LOS ANGELES -- Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" took in $51.4 million in its second weekend to remain the top movie, racing past the $200 million mark in just 12 days.
Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson's action comedy "Starsky & Hutch" debuted in second place with $29.05 million, while the horse-racing adventure "Hidalgo" opened at No. 3 with $19.6 million, according to studio estimates yesterday.
"The Passion," Gibson's bloody reenactment of Christ's crucifixion, has grossed $212 million so far in the United States and Canada. The movie is expected to top $300 million, said Bob Berney, president of Newmarket Films. The independent distributor was hired by Gibson to release "The Passion" after Hollywood studios passed on it.
The film, which stars Jim Caviezel as Christ, held up strongly, with receipts down just 39 percent from its huge opening weekend of $83.8 million.
"The Passion" propelled Hollywood to a second straight weekend of rising revenues after a prolonged slump. The top 12 movies grossed $131.5 million, up 39 percent from the same weekend last year. Before "The Passion" opened, box-office revenues had been running 7 percent behind last year's.