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Fans bestowing pic nod on ‘Passion’

ShoWest Brief

“The Passion of the Christ” will get its due at ShoWest. Pic will be presented the first Favorite Movie of the Year Award, sponsored by USA Today and Coca-Cola, at the confab’s closing banquet on Thursday in Las Vegas.

Kudo, which was awarded by online voting, is the first fan-based award to be presented at ShoWest.

For two months, voting was open on a site promoted in USA Today’s paper and on its web site. Visitors could select from last year’s top ten grossing pics.

Riding a buzz of religious devotion and political controversy, “The Passion,” produced by Mel Gibson’s Icon and distribbed in the U.S. by Newmarket Films, raked in over $370 million, making it 2004’s third biggest earner at the domestic box office behind only “Shrek 2” and “Spider-Man 2.”

It was Gibson’s third outing as a helmer, following 1995’s “Braveheart” and 1993’s “The Man without a Face.”

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