The Passion Of The Christ has topped the American box office for the third week straight, taking in $31.7 million (GBP17.6 million) and pushing its total to $264 million (GBP146.6 million).

Mel Gibson's dramatisation of Jesus Christ's final hours is expected to gross between $350 million (GBP194.4 million) and $400 million (GBP222 million), according to ROB SCHWARTZ, head of distribution for NEWMARKET FILMS, which handled the release.

Johnny Depp's psychological horror SECRET WINDOW, based on a Stephen King story about an author accused of plagiarism by a stalker, debuted in second place with $19 million (GBP10.5 million).

Comedy STARSKY + HUTCH came in third with $16 million (GBP8.8 million), while HIDALGO followed with $11.7 million (GBP6.5 million).

Meanwhile, Frankie Muniz's spy caper AGENT CODY BANKS: DESTINATION LONDON opened in fifth place with $8 million (GBP4.4 million) - barely half the $14.1 million (GBP7.8 million) opening weekend of AGENT CODY BANKS last year (03).

15/03/2004 21:11