Despite boycott threats from religious groups and mediocre reviews from film critics, the movie version of Dan Brown's besetting novel The Da Vinci Code took in $30 million throughout the U.S. on Friday, it's first day of release.
Following its Cannes premiere on May 17, the movie opened in most world markets on Friday. According to Variety, the film took in an additional $43 million Friday in other parts of the world. Estimates would suggest that The Da Vinci Code could take in $80 million this weekend throughout the U.S. and $200 million globally. The film has reportedly been released on 20,000 prints worldwide.
In Italy, despite calls for a boycott from Vatican officials, the film broke the box office record previously held by Roberto Benigni's Life Is Beautiful, taking in $2.6 million on Friday.
In The Da Vinci Code, while in Paris on business, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) receives an urgent late-night phone call: the elderly curator of the Louvre has been murdered inside the museum. Near the body, police have found a baffling cipher. While working to solve the enigmatic riddle, Langdon is stunned to discover it leads to a trail of clues hidden in the works of Da Vinci -- clues visible for all to see -- yet ingeniously disguised by the painter.
Langdon joins forces with a gifted French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tautou), and learns the late curator was involved in the Priory of Sion -- an actual secret society whose members included Sir Isaac Newton, Botticelli, Victor Hugo, and Da Vinci, among others.
In a breathless race through Paris, London, and beyond, Langdon and Neveu match wits with a faceless powerbroker who seems to anticipate their every move. Unless Langdon and Neveu can decipher the labyrinthine puzzle in time, the Priory's ancient secret -- and an explosive historical truth -- will be lost forever.