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.”