UPDATED: *Adam Sandler is looking like American moviegoers’ favorite comedian as his latest Click scored his fifth $40 million+ opening weekend today to become the nation’s No. 1 film. The Sony comedy about a man whose TV remote turns into a life remote debuted with $40 mil at the box office. Right now in Hollywood there are very few actors working today that can generate that kind of audience drawing power. The studio’s exit polling showed Sandler’s audience was 51% female and 49% male, while 50% were under age 25. Sony and Sandler, which have been a profitable box office pairing for some time now (Big Daddy, 50 First Dates, Mr. Deeds, Anger Management), had their best ever opening in Austrailia so Click may be their broadest film with international moviegoers. (Usually, U.S.-made comedies don’t translate to big box office overseas.) Click is Sony’s seventh #1 film of 2006, unlike 2005 when much of the studio’s fare bombed with moviegoers.

There’s more good news for Sony: Da Vinci Code Hits $700 Mil Worldwide today. I’m told Sony’s Da Vinci Code passed $700 million worldwide gross today. Adding $4 mil domestically and $9 mil internationally this weekend put the total take at $701.3 million. The movie is now the 22nd best earner globally (and 12th best internationally). The breakdown of the total haul is $205.5 for U.S. and $495.8 mil overseas (which was down only 37% despite the huge World Cup weekend). Initially, Sony hoped the movie would take in $500 mil worldwide by summer’s end. And here it is way past that and not even July. Meanwhile, on Saturday, an Indian mob ransacked a multiplex playing the Da Vinci Code after a state ban on screening the film was lifted. (see below)

In other movie news this weekend, Disney/Pixar’s Cars finished its third weekend out with $23 mil, and a total $156 mil gross. Paramount’s Jack Black comedy Nacho Libre was third with $12 mil (total $52.4 mil), and Universal’s The Fast and The Furious 3 was fourth with $9.5 mil (total $42.7 mil). But continuing as the biggest box office surprise was Focus/Rogue Pictures’s Waist Deep, the other movie opening this weekend: playing in only 1,004 theaters, the urban drama pulled in $9.5 mil to tie for 4th place.*

I’m told Adam Sandler’s low-concept comedy Click about a man and his TV remote, turned life remote, opened with $14.5 million Friday to be the No. 1 movie at U.S. theaters. Sandler’s audience wrangler won’t have any trouble scoring its predicted low 40s debut weekend $$$. This is Sony’s seventh #1 opening this year, unlike the studio’s miserable 2005. Meanwhile, Sony and Sandler continue as a profitable box office pairing: Big Daddy, 50 First Dates, Mr. Deeds, Anger Management, have all gone over $40 million their opening weekends. (Only Spanglish and Punch-Drunk Love were gross nightmares.) Disney/Pixar’s Cars finished No. 2 Friday down  29% with $6.5 mil (weekend estimate is mid 20s). But Sandler manhandled “The New Belushi”: not only did Jack Black’s Nacho Libre record a macho drop of 64%, but the Paramount flick only earned $3.9 mil Friday. Universal’s The Fast and The Furious 3 fell a big 67% taking in just $3.2 mil Friday for 5th place. The big surprise in screens was the other movie opening this weekend, Focus/Rogue Pictures’ Waist Deep playing in only 1,000+ theaters; yet the urban drama pulled in $3.3 mil to score 4th place. Once again, biz was up for the 6th week in a row — and that’s even before this summer’s dynamic duo of draws Superman Returns and Pirates of the Caribbean 2 have yet to arrive in theaters. More as it comes in…

IndiaDaVinci.jpgMeanwhile, Sony’s post ban-lifted attempts to screen the Da Vinci Code in one part of populated Andhra Pradesh state in India today were unsuccessful when protesters under the banner of the Christian United Front ransacked a Hyderabad multiplex and caused extensive property damage, forcing the management to suspend the film’s screening. The mob, carrying banners and placards describing the film as “Devil’s Code,” barged in to the multiplex located near the Hussain Sagar lake in the heart of the city even as people eager to watch the movie were standing in line for the tickets of the first show. The activists even broke the Prasad Imax’s box office window (as opposed to breaking the box office record), so the film could not be shown there. As if Da Vinci Code didn’t have enough global moviegoers after finishing No. 1 overseas even after five weeks out, it hoped to add big numbers among another 75 million potential Indians this weekend. That’s because a high court OK’d the film’s release in Andhra Pradesh, one of the states where the local government banned the religious thriller a day before its release. I’m told the studio had the film available in English and Hindi there today. Sony also is releasing DVC in Oman and Qatar, two Mideast countries where the release was delayed. Today, Da Vinci Code received “remarkable response” from filmgoers in Qatar, according to newswire reports received from the halls where the picture was screened. So, gradually, Sony is winning its censorship fight to have the film seen around the world. Meanwhile, Da Vinci Code is up to $202.6 million in U.S. box office gross after Friday and racing towards a $700 million global haul.

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