The 'Code' finally decoded
The Da Vinci Code opened in New Delhi to a mixed response, with cinemas reporting a phenomenal response.Updated: May 26, 2006 17:36 IST
After days of will it, won't it, The Da Vinci Code finally opened in New Delhi on Friday but to a mixed response, with some cinemas reporting a phenomenal response while others saying it was getting off to a slow start.
While tickets were there for the asking in the MMX cineplex in Noida on the outskirts of the city, in south Delhi's PVR Saket, for instance, you can't get to see the movie till Monday -- except for the eager beaver moviegoer who queued up outside the window first thing in the morning.
Sourav Verma, vice president of PVR cinemas that runs a chain of multiplexes across the city as well as in Gurgaon and Noida, said the response was overwhelming.
"We opened out booking counter on Thursday evening and the response is phenomenal. People are going for advance booking even for the next two days," Verma said.
It was a different story across town.
"We sold only 18 tickets for our first show of the day and there are not many advance bookings. The hall has a seating capacity of 269," said a ticket seller at MMX theatre, Noida.
"We are not sure about the future of the film. Something can only be said after a week," he added about the Tom Hanks starrer based on the bestseller by Dan Brown.
Officials in west Delhi's Fun Cinema said response to the movie was "not that great" with just over 20 per cent booking for the first show.
"In a 312 capacity hall, only 64 tickets have been sold for the first show. We are running five shows a day of The Da Vinci Code and hope that it will attract more audience in the next shows," said Shailendra, deputy manager at Fun cinema's box office.
Shipra Jam multiplex in the satellite town of Ghaziabad had recorded 40 percent sales.
"We have sold 40 per cent of our capacity for the first show and tickets are available for our next shows," said Sunil Anand, marketing head of the multiplex.
The film, which promotes the theory that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and started a bloodline, evoked a furore amongst a section of Christian leaders who demanded that it be banned.
Following this, Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi had put its release on hold, even though the Censor Board had cleared it.
It was earlier scheduled for release on May 19.
India is the only country in the world where the film is being released with a disclaimer at the beginning and at the end.
The Ron Howard movie has opened to a worldwide weekend box office taking of $224 million, making it the second biggest worldwide opening for any film, a statement from the distributors Sony said.
Star Wars Episode III opened to $253 million globally one year ago. The Da Vinci Code opened on 12,000 screens internationally, the statement said.
First Published: May 26, 2006 17:36 IST