NEW YORK, December 9, 2003 ( – LifeSite friend and President of, Tom Allen has informed LifeSite that “IT’S OFFICIAL! You can now buy ADVANCE TICKETS to see Mel Gibson’s ‘The Passion of The Christ’” which opens in theatres on Ash Wednesday, February 25, 2004.  Allen reports that Icon Productions has set up a 24-hour toll-free ticket hotline for order requests—call 1-800-353-6102.  (Canadian readers please note that the line is supposed to be available to the U.S. and Canada, but as of this writing the line was not working from Canada.  After an inquiry, LifeSite was assured the issue is being addressed and will be working “later today”.)  Allen reports that advance ticket sales will encourage theatres around the world to carry the film.

In related news, the official website went online today.  At the site, desktop images from the film, posters, trailers and more are all available. Pop-ups must be enabled for you to view various site elements.  Finally, Zenit news service notes that several high-ranking Vatican officials viewed the film this weekend and were duly impressed.

See Zenit’s exclusive interview with one of the officials: