Just got back from seeing the Da Vinci Code; quite frankly I was expecting to be disappointed (I was going primarily to flaunt the fact that I live in a country where the church has no authority and I can watch and read whatever the hell I want!). I was pleasantly surprised: I actually thought it was much better than the book!
On Thursday Pharyngula posted an interview with movie critic (and religious apologist) Michael Medved, who stated emphatically that the Da Vinci Code is,
... going to be a very big box office disappointment
Films that have anti-religious themes and particularly anti-Catholic themes and they never make a dime. They tend to do very, very badly at the box office.
So the expectation is that the Da Vinci Code shouldn't do anywhere near as well as, say, The Passion of the Christ. Well, apparently the first numbers are out and Medved missed it by a long shot. According to a post on Andrew Sullivan and associated links, the Da Vinci Code has been one of the largest first weekend smashes of all time. From Deadline Hollywood Daily:
Sony Pictures told me exclusively this morning that Da Vinci Code earned $224 million worldwide, making it the second biggest opening weekend of all time worldwide. (The only movie that did better was Star Wars 3, the last of the prequels, with $254 mil). That DVC figure broke down to $147 mil internationally, and $77 mil domestically. The studio told me that the film is the No. 1 all-time opening weekend internationally. DVC was #1 in predominantly Catholic countries Italy and Spain, and #1 or #2 in every South American territory...According to Box Office Mojo, DVC ranked #13 on the all-time U.S. opening weekend, behind Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. But, internationally, DVC swamped Passion.
Actually, Passion was only the 11th best opening weekend, just over $6 million more than Da Vinci and in the scheme of things probably not statistically significant. Apparently Medved misrepresented the ideological foundations of all those Christians he expected to stay home in protest. Maybe God's trying to tell the conservative Christians something?