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It's Official: 'Passion' Trumps the 'Code'
Human Events Online ^ | 30 May 2006 | Mary Claire Kendall

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 out—at the start of the Memorial Day weekend when everyone was relaxing at the beach, or the equivalent—to see all the Code coverage, including Dateline’s Dan Brown interview and Anderson Cooper’s 360º “decoding” feature.)

Now, it’s time to weigh the hype against the raw numbers.

(Which, no doubt, the media conglomerates are watching closely, as well, and may explain NBC’s and CNN’s renewed attention to yesterday’s 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 week—with U.S. box office totals ranging from $148.5 million for Shrek 2, released May 15, 2004—to $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, 2005—exactly 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 Sony’s money making the film and another $125 million marketing the film, it’s underwhelming.

The comparison to The Passion of the Christ, dramatically depicting the last three days of Christ’s life on earth—faithful to the Gospels—is illustrative.

The Passion’s first week U.S. take was $144.6 million—a 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 market—much 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 Passion’s impending release generated much free media, unlike The Code, that media was largely negative—not 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 doesn’t 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 million—most hovering around $200 million.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: boxoffice; davincicode; passionofchrist; thepassion
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To: sirchtruth

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?

41 posted on 05/30/2006 5:49:34 AM PDT by Military family member (GO Colts!!)
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To: Military family member
Dan Brown has stated repeatedly that it is a work of fiction.

That's a half-truth and you know it.

42 posted on 05/30/2006 5:51:58 AM PDT by wideawake
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To: capitalist229

>> 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.

43 posted on 05/30/2006 5:52:55 AM PDT by dangus
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To: Military family member
Dan Brown has stated repeatedly that it is a work of fiction.

Then why is con artist Brown claiming that the book is true? How many works of fiction that you read contain "fact" pages?

44 posted on 05/30/2006 5:55:25 AM PDT by A.A. Cunningham
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To: Varda

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.

45 posted on 05/30/2006 5:59:03 AM PDT by dangus
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To: starfish923

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.

46 posted on 05/30/2006 6:00:33 AM PDT by glorgau
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To: sully777
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.

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.

47 posted on 05/30/2006 6:03:01 AM PDT by mjolnir ("All great change in America begins at the dinner table.")
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To: glorgau

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.

48 posted on 05/30/2006 6:08:34 AM PDT by Warren_Piece (Smart is easy. Good is hard.)
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To: Military family member

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 ""!!! (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?

49 posted on 05/30/2006 6:10:35 AM PDT by dangus
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To: Aussie Dasher

My friends, do yourself a HUGE favor
“The Da Vinci Code.”
Issue of 2006-05-29
Posted 2006-05-22
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 Goldsman’s 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.

50 posted on 05/30/2006 6:18:09 AM PDT by Valin (Purple Fingers Rule!)
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To: Aussie Dasher

I heard the Code was doing enormous box office in Catholic countries, e.g., Spain and Italy.

51 posted on 05/30/2006 6:22:01 AM PDT by dov12348
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To: Aussie Dasher; All



...just for the LOVE of it..!!


52 posted on 05/30/2006 6:22:35 AM PDT by ALOHA RONNIE ("ALOHA RONNIE" Guyer/Veteran-"WE WERE SOLDIERS" Battle of IA DRANG-1965
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To: Aussie Dasher

look for x men to drop like arock too.

(it was REALLY tortured writing. You don't have to be a fan to hate the x men turkey.)

I bet the suits are totally confused why two movies whith christ as the theme did not make it.

53 posted on 05/30/2006 6:44:44 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! and
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To: Aussie Dasher
As of May 29, 2006---Domestic: $145,481,000 (31.3%);+ Foreign: $319,500,000 (68.7%) = Worldwide: $464,981,000

If you wonder why Hollywood feels free to bash the US, it is simply a matter of good business. More than two-thirds of the revenues so far for this picture came from abroad.

54 posted on 05/30/2006 6:51:19 AM PDT by kabar
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To: Aussie Dasher; HairOfTheDog; ecurbh; RMDupree; RosieCotton; SuziQ; g'nad; Ramius; xzins; ...

Maybe it's just me, but I really don't think Jesus ever worried about box office draw.

And if ~we~ think it means anything, we've missed His point.

55 posted on 05/30/2006 6:56:05 AM PDT by Corin Stormhands (HHD: Join the Hobbit Hole Troop Support -
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To: Ichneumon

It's interesting how the people who start these schadenfreude threads can ignore the total box office for the film. $464,981,000 in two weekends is not shabby.

Mel Gibson's total take was $611,899,420.

56 posted on 05/30/2006 7:03:10 AM PDT by js1138 (Well I say there are some things we don't want to know! Important things!")
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To: BigSkyFreeper


An unbelievable premise. 1 dimentional characters. TOTALLY WASTED Kelsy Grammar. Seriously they should have changed the storm actress to someone who could ,,,,act.

Whoever wrote this was trying to say something but it was not about anything regarding normal human reactions.

The best special effects are all in the trailer. The rest is a snooooooze-a-palooza.

You leave not caring who died or who lived.

X men is pure hype and no product. Six people left very disappointed with a list of all the flaws in the movie.

57 posted on 05/30/2006 7:08:53 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! and
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To: Aussie Dasher

Spin the numbers all you want, DaVinci Code has already brought in $460 million worldwide. Financially, it's a success. Worldwide it will almost certainly top Passion.

58 posted on 05/30/2006 7:11:00 AM PDT by Gone GF
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To: glorgau

x men III was absurd.

The movie was a turkey so they tried to cover it up with special effects.

It was wasted charactes,
unbelievable premises
STUPID tactics to give a special effects moment.

Seriusly, did they outlaw boats so no magneto has the power to move a concrete and steel bridge? Which does not collapse without the tower supports?


it is not even worth renting!

59 posted on 05/30/2006 7:15:18 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! and
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To: BigSkyFreeper
I've heard the latest X-Men isn't as good as the first two.

We enjoyed it immensely!

60 posted on 05/30/2006 7:17:53 AM PDT by SuziQ
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