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Da Vinci Code Unlocks Box Office Potential

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE TOP TEN

May 19 - 21, 2006

LW = Last Week WR = Weeks Released

THTRS = Number of Screens

* Denotes new release.

Click on title to read CB Review

1.
The Da Vinci Code *
$77,000,000 - Total: $77,000,000
LW: N WR: 1 THTRS: 3735
2.
Over the Hedge *
$37,228,000 - Total: $37,228,000
LW: N WR: 1 THTRS: 4059
3.
Mission: Impossible III
$11,015,000 - Total: $103,201,000
LW: 1 WR: 3 THTRS: 3450
4.
Poseidon
$9,200,000 - Total: $36,778,000
LW: 2 WR: 2 THTRS: 3555
5.
RV
$5,100,000 - Total: $50,417,000
LW: 3 WR: 4 THTRS: 2925
6.
See No Evil *
$4,350,000 - Total: $4,350,000
LW: N WR: 1 THTRS: 1257
7.
Just My Luck
$3,375,000 - Total: $10,458,000
LW: 4 WR: 2 THTRS: 2543
8.
An American Haunting
$1,663,000 - Total: $13,624,000
LW: 5 WR: 3 THTRS: 1265
9.
United 93
$1,426,000 - Total: $28,282,000
LW: 6 WR: 4 THTRS: 1308
10.
Akeelah and the Bee
$1,000,000 - Total: $15,722,000
LW: 9 WR: 4 THTRS: 751

Dan Brown's novel "The Da Vinci Code" has been touted as the book that everybody bought but nobody really read. Ask most people if they have a copy and they'll likely say yes (it spent 14 weeks at the top of the bestseller chart). Ask those same people what it's about and they're bound to mumble something about Jesus or Catholics and then confess they didn't really read the whole thing. I don't blame them. It was good read, but nothing to get excited about (yes, I read it all the way through).

Now that it has taken movie form, The Da Vinci Code will be touted as the movie that everyone saw but no one liked. Critics across the board have panned it, but no amount of logic or reasoning is very effective when it comes to the scandal-starved masses. Desperate to find out what all the hubbub was about surrounding the controversial work of fiction (why read the book when you can see the movie?), the horde turned out in droves to hand the film a $77 million opening weekend, the largest since Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire took in over $100 million last November.

While the curious crowds stood in lines to see the movie this weekend, I imagine that once reality sets in (as the critics said, the movie is like the book, no that great) those incredible numbers will dwindle faster than Ron Howard's hair line. They'll have sweeter to meat to feast on though, as this only marks the beginning of the 2006 summer of super smash sequels (Superman Returns, Pirates of the Carribean 2 and X-Men 3, to name a few).

Da Vinci Code wasn't the only movie to hit it big this weekend. Despite starting under the shadow of Tom Hank's creepy hair, those furry cuddlies in Over The Hedge made a very strong showing, drawing in $37 million. Next to Da Vinci that seems rather weak, but almost every other movie this year would have killed to have done so well (the average opening weekend is under $20 million).

WWE films released it's Kane vehicle, See No Evil. Wrestling fans who could be torn away from their Pay-Per-View long enough paid $4.4 million this weekend to see the wrestler lumber around the screen poking peoples eyes out. It's comforting to know that such an abysmal film (I've seen it, but don't take my word for it...it has a rare 0% rating at Rottentomatoes.com) didn't perform well. The way things have been going this year at the box office I was beginning to think American's had gone completely mad.

Next weekend the X-Men make their last stand alone. With no other new releases to compete with and only Robert Langdon's looks of confusion in their way, look for the mutants to rule the roost.