Mel Gibson’s film about the life of Jesus, The Passion of Christ, is to be released on 2,000 screens in the US.
The controversial movie, which will be independently released, will be seen on as many screens as a major studio film.
But Catholic and Protestant groups say the film, released next month, sticks closely to Biblical texts.
Pope John Paul reportedly watched the film last month and gave his approval.
The film has also caused debate because all of the dialogue is in Latin and Aramaic, without English subtitles.
In October, Gibson’s Icon Productions film company and independent movie specialist Newmarket Films agreed to distribute the movie, which will open in the US on 25 February.