Variety's Peter Bart is all in a tizzy over the NYT's treatment of Mel Gibson and The Passion of the Christ, pointing out that the paper's dire predictions about Gibson's Hollywood blackballing haven't really panned out. And, oh yeah, the Jesus-beating flick is making a little money, too.

As for Gibson, there's no indication that his viability as an actor or filmmaker has been compromised. Indeed, Hollywood reveres success, and Gibson's personal take from his film — somewhere north of $400 million — will surely be history's biggest. That makes Gibson not an outlaw, but a Hollywood folk hero.

$400 million for Gibson? Sounds like a lot, but by the time the accountants get through with it and factor in the publicity and advertising expenditures, the fake blood budgetary overruns, and tithing, Mary Magdalene isn't going to see any back end points.