The Passion Of The Christ passed the quarter-billion dollar mark at the weekend as itstayed top on an estimated $31.7m for $264m after 19 days.
The picture is predicted to fare better than was thought possiblea week ago, with US distributor Newmarket Films' head of distribution RobSchwartz reportedly foreseeing a $350m-$400m finish.
The film has now surpassed My Big Fat Greek Wedding's record of$241.4m as the biggest grossing independently released film of all time.
Elsewhere Columbia's adaptation of Stephen King-novella SecretWindow opened second on$19m, MGM's Agent Cody Banks: Destination London scored a disappointing $8m bow in fifth,Columbia's romantic comedy 50 First Dates passed $100m and Warner Bros' political thriller Spartan opened 10th on $2m.
In Secret Window Depp plays a reclusive author who is accused by a man ofplagiarizing his story idea. It drew mixed reviews and averaged $6,295 from3,018 sites.
Spider-Man screenwriter David Koepp wrote and directed the picture, whichalso stars Maria Bello and John Turturro.
Agent Cody Banks:Destination London, which comes almost oneyear to the day after the original opened on $14.1m before going on to gross$47.9m, drew so-so reviews and averaged $2,690 from 2,973 theatres.
Frankie Muniz reprises his role as a boy spy who this time mustretrieve a mind-control gadget from a rogue CIA agent and return thedevastating device to his infinitely more responsible and community-mindedmasters.
Anthony Anderson also stars and Cody Banks 2 was directed by Kevin Allen.
Columbia's 50 First Dates added $5.3m for $106.6m in its fifth week and became thesecond domestic 2004 release after The Passion Of The Christ to pass $100m.
Starsky & Hutch fell one place to third on $16m for $51.5m for Warner Bros andBuena Vista's Hidalgoslipped one to fourth on $11.7m for $35.5m. Both are in their second weeks.
The political thriller Spartan, which Warner Bros is releasing in theUS, opened to mostly decent reviews in 10th place on $2m, averaging $2,439 from832 sites.
Val Kilmer stars as a special ops officer who has to find thePresident's kidnapped daughter. Derek Luke and William H Macy start and DavidMamet wrote and directed.
Next weekend's wide release are Universal's horror remake DawnOf The Dead starringVing Rhames and Sarah Polley; Focus Features' Charlie Kaufman-scripted romanticcomedy Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, starring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet;and Warner Bros' serial killer thriller Taking Lives, which stars Angelina Jolie, Ethan Hawkeand Kiefer Sutherland.
Estimated Top Ten US Mar 12-14 2004
Film (Distributor)/International distribution/Estimated weekendgross/Estimated total to date
1 (1) The Passion Of The Christ (Newmarket) Icon Productions $31.7m$264m
2 (-) Secret Window (Columbia) CTFDI $19m --
3 (2) Starksy & Hutch (Warner Bros) Warner Bros $16m $51.5m
4 (3) Hidalgo (Buena Vista) BVI $11.7m $35.5m
5 (-) Agent Cody Banks: Destination London (MGM) Fox International $8m --
6 (4) Fifty First Dates (Columbia) CTFDI $5.3m $106.6m
7 (5) Twisted (Paramount) Summit Entertainment $5m $3.1m $21.1m
8 (6) Confessions Of A Teenage Drama Queen (Buena Vista) BVI $2.4m $24.9m
9 (7) The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King (New Line) NLI $2.1m $371.2m
10 (-) Spartan (Warner Bros) Franchise Pictures $2m --