Domestic box office sales fir The Nativity Story are expected to perk up as we get closer and closer to Christmas day. The film opened on December 1 with very meager beginnings, but as the weeks went on the film has boosted its sales, currently rounding out at about $40 million to date. This uplifting turn around is not to be expected overseas.
The Nativity Story is currently failing to bring in any substantial amount of money in Europe and its screenings have even been reduced significantly (505 to 91 in Italy...ouch) due to a barely-there audience. Highly religious areas aren't even bringing in numbers contributing to the film's overseas failure.
Somehow distributors paralleled The Nativity Story's success to that of Mel Gibson's (everyone's favorite Catholic) The Passion of the Christ. I can't imagine that this was an actual thought in their prediction of The Nativity Story's success. The Passion of the Christ was ridden with controversy before it hit theatres and I think in that film's case -- the more negative hype the more tickets sold. I know I was curious because of it. The only thing drawing me to see The Nativity Story is Keisha Castle-Hughes from Whale Rider. Perhaps controversy is the winning ticket for religious based films and unfortunately, The Nativity Story is more about telling a biblical tale rather than about screaming expletives within ear shot of Hollywood reporters.