Reports on The Da Vinci Code

Ron Howard’s The Da Vinci Code which was certified by an ‘A’ certificate by the CBFC was released across major parts of India on May 26 with 108 prints (in English and Hindi) across 113 screens in conformity and adherence to the requirements of the Information and Broadcasting (I & B) Ministry and the Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC) without any untoward incident or violence. The film continues to roll out in the second week with the same number of prints (108) once again indicating the peaceful nature of the release in India.

Sony Pictures Releasing India is surprised and shocked that despite a peaceful release and clearance from the Central Government’s I & B Ministry and the CBFC, the film has been banned in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Nagaland, Meghalaya and suspended for two months in Tamil Nadu. But the film will roll out in Tamil Nadu and Kerala today (June 2) while Andhra Pradesh is slotted for June 9 release. There was no release planned for the other States, except in Punjab, where the film opened in Chandigarh.

Globally The Da Vinci Code saw a smooth release across 65 countries (15,948 screens) including nations like Italy, Spain, The United States of America, the United Kingdom and Brazil. Nearly sixty million people around the globe have seen the movie, without any reported trouble or incidents. The film captured 79 per cent of the Hollywood market in the weekend.

Sony Pictures has welcomed the outpouring of educational dialogue that has surrounded The Da Vinci Code, and even supported a web site where many leading Catholic and other Christian scholars contributed essays discussing the topics touched on in the book and the film. Many religious leaders have seen the release of The Da Vinci Code as an educational opportunity, including Opus Dei, which has been able to teach many people around the world about their organization and beliefs.

The fact that the film is based on a book which has sold over 60.5 million copies as of May 2006 in 44 languages and is a best seller in the “fiction category”. In India, over 3,00,000 copies have been sold while in Kerala, which has a sizeable Christian population, the book has been translated into Malayalam and 5,000 copies have been sold.

The Da Vinci Code continues to be the 13th largest opening for any Hollywood film released in India. None of the States like Maharashtra, Delhi, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and West Bengal have reported violence. The film grossed Rs. 3 crore (from May 26 to May 29) clearly indicating the fact that people have viewed it as pure entertainment.

The Da Vinci Code bowed to a worldwide box office taking of $231.8 mil on May 19, 2006 – making it the 2nd biggest worldwide opening for any film. North America opened to $ 77.1 mil while the International markets bowed to $ 154.7 mil. This is also the studio’s biggest worldwide opening ever.

Internationally (non North American markets) The Da Vinci Code opened on 12,213 screens setting an all-time record for weekend box office in the international marketplace grossing $154.7 million