Mel Gibson No. 1 Thanks to Jesus

CNN Money — Mel Gibson No. 1 thanks to Jesus

Who says you can’t achieve fame and fortune with an indie, filmed entirely in Aramaic and Latin? The movie “The Passion of the Christ” did just that for actor-director Mel Gibson.

Gibson, the director, producer and screenwriter for the “Christ” flick, was named the world’s most powerful celebrity by Forbes magazine on Thursday, dethroning “Friends” star Jennifer Aniston from the No. 1 spot she held last year.

The magazine said the “Christ” film helped Gibson earn an estimated $210 million during the past 12 months.

Although the film opened amid a firestorm of controversy in February, “Christ” has grossed $370 million domestically and more than $600 million worldwide.

Aniston, who topped the list last year, came in at No. 17 on the list this year. The popular NBC sitcom that paid her a staggering million dollars per episode came to an end earlier this year.

I fail to see the contradiction between “opened amid a firestorm of controversy” and raking in a lot of money.

And how in the world was Jennifer Aniston #1 on the list?! She’s attractive and all but I’d have guessed several female actors–Halle Barry, Julia Roberts, Cameron Diaz and J-Lo all come to mind–would be ahead of her in any serious power ranking. They must be using the BCS computer.

FILED UNDER: Popular Culture, , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. McGehee says:

    I fail to see the contradiction between “opened amid a firestorm of controversy” and raking in a lot of money.

    That’s because the source of the contradiction isn’t mentioned explicitly, and that’s the reason for the “firestorm of controversy.”

    The reason, of course, is that it was a movie about Jesus by someone who believes devoutly in His divinity.

    Or to put it another way, Hollywood’s convention “wisdom” (I actually managed to type that without snickering, but only because of the scare quotes) is totally out of touch with reality. A conventional Hollywood film would have been aimed at extracting money from them snake-handlin’ yokels without actually getting down into all that “believin'” garbage.