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.