Despite anti-Semitism hanging over his head at every turn thanks to a recent rant and the resulting furore, Mel Gibson has leapt back into favour in Tinsel Town by securing a box office hit with his latest film.

GIBSON's drink driving arrest and tirade about Jews has recently seen the BRAVEHEART actor and director fall out with much of Hollywood, yet his new movie, APOCALYPTO, has topped the US and Canadian charts in earnings on its first weekend.

But GIBSON appears able to offend minorities and secular groups at a whim in many of his films and outbursts, with APOCALYPTO, a film about the last days of the Mayan civilisation, under fire from Mayan groups.

The exceedingly violent film features torture, rape, decapitation and human sacrifice  prompting predictions of a boycott before the release.

But although the film has not made as much as his previous effort, the equally bloody PASSION OF THE CHRIST, Gibson's latest movie has not been entirely snubbed by Americans, due in part to what industry expert Paul Dergarabedian calls the "huge curiosity factor".

Nevertheless, controversy is still dogging the Mad Max star, after a Mexican director claimed Gibson stole scenes from his film RETURN TO AZTLAN to make APOCALYPTO.

12/12/2006 12:40:06