Sunday, June 18, 2006

The War Of The Fantastic Four Da Vinci Code Begins 2

Two posts, one at Quoth the Maven and one by Clayton Cramer, got me thinking again about The Da Vinci Code. Box office data is now available for 28 days, and I thought it might be useful to update a previous post in which I examined the box office returns after two weekends.

Through Thursday, June 15, The Da Vinci Code had grossed $193,501,251 domestically and $452,536,356 internationally. While no doubt these returns satisfy the studio and producers, given the cost of the film was approximately $125,000,000, I think the future of the franchise can be divined by looking for movies that had similar financial success. It is not my concern here whether the movie was profitable, but only whether it had a positive or negative cultural impact, if it had any at all.

A movie I had compared to The Da Vinci Code was War Of The Worlds. Few if any would look upon that movie as a success; few if any look forward to the next Spielberg/Cruise collaboration. The War Of The Worlds had earned $210,761,647 after 28 days.

A second movie I had compared The Da Vinci Code to was The Fantastic Four. After 28 days The Fantastic Four had grossed $139,724,204 domestically. To the anticipation of no one, a sequel will be released in June, 2007.

Looking a little further, I searched for other movies that had a profile similar, or mostly similar, to The Da Vinci Code: big stars, a successful director, a built-in audience, and a well-known story line. Below are the movies I found, with their domestic returns after 28 days (from Box Office Mojo data available on today's date):

Batman Begins -- $174,525,652
Spiderman 2 -- $332,378,153
X-Men: The Last Stand -- $210,549,000 (22 days)
The Chronic! - What!? - ...cles Of Narnia! -- $232,134,689 (I couldn't resist)
The Legend Of Zorro -- $43,635,031
The Island -- $34,853,346

I will leave it to the reader to decide how well these movies analogize to The Da Vinci Code, and what the reputations of the movies above mean to the future of The Da Vinci Code franchise. What stands out to me is that all of the movies that appear to have a shelf life beyond their release made more after 28 days than did The Da Vinci Code; all the movies that are today considered a joke made less. Therefore, I still contend that the movie has not aided the book, and that the returns for this movie tell us that the novel The Da Vinci Code will henceforth be known as that book they made the stupid movie out of.

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