2002), The Matrix Reloaded ($91.8m, May 2003), Harry Potter And TheSorcerer's Stone ($90.3m, November2001), Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets ($88.4m, November 2002) and X2 ($85.6m, May 2003).

The three-day average was adivine $27,554 from 3,043 screens, although it should be noted the pictureplayed on 3,006 screens on its first two days. The five-day average comes to$41,295.