Widespread protests provoked by 'The Da Vinci Code' before Cannes premiere

Playing on the opening night at the 59th Cannes festival caps a huge marketing blitz for Ron Howard's adaptation of Dan Brown's best seller. The movie is not competing for prizes at the glitzy two-week festival in southern France, which runs through May 28.

Tom Hanks and other stars of the movie set off for Cannes from London on Tuesday aboard a train named "The Da Vinci Code" in pursuit of a world record for the longest nonstop international train journey.

The plot of the movie, in which Jesus marries Mary Magdalene and has children, has outraged some Christians. In India, the government put a temporary hold on the movie's release because of complaints.

In South Korea, which has 13 million Protestants and 4.6 million Roman Catholics, a court ruled Tuesday that a Christian group's request for an injunction to block screenings lacked merit.

The Christian Council of Korea, an umbrella group of 63 South Korean Protestant denominations, said it respected the ruling but would lead a boycott of the movie, which it said defiles the sanctity of Jesus Christ and distorts facts.

In Thailand, Christian groups demanded that government censors cut the film's final 15 minutes, fix subtitles that are supposedly disrespectful to Jesus and screen messages before and after the movie saying the content is fictional.