Thesp-turned-helmer tops Celebrity 100 power ranking

Judas may have earned 30 pieces of silver from Christ’s death, but Mel Gibson has fared a lot better.

Thanks to the stellar box office performance of Gibson’s religious drama “The Passion of the Christ,” the actor-turned-director has catapulted from invisibility to the No. 1 spot on Forbes’ annual Celebrity 100 power ranking, which hits newsstands today.

Ranking is based on celebrity earnings over the past 12 months in addition to popularity, Internet profile, media attention and magazine covers. The business mag’s updated list puts Gibson’s 2004 income at $210 million, placing him alongside Oprah Winfrey, a perennial Forbes favorite in the money category.

Domestic box office for “The Passion of the Christ” reached $370 million, with international grosses pushing the film’s overall total to $608.4 million.

While Gibson’s previous income both as an actor and as director of Oscar winner “Braveheart” made him no slouch in the earnings department, the multihyphenate failed to make Forbes’ 2003 top 100.

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