Magazine article The Christian Century

The Da Vinci Code Opens Strongly

Magazine article The Christian Century

The Da Vinci Code Opens Strongly

Article excerpt

One didn't need a Harvard symbologist to decode this one. With its built-in advantage of a best-seller source novel--and the dependable Ron Howard directing fan favorite Tom Hanks--The Da Vinci Code translated fame into box-office success on its first weekend in release.

Its estimated May 19-21 gross was $77 million, according to the box-office analysis firm Exhibitor Relations-more than the rest of the top ten movies combined.

Though the film didn't make it into the $100 million club, the preserve of genuine blockbusters like the Harry Potter films, "it's the biggest opening of the year so far," said Paul Dergarabedian, president of Exhibitor Relations. "And $77 million tells only part of the story; the film also did $147 million overseas, which shows you the worldwide fervor about this picture. It's really a global phenomenon."

Many film critics panned the movie, and the film drew some laughter from viewers at the Cannes Film Festival. The U.S. Catholic bishops' film office rated it "morally offensive" the day before the film opened. It had few advance screenings.

Some moviegoers had called for a boycott of the film on religious grounds, while others announced that they would see it simply to break the boycott; a third faction urged fans to see the family-friendly Over the Hedge instead. …

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