Gibson's 'Passion' a Hit on the Internet

.- Moviegoers are so eager to see Mel Gibson's movie about Jesus that they've been crashing Web sites in their search for bootleg trailers.

Hollywood Reporter says "The Passion of Christ," the new title for what has long been called simply "The Passion," won't have an official trailer out until the Christmas season. In the meantime, fans will take what they can get.

Harry Knowles of AintItCoolNews says that in July his site was the first to post the trailer, but he soon had to remove it because of high demand.

"In one day I got 350,000 downloads of that sucker. I had to take it down because it slowed down server traffic. My site ground to a halt," Knowles told the Hollywood Reporter.

Other movie sites, along with religious sites, picked up the slack by featuring the sneak preview.

Greg Dean Schmitz, who does Greg's Previews of Upcoming Movies for Yahoo! Movies, said that of the 100 or so movies scheduled for release early next year, "The Passion of Christ" was the most-visited page in August and No. 2 in September.

According to Schmitz, Gibson hopes the film will get a distribution deal in time for a wide release before Easter.


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