‘Code’ breaks boffo B.O.

Tentpole takes in $73 mil in global tally

Despite a negative reception at Cannes, “The Da Vinci Code” is off and running at the worldwide box office with a $73 million global tally through Friday, proving that a Cannes launch doesn’t necessarily make or break a pic at the box office.

But a boffo $5 million in Blighty couldn’t save ColTriStar’s U.K. topper Richard Napper. He got the bullet late last week and will be replaced by Warner U.K. theatrical head Peter Taylor.

Following its Cannes preem on May 17, “Code” opened in most world territories on Friday.

In the U.S., Sony’s thriller, based on the bestseller by Dan Brown, made $30 million its first day, suggesting a boffo weekend take of about $80 million.

Overseas, the pic totaled $43 million. With Japan opening Saturday, the foreign weekend looks set for $125 million, which means “Da Vinci” could break $200 million worldwide in a single weekend.

Pic was reportedly released on 20,000 prints worldwide.

In Italy — despite calls for a boycott for the pic by Vatican officials — “Code” broke the box office record previously held by Roberto Benigni’s “Life Is Beautiful,” taking in $2.6 million on Friday.

Numbers were similarly strong throughout Europe, with “Code” making an estimated $3.5 million in Germany and $3 million in Spain.

In France, where “Code” bowed on May 17, pic opened to $1.9 million, the second-largest opening this year. Sony is projecting a $10 million take over the first five days.

In Mexico, “Code” minted $1.5 million.

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