"The Passion of the Christ" was widely criticized for excessive violence and displays of anti-Semitism when it was released in 2004, but none of that prevented it from being widely embraced by moviegoers and becoming one of the highest-grossing films of all time, says Charley Humbard, CEO of UPtv.com.
Humbard will run the film, which depicts the last 12 hours of Jesus Christ's life, on his network starting Sunday night at 9 p.m. in anticipation of Easter, he told John Bachman and J.D. Hayward on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV.
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Despite the violence, Humbard said "Passion" is a beautiful love story of the love between Jesus, his mother and God.
The film grossed over $600 million in domestic and international box-office revenues, according to Box Office Mojo. Humbard said the film benefited from the direction of its troubled director, Mel Gibson, who has stumbled into numerous personal controversies over the last decade.
"I think Mel, when he made this film, had a lot of his own personal struggles that came out through this film, it was a very personal film for him to make so it starts with a very personal connection," Humbard said. "As… you look at the gross box office of over 600 million, you understand that this was a film that really reached and touched people's hearts and did the things, I think that Mel set out to do as far as making a very impactful telling of this story."
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