Mel Gibson could not get any studio to fund ‘Passion of the Christ’. Instead of scrapping the film, he chose to finance it all by himself, an action which analysts labelled as “idiotic”. He spent $45M on the project and went on to make over $475M because he didn’t have to split the profits.
Gibson began production on his film without securing outside funding or distribution. In 2002, he explained why he could not get backing from the Hollywood studios: “This is a film about something that nobody wants to touch, shot in two dead languages.” Gibson and his company Icon Productions provided the film’s sole backing, spending about $30 million on production costs and an estimated $15 million on marketing. After early accusations of antisemitism, it became difficult for Gibson to find an American distribution company. 20th Century Fox initially had a first-look deal with Icon but decided to pass on the film in response to public protests. In order to avoid the spectacle of other studios turning down the film and to avoid subjec… Continue Reading (21 minute read)