Gibson film boosts Christian sub culture
Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" has provided a boost for Christian sub-culture in the US with a surge in demand for Christian-themed products, reports Reuters news agency.
The film has spurred U.S. consumer demand for Christian-themed merchandise such as jewelry, apparel, books, music and even video games, according to Redbook, a private research group.
Emily Swan, a spokeswoman for Borders Group Inc told Reuters that the books and music retailer posted a "significant increase" in the sales of Christian books, such as "The Case for Christ" by Lee Strobel, and DVDs, such as the musical "Jesus Christ Superstar," since last month's release.
"The 'Passion' has really stirred a whole resurgence of faith-based product sales," said Gene Jackson, chief executive of Kingdom Ventures Inc.
In the weeks since the film's release, sales at some stores have jumped 20 percent to 30 percent, led by Christian-related books, as well as clothing and jewelry, Jackson said.
At Bob Siemon Designs, which sells Christian jewelry and gift items, the film created such demand that the company had to hire 20 employees, increasing its work force to 140.
The company, based in Santa Ana, California, has shipped about 100,000 each of movie-themed crucifixion nail pendants and cross pendants, according to Dwight Robinson, Bob Siemon's head of marketing.
"The Passion of the Christ" was released in North America on 25th February and comes to the UK on 26th March.