"The Passion of The Christ" Merchandise Selling Well - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

2/24/04 - Longview

"The Passion of The Christ" Merchandise Selling Well

There's so much interest in the movie, "The Passion of The Christ", it's generating its own kind of merchandising campaign.

Anything to do with the movie or the story it tells is flying off the local shelves.

"There's a coffee table book with a lot of pictures straight out of the movie. There's actually a Bible study," says LifeWay manager Gary Loftin.

That's just the beginning of the merchandise available for "The Passion of The Christ. There's also a soundtrack, jewlry and tracts to offer "unbelievers".  It's all going very fast.

"It's one of my co-worker's birthday. So I'm trying to get together a little package for her. I'm going to get the praise and worship cd, one of the books and then I'm going to go to the movies and get movie passes for her to see the movie," says Nakeisha Adams.

While Nakeisha racks up, so is everyone else. Sales at Christian bookstores are up around the nation due to merchandise related to the movie. Gary Loftin says he's not surprised. "I know myself I've bought two of the books just this weekend. I've already read one of them. So there's going to be a lot of interest I believe."

But not everyone is excited by all the merchandise. "I would hope that people would look at the scriptures first because I believe we don't need anything past what God has written in an inspired way and that would be in the gospels itself," says Janet Ledford.

But with so many people buying up the books, and cd's Janet seems to be in the minority.

"I think that anything that explains the gospel in a way people can understand is a good thing," says Jill Chinn.

If the rise in sales are any indication, other customers think it's a good thing too.  

The merchandising for "The Passion of The Christ" is also helping books that aren't directly related to the movie. A couple of books based on the validity of Christianity, released years ago, are now seeing new interest in their books because of the movie.

Amy Tatum reporting. 

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