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Monday, May 22, 2006

De-Coding the Media

It's interesting to me to notice that news articles like this one are trumpeting that the opening of the The Da Vinci Code movie was "the second-biggest debut ever at the global box office." Facts from a little further down in the article:
  • In the U.S., the enthusiasm was less intense: it "...sold about $77 million worth of tickets at movie theaters in the United States and Canada during its first three days," and "The biggest North American opening this year had been $68 million for 'Ice Age: The Meltdown' seven weeks ago. But 'The Da Vinci Code' numbers were still far from the $115 million record held by 2002's 'Spider-Man.'"

  • The reason it had such a big opening weekend was because of overseas markets: "'The Da Vinci Code' earned about $147 million overseas, the biggest international opening ever."

  • It didn't even do as well in the U.S. as another movie with a religious theme: "The strong sales came despite -- or because of -- an onslaught of protests and publicity not seen since another religious movie, Mel Gibson's 'The Passion of the Christ,' earned $84 million domestically during its first weekend in February 2004. It grossed $612 million worldwide."
Seems like another indicator that the world outside the United States tends to not be as likely to reject a movie based on "Christian" religious convictions. Whether this is because they are not Christians, or because they are open-minded, or because their Christianity does not transfer over to their not-at-church lifestyle, or because they do not consider it a movie that has any relevance to their religious convictions at all, I don't know. All I know is that the movie has gotten mainly blah reviews, and although I would not consider it a betrayal of my faith to see it, if it's not even that great of a movie I can't imagine why I would bother. I also have heard that there are many countries in Europe and elsewhere, coughcoughfrancecoughcough, that have become increasingly opposed to Christianity and desperately need our prayers. Hopefully that statement does not make me come off as a USA bigot; I've been to Germany and France and Austria and met many Christians and enjoyed the trip very much. But the figures for this movie do seem to lend a tiny bit of support to what I'm hearing from ministers and missionaries who are in the trenches in other parts of the world. If you live in Europe or elsewhere, please do not be offended, and please do post comments confirming or refuting this post!

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