.- 20th Century Fox has decided to move up the premier of “The Passion of the Christ” in Latin America due to pirating of the film, which has resulted in the spread of thousands of unauthorized, low-quality copies in the region.
Sources with Fox told reporters that the film will premier March 18 in Peru, Chile, Central America and Ecuador. A day after, on March 19, it will premier in Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Mexico and Uruguay.
Release dates in other countries will soon be announced.
“Mel Gibson always wanted a more simultaneous release. In light of the film’s success, he has instructed Icon Productions to ask the responsible parties in Latin America to move the release up,” a Fox source told the Chilean press.
However, in Mexico 20th Century Fox admitted that the change is because in some places like Mexico, Peru and Ecuador, pirated versions of the film on videodisc are being sold.
Juan Carlos Lazo, Marketing Director for Fox Mexico, said another reason is the high demand for tickets. “We want to combat pirating and we don’t want them to benefit from it, in addition to the fact that the demand for tickets is incredible. It’s the first time something like this has happened to us,” he said.