Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ has beaten the all time 5 day box office record set by The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. The Passion made $125.2m (£68.2m) say updated, confirmed figures.

Bruce Davey, Gibson's partner at his Icon film company, said: "I think we'll see strong bookings leading up to Easter, and I would anticipate Easter would be a huge weekend."

The film also opened well in Australia with US$2.7m in its first five days, and US$275,000 in four days in New Zealand. It is due for a March 26th release in the UK.