"Angels & Demons" fails to crack "Code"
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Angels & Demons," the new movie based on Dan Brown's popular novel about conspiracy in the Catholic church, racked up $152 million in global ticket sales over the weekend, but failed to match the start of its predecessor "The Da Vinci Code."
Distributor Columbia Pictures said on Sunday the $150 million sequel earned about $48 million during its first three days of release in the United States and Canada, reaching No. 1 on box office charts and eclipsing last week's champ, "Star Trek," which slipped to No. 2 with $43 million.
Guided by the studio, box office pundits had expected "Angels" to open in the $40 million to $50 million range, and Columbia said it was thrilled with the result.
The sequel should pass $150 million in domestic ticket sales, said Rory Bruer, president of worldwide distribution at the Sony Corp unit.
Still, the popular "Da Vinci Code" opened to $77 million in 2006 on its way to a domestic haul of $217.5 million.
"Angels" also earned $104.3 million from No. 1 starts in 96 countries, down from the $147 million start for "Da Vinci."
Inevitably, the new film failed to replicate the buzz of the first movie. "The Da Vinci Code," based on another best-selling book by Brown, generated a firestorm of criticism with its premise that Jesus impregnated Mary Magdalene and that church officials tried to keep their bloodline secret.
The Vatican -- along with most critics -- ripped the film, but took a more measured tone against its sequel. Columbia said the first book sold twice as many copies as the second one, a clear indication that the second movie would come up short.
"On the other hand, 'Angels' absolutely was a far more cinematic book than 'Da Vinci Code' was," said Bruer. Continued...