Dan Brown's book The Da Vinci Code was a bestseller, with over 7 million copies in print...but how are moviegoers enjoying it on the big screen?
Early Friday morning crowds lined up at a Los Angeles theater, and there were more than 40 shows in our area.
News 12's Kate Tillotson went to the Regal 20 Cinemas for local reaction.
It's controversial if you ask some Catholics, who say The Da Vinci Code is misleading. But the majority of the Augusta audience says 'Hey, it's just a movie.'
It's director Ron Howard's latest project, a spy thriller with evil characters and secret societies.
It even has mega star power in actors Tom Hanks and Ian McKellen.
Opening day means the Mona Lisa will be seen on eleven thousand movie screens nationwide.
"Everybody's talking about it so I wanted to see what it's all about," said one moviegoer.
But the release sparked Christian protests.
Critics accuse Hollywood of sensationalizing the religious group Opus Dei and speculating Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married with kids.
"I think people look at religion too seriously," said a man.
"I like the history behind it. I don't want to go and compare it and challenge my Christianity," said a young woman.
Catholics requested Sony Pictures add a disclaimer reminding its audience it's a work of fiction, but director Ron Howard refused.
"Let's keep it in perspective," he said. "Hollywood is Hollywood. We know this is entertainment. This is a book. If people want to make it more than it is, that's their choice."
"You can believe what you want, but until you show proof, it's still fiction," said an Augusta man.
Fact or fiction, The Da Vinci Code is expected to rake in millions of dollars this weekend. It is playing in theaters in Richmond, Columbia and Aiken Counties.
And there is some negative reaction to the movie already.
The film based on the controversial novel is drawing the ire of some religious groups.
One organization, Christians against Blasphemy, posted a small group of picketers with signs outside a theater in Charleston, where the film ran all day long Friday. The book and the film suggest Jesus Christ was married to Mary Magdalene and fathered a child.
The protestors say the movie is promoting lies, and selling them as truth.
"We are protesting, we feel that the movie is very insulting to Christians. We will be here tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day, until the movie is gone," one of the protestors said.
Protestors also say the movie and the book are blasphemies against the Christian faith.
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