Around the World Roundup: 'Code' Breaks Opening Record

by Conor Bresnan
Audrey Tautou and Tom Hanks in The Da Vinci Code
May 22, 2006

Breaking the foreign opening weekend record with a truly global launch, The Da Vinci Code amassed a staggering $152.6 million in five days from 12,213 screens in nearly every nook and cranny of the world. Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith previously held the record with $144.8 million (although its debut excluded Japan among other countries). The Da Vinci Code played at exceptional levels everywhere, but Christian Latin America and Europe stood out.

Each debut in Latin America was either the all time best or second best on record, according to distributor Sony. Mexico led the way with $6.4 million from 768 screens. Brazil followed suit with $4.8 million from 534 screens. Argentina dazzled with $1.4 million from 208 screens, and Central America contributed $717,666 from 171 screens. Records also fell in Bolivia ($91,028 from 6), Chile ($876,683 from 78), Colombia ($802,673 from 115), Ecuador ($223,968 from 27), Peru ($608,098 from 49), Uruguay ($93,251 from 16) and Venezuela ($582,810 from 102).

The Da Vinci Code notched record openings in the two Catholic European markets, Italy and Spain, generating $11.1 million from 910 screens and $11 million from 750, respectively. The movie had the second highest non-sequel debut ever in the United Kingdom at $17.1 million from 1,085 screens.

The theological thriller premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in France and rode the publicity to a $12 million weekend from 960 screens there, topping the first installments in the Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and Star Wars franchises. The picture was no less impressive in Germany with $13.3 million from 1,142 screens.

In Japan, The Da Vinci Code logged one of the all time ten biggest debuts with $11.3 million from 863 screens. In South Korea, it unseated the potent Mission: Impossible III with an $8.8 million launch from 482 screens, well shy of Mission's debut two weeks ago but still among the ten best openings ever for an American picture there. Da Vinci also opened day-and-date in China, something only two other pictures have done before, and raked in $4.7 million from 393 screens, which was the fourth best opening ever for a non-Chinese picture.

A scene from Over the Hedge
On a far more limited basis, Over the Hedge was unleashed upon the international market as well. Following the same release pattern as the two Shrek movies, Hedge opened in the Southeast Asian territories day-and-date with the United States and posted excellent numbers for its genre, including Singapore's $410,000 from 26 screens, Malaysia's $180,000 from 42 and the Philippines' $175,000 from 68. All openings were well ahead of Shark Tale and the first Shrek, but nowhere near Shrek 2. Over the Hedge will slowly rollout around the world between the middle of June and October.

Mission: Impossible III held strongly in the major markets, but tumbled in the smaller ones. The action sequel was again superb in South Korea, down 38 percent to $4 million from 394 screens for a $27.6 million total. It was similarly impressive in the U.K., falling 32 percent to $3.4 million for a healthy $23.4 million total. In Thailand, though, it dropped 80 percent for a $2.8 million total. Overall, it scored $22.2 million over the weekend for a $163.3 million tally.

Poseidon sank quickly in its Asian territories. The disaster picture dove 79 percent in Thailand for a $1.7 million total, 67 percent in Singapore for $1.3 million and 64 percent in Indonesia $614,000. However, it remained ahead of Troy at the same point in India ($1.6 million) and Malaysia ($920,000).

Pedro Almodovar's Volver, which has been a big success in his native Spain with an $11 million gross, entered Italy opposite The Da Vinci Code. Surprisingly, Volver's debut was the director's best yet there with $1.4 million from 304 prints, topping his previous high, Talk to Her, by 94 percent.

Two years after its domestic release, Napoleon Dynamite finally ended its foreign campaign, opening in Germany on just one screen, which recorded $14,163. The comedy has not translated overseas, grossing $1.6 million overall, with the U.K.'s $1.1 million its highlight.

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