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Churches and religious groups were active in trying to promote the movie to their congregations, sometimes buying huge blocks of theater tickets for sale to parishioners. Many DVDs were paid for well in advance and picked up Tuesday.

THE PASSION OF THE BUYERS

Mel Gibson DVD of Jesus Nails 4.1 Million Buyers in First Day at Retail
It's the second coming at video stores.

The release of Mel Gibson's biblical epic The Passion of the Christ sold 4.1 million DVD and VHS copies by Wednesday after only one day in stores.

While the figure from distributor Fox Home Entertainment is impressive, it's not quite a record breaker.

Finding Nemo holds the #1 overall spot for one-day DVD sales with about 8 million. For a live-action movie, Spider-Man holds the one-day record with 7 million.

Fox Home Entertainment said it did break several records. The movie is the best-selling R-rated DVD of all time, the best-selling non-English language film of all time, and the best-selling Jew-hating movie of all time.

The theatrical film, starring Jim Caviezel as Jesus, earned more than $370 million at the North American box office, making it the year's second-most popular movie behind Shrek 2, at $436.7 million.

The Passion DVD is on track to sell as well as Hollywood blockbusters such as Spider-Man and The Lord of the Rings movies, which topped out between 15 million and 18 million total disc sales.

Churches and religious groups were active in trying to promote the movie to their congregations, sometimes buying huge blocks of theater tickets for sale to parishioners. Many DVDs were paid for well in advance and picked up Tuesday.

Filmed in Aramaic and Latin, the movie was sold with English subtitles on VHS for $24.98, and English and Spanish subtitles on DVD for $29.98. Many retailers are cutting the price to $15 to $20.

Since the Passion that went on sale Tuesday includes only the movie, a more fully loaded version of the DVD is likely in the future.

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