Skip to comments.It's Official: 'Passion' Trumps the 'Code'
Posted on 05/30/2006 12:24:57 AM PDT by Aussie Dasher
The media buildup of The Da Vinci Code is now history.
(Or, at least, should be; though, it was curious a week outat the start of the Memorial Day weekend when everyone was relaxing at the beach, or the equivalentto see all the Code coverage, including Datelines Dan Brown interview and Anderson Coopers 360º decoding feature.)
Now, its time to weigh the hype against the raw numbers.
(Which, no doubt, the media conglomerates are watching closely, as well, and may explain NBCs and CNNs renewed attention to yesterdays news.)
According to IMDb Box Office figures, the all time top 10 grossing films for USA are:
Titanic (1997)$601 million Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)$461 million Shrek 2 (2004)$436 million E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)$435 million Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)$431 million Spider-Man (2002)$404 million Star Wars: Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith (2005)$380 million The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)$377 million Spider-Man 2 (2004)$373 million The Passion of the Christ (2004)$370 million
Except for the sleeper hit ET, the top 10 films released at or around the same time of year as The Da Vinci Code, packed real punch in their first weekwith U.S. box office totals ranging from $148.5 million for Shrek 2, released May 15, 2004to $207 million (i.e., first eight days) for Star Wars: Episode I, released on May 21, 1999.
Star Wars: Episode III is, perhaps, a better comparison, given its release on May 19, 2005exactly one year to the day before The Da Vinci Code. The week one U.S. take? A cool $191,363,000.
The Da Vinci Code, on the other hand, grossed a mere $102,481,037 (U.S.) its first week.
Now, $102.48 million is not exactly chump change. But, when you consider Ron Howard risked $125 million of Sonys money making the film and another $125 million marketing the film, its underwhelming.
The comparison to The Passion of the Christ, dramatically depicting the last three days of Christs life on earthfaithful to the Gospelsis illustrative.
The Passions first week U.S. take was $144.6 milliona figure all the more impressive considering that it cost less than one-fourth (i.e., $30 million) what The Code cost to make and significantly less to marketmuch of the buzz generated under the radar screen among Christian communities across America, who, viewing the film, then sent out multitudinous e-mails to friends and family, encouraging them to see it. As with The Code, while The Passions impending release generated much free media, unlike The Code, that media was largely negativenot exactly a harbinger of a runaway hit. But, The Passion stands firm at No. 10 on the list of top grossing films.
But then Hollywood should know what Cecil B. DeMille, producer of The Ten Commandments, knew: Blasphemy doesnt pay. For even now, this Memorial Day, The Da Vinci Code, IMDb reports, has now fallen to No. 2, behind X Men: The Last Stand and has grossed, as of Day 8, $145.5 million in U.S. sales, which falls well behind the compared films when, at the same point, sales all exceeded $150 millionmost hovering around $200 million.
What an interesting spin. You'd think that DC was akin to Police Academy V in total revenue.
The more people tell me this movie is bad, the more I want to see it.
So, where does that leave X-Men?
I don't know when I've seen the cheerleading MSM so ga-ga over the release of a movie. This article is the first I've seen that doesn't tout the movie as a huge blockbuster.
'X-Men' Scores Record Holiday Opening
By GARY GENTILE
AP Business Writer
May 29, 2006, 3:47 PM EDT
LOS ANGELES -- The superhero epic "X-Men: The Last Stand" proved magnetic over the Memorial Day weekend, taking in $120.1 million, the biggest opening ever for the holiday weekend.
Preliminary estimates also gave the latest installment of the comic book franchise the fourth best three-day opening ever and the best single Friday in movie history with a gross of $45.5 million....."
I've heard the latest X-Men isn't as good as the first two.
You all sound like a bunch of liberals.
In my opinion, the first movie was so-so, the second one was very good, this one is awesome. In every sense of the word - phenomenal acting by Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman & co.
The story is never betrayed by cutesy acting and the suspension of disbelief is impressive (think 'Lord of the Rings')
The final 15 minutes or so contains one of the most fantastic - and 100% realistic special effects scenes ever filmed. I don't want to say more so as not to spoil the surprise - when you see it you will know what I am talking about...
It's not just the religion angle. The historical backdrop is utterly fallacious as well. This is supposed to be "historical fiction" and in that genre it is essential that the facts are correct. (Believe me, I was a librarian.) Brown couldn't even get historical facts right. I guess that's what happens when you let your wife do the research!!
I wasn't offended by the religion angle, but I was offended that the movie didn't make one lick of sense.
A dying man has time to leave cryptic clues all over the Louvre, including stripping naked and carving a pentagram onto his chest, so that the world's leading expert on symbols will help his grand daughter find a particular church? Why not just pick up the freakin' cell phone?
Even if the historical backdrop was 100% true, the movie still doesn't make one lick of sense.
You've got some pile of bones, allegedly Mary Magdalene. You've got some woman, allegedly her descendent. If it can ever be proven that the woman is related to the bones, the entire Christian religion will come to a screeching halt.
Bull Hockey. You still need a leap of faith to believe the woman in the tomb is Mary Magdalene. Even if it is Mary Magdalene, you still need a leap of faith to believe that she had children by Jesus and not some other person. Then you need a further leap of faith to believe that this somehow disproves Jesus was divine.
Even so, The Da Vinci Code could have been fun if it didn't take itself so gosh darn seriously. A couple years back there was a movie called National Treasure with pretty much the same Knights of Templar conspiracy theory angle, but it was a much more enjoyable movie because it didn't drone on about how anyone who wasn't part of the conspiracy was a pathetic dupe.
The Passion makes the rest of Sleazywoodians look EXACTLY like what they are: pimps and prostitutes.
You must have been contacted by the crack smoking division of the american populace. This X Men was the best of them all. The plot twists, effects and drama of the story were awesome.
Glad to hear this. I WILL see X-Men III....plus the new Superman and Pirates.
My husband and I LOVED "National Treasure"!! It's one of our all time favorites. We bought the DVD and watch it every time it comes on the movie channels. We love it precisely because it treats the plot so lightly and it does give some very REAL glimpses of history. To see the inside of Independence Hall, Library of Congress, etc., is just TOOOO COOL.....
So, movies are now like voting?
That's not essential for historical fiction, actually. Usually, in fact, the more accurately historical fiction hews to all the historic details, the more boring it is, since that straitjackets the story so much. There are some happy exceptions, of course, but in general "historical fiction" is usually a mix of historic facts/settings/people, and a healthy dose of "poetic license".
I just wanna see something blow up and/or a sword fight.
WAIT A SECOND???
$125 MILLION marketing the film?!
Can I get a source, so I can get rid of all the nincompoops on my threads saying, "But it has to be good, it made so much money!"
If this is true, than there is no way this film ends up in the black!
In their zeal to prove a Catholic Church conspiracy they have admitted what they have denied for years. To the point of turning Christmas into a Happy Holiday.
This movie has hurt the liberal cause, no matter what angle that you look at it.
Save your money. It's awful. The characters basically go around explaning to each other what's going on through out the movie because it's incomprehesible. Read the book. My wife couldn't put it down.
Yikes, am I now a pagan?
Some times spin is all you've got. It's only a movie. And in spite of the hopes and prayers of a lot of people around here, it's a successful movie.
Like "X Men" and it's $130 million opening weekend?
I wonder when the code will end up in the $5.50 bin at Walmart? Any bets?
A year or two. If Wal-Mart will even carry it.
Opie gone dopie!
These are two different films seeking two different audiences.
I get the idea that people are upset with "Da Vinci Code." I get the idea that many find it herasey. I also get that many people feel that "Passion" deserved more attention...maybe so.
If you want the "Da Vinci Code" to go away, stop reprinting every single comment or posted article on this or any other site. All you do is keep the busy going. MORE people will see this movie because of the continued buzz, not less.
Take the "Last Temptation of Christ"...a mediocre film at best, and a film that would have died at the box office, had thousands of people kept circulating petitions to stop it from showing. Those petitions and that campaign probably added 15% or more to gross box office.
If I want to mock Liberal religion I have to say things like this:
Sex was meant for marriage between a man and a woman.
Babies have a right to be born.
If you're born with a penis, you're a man and you have sex with a woman. Otherwise, you're a woman and you have sex with a man.
We have laws in this nation, and everyone from the President to immigrants is expected to follow them.
You should spend your own money on the things you care about, not tax the middle class to do it.
There, do the Religious Left feel mocked?
Actually, X-3, the new X-men movie, trumped the "Code." I wouldn't read too much into that. I, for one, wouldn't put my trust in Wolverine or Cyclops over Jesus. :)
I don't think that's the point. I think everyone should see this movie, BUT with the understanding Dan Brown is performing histrionics and lying about factual documentation.
The Gnostic Gospels, which this whole concept is derived, have been more than debunked back in the first or second century. They hold no claim to truth, can not be backed up by other historical fact. It's just as important that people know the facts and use them accordingly.
The more people tell me this movie is bad, the more I want to see it.
You should! Even at 2.5 hours, it's not a bad movie. I read the book but, my Wife did not. We both really enjoyed it. WARNING: Closed minded religion-bots should avoid at all cost.
And also by that a**hole Abe Foxman.
Thanks for brightening my day. Hopefully it will drop like a rock.
He got three facts right at least. London is in England. Paris is in France. And Leonardo da Vinci was a painter.
Ditto... a 50% drop for a movie that opened big is not unusual and it should end its run with more than $200mil in domestic theatrical sales alone. In the movie biz, that spells success.
I suppose "Closed minded religion-bots" is your hateful and bigoted reference to Christians.
The entire t5hing is a work of fiction. It's always been a work of fiction. Dan Brown has stated repeatedly that it is a work of fiction. What is the problem with that?
That's a half-truth and you know it.
>> It is amazing to me that liberals would promote a film that asserts that Jesus Christ existed. <<
Sorry, no glee there. They do not assert that Jesus Christ existed. They assert that a man named Jesus did. But the man they portray is in no way, shape, or form, "Christ." He was, in the Da Vinci Code, the same man that the Napoleonic armies, Nazis, Stalinists, Islamofascists, and even Imperial Japanese said he was: a social-reforming hick whose only followers subverted everything he really stood for.
The particulars of the Da Vinci code, despite many Freeping idiots' claims that they have been kicking around for more than a century, are the novel inventions of a French Nazi and a deranged British witch. The general theme is the Satan-inspired bullsh*t that has ever been published to oppose Christianity.
Then why is con artist Brown claiming that the book is true? How many works of fiction that you read contain "fact" pages?
50% is pretty bad. The fact that several movies last year dropped 50% doesn't mean it isn't lousy; last year was the worst year in history for the motion picture industry. Given population growth, economic growth, inflation, and market growth, the motion-picture industry, including VHS/DVD, should have been 30% higher than it was, which is partly why stocks for several movie-related companies have collapsed.
But the Da Vinci Code didn't drop 50%. It dropped 57%. It would have dropped 63%, if it weren't for the holiday weekend. That puts it in the territory of being one of the 25 worst drops in the last 25 years, out of nearly 2000 major releases.
The latest X-men is a probably the best of the three. I saw it on opening day in San Francisco. The special effects are first rate.
The author may or may not be presenting spin. Since she's writing in
Human Events, a conservative magaizine, one might be inclined to brush aside everything she says as biased. But by that standard, one should brush aside everything you and I have to say too, since we're posting in Free Republic, a forum that's equally right wing, everything we say should disregarded as well. Besides, these reviewers are probably not simply driven by piety to criticize the movie on its artistic merits.
The author makes a number of points and she provides both facts and reasoning for each of them--- she is not making an emotional, "Don't waaaaatch this movie! It is baaaad! for you!" appeal. As such, her article deserves more respect than you've shown it. The facts are, the Da Vinci Code had a HUGE opening, and dropped off like a stone the next week. That either speaks poorly as to people's opinion of it, or implies everyone who wanted to see it did so the first time out.
Now, reports of The Da Vinci Code's demise may be as premature as reports of its success. But as things stand now, its prospects have dimmed. I don't see how one can argue otherwise.
I'm just going to wait for "Cars". Pixar has NEVER let me down. That, combined with "Pirates" almost guarantees Disney will have a most successful summer.
The Last Temptation of Christ DID bomb in the theaters. Horrifically. It didn't sell enough tickets to pay for the catering, let alone production of the movie. Besides, the purpose of the conversations of the past few months about the Da Vinci Code were not to stifle the movie, but to counter its vicious slander by pointing out the truth.
Now, there's a barrage of press trying to discourage conservatives from trying to explain the truth. Strangely, FReepers have joined in as shock troops for these lies, buying them at face value, like a troop of good little liberal surrender monkeys.
For the record, as YOU MUST KNOW, because we have very well succeeded at shouting it from the rooftops, DAN BROWN SAYS ITS ALL TRUE AND HAS SPENT $125 MILLION TO PROMOTE THE TRUTHFULNESS OF THE MOVIE. The movie's web site is called "SoDarkTheConOfMan.com"!!! (meant to refer to Christianity, but inadverdantly referring to Dan Brown.) He has been the guest of every news show, cable magazine, and televised moron-fest insisting this:
"When I first started out, I was very skeptical, but as I started researching for my novel, I discovered that it was all true, absolutely true."
And yet, somehow he still manages to command armies of lemmings to every corner of the world wide web to protest, "but it's just fiction."
Was there like some kind of hypnotics device in the book's illustrations that has turned ordinarily reasonable people into an army of salivating idiots?
My friends, do yourself a HUGE favor
HEAVEN CAN WAIT
The Da Vinci Code.
by ANTHONY LANE
Issue of 2006-05-29
Our hero, needing somebody to trust, does the same dumb thing that every fleeing innocent has done since Robert Donat in The Thirty-nine Steps. He and Sophie visit a cheery old duffer in the countryside and spill every possible bean. In this case, the duffer is Sir Leigh Teabing (Ian McKellen), who lectures them on the Emperor Constantine and the Council of Nicaea, in 325 A.D. We get a flashback to the council in question, and I must say that, though I have recited the Nicene Creed throughout my adult life, I never realized that it was originally formulated in the middle of a Beastie Boys concert.
The task of the Bishop and his hit man is to thwart the unveiling of what Teabing modestly calls the greatest secret in modern history, so powerful that, if revealed, it would devastate the very foundations of Christianity. Later, realizing that this sounds a little meek and mild, he stretches it to the greatest coverup in human history. As a rule, you should beware of any movie in which characters utter lines of dialogue whose proper place is on the advertising poster. (Just imagine Sigourney Weaver, halfway through Alien, turning to John Hurt and explaining, In space, no one can hear you scream.)
Stumbling out from the final credits, tugging nervously at my goatee, I was none the wiser. The film is directed by Ron Howard and written by Akiva Goldsman, the master wordsmith who brought us Batman & Robin. I assumed that such an achievement would result in Goldsmans being legally banned from any of the verbal professions, but, no, here he is yet again. As far as I am qualified to judge, the film remains unswervingly loyal to the book, displaying an obedience that Silas could not hope to match.