Regal Entertainment Group, the largest U.S. film exhibitor, has reached a settlement with Mel Gibson's Icon Distribution in the lawsuit arising from the firm's exhibition of "The Passion of the Christ

NEW YORK (The Hollywood Reporter) -- Regal Entertainment Group, the largest U.S. film exhibitor, has reached a settlement with Mel Gibson's Icon Distribution in the lawsuit arising from the firm's exhibition of "The Passion of the Christ," Regal reported in a regulatory filing March 1.

In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Regal stated that the settlement will reduce its previously reported fourth-quarter profit by $8.3 million.

Last month, Regal reported a fourth-quarter profit of $32.8 million and a full-year profit of $90.8 million.

Gibson formed Icon in 1990. The company sued Regal in June for $40 million, claiming that the film theater group has failed to pay Icon its fair share of boxoffice receipts for Icon-produced "Passion."

In the legal dispute, indie Icon charged that Regal had agreed to pay it major studio-type terms for the "Passion," which was stated as 55% of the film's grosses, but then reneged on that promise to pay only 34%. "Passion" became a boxoffice sensation, grossing more than $370.3 million in the United States.

The settlement comes just days before the film is set for a March 11 rerelease -- as an edited, less violent version -- in U.S. theaters.