Prince Caspian disappoints at the box office

News Simon Brew 19 May 2008 - 09:44
Prince Caspian: has the Narnia movie bubble burst?

We're well into blockbuster season now, and after the underwhelming performance of Speed Racer last week, it seems that there's trouble in Narnia...

Given the wonders of staggered released schedules – that we thought and hoped would be a thing of the past – we don’t get to see the second movie in the Narnia franchise, Prince Caspian, until the end of June over here. Not that we’re overly bothered: The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe was an arduous slog say many of us, and the thought of sitting through more from the same production team and cast isn’t filling us with joy.

It didn’t do wonders for American audiences over the weekend either, as while Prince Caspian opened in the number one slot, its $56m opening weekend take is surely a good deal below expectations. It’s staggering that such an amount should be seen as any kind of disappointment, but given that the film cost around $200m to make, the Narnia franchise could well be in trouble here. One thing in its favour is that as a family-targeted movie, it should have legs over the coming months, but given that Iron Man made over $30m on its third weekend, and has already shot past $220m, it’s not a good start. It’s also nearly $10m below the opening for the last Narnia movie, which went on to rake in $290m in the States. Prince Caspian may break $200m, but it really depends on the strength of the other family-friendly competition coming up.

Other highlights of the box office in the States at the weekend? Not too many. Speed Racer is now at $29m after its second weekend, and can be confirmed as a flat-out box office flop, that Warner Bros must be hoping will find an audience on DVD. The Jackie Chan-Jet Li flick The Forbidden Kingdom crept over $50m in total, while the horrible-looking Cameron Diaz-Ashton Kutcher comedy What Happens In Vegas stands at a decent $40m after its second weekend.

Next weekend is all about the return of Indiana Jones, though, and that should firmly blast Prince Caspian into second place. And with a blockbuster a week for the next couple of months, now, those opening weekends matter more than ever before. Expect Indiana Jones’ to be very, very big.

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ts very simple, really, why PC did poorly at the box office compared to the first Narnia movie Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.

All of the loyal narnia fans, called by Andrew "fanatics" were extremely disappointed with the film. We "fanatics" either watched it only once (got very upset, and did NOT spend hundreds of dollars to take all our friends&family to see it as we did for LWW.) or we boycotted it entirely after seeing some clips and hearing the plot from our friends.

They mangled Peter. They mangled Susan. They mangled Caspian. They mangled the Telmarines. And they mangled Aslan. For starters...if they wanted action...there was the whole Miraz-usurping-the-throne deal when Caspian was a small child. There was also the mysterious reason for why Susan is losing her faith throughout the book. There is Peter's character, which exemplifies sanctification and faith, especially when he fights the duel. It would NOT have made a poor movie. There was ALOT there.

But Adamson scrapped all those themes for a teeny-bopper action flick. Whoever wrote the script had no idea what true faith was. Romance was portrayed as a temporary/irresponsible/hormonal thing (no sense of restraint, self-control, or faithfulness). And of course, Hollywood can't stand a real male hero leader, so Peter had to be mangled into "just one of us". Well, it didn't do as well as LWW, which actually stayed true to the themes of the book.

Because there really was so much depth/meaning/symbolism/inner struggle going on in the book. But the scriptwriters were blockheads.

ts very simple, really, why PC did poorly at the box office compared to the first Narnia movie Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.

All of the loyal narnia fans, called by Andrew "fanatics" were extremely disappointed with the film. We "fanatics" either watched it only once (got very upset, and did NOT spend hundreds of dollars to take all our friends&family to see it as we did for LWW.) or we boycotted it entirely after seeing some clips and hearing the plot from our friends.

They mangled Peter. They mangled Susan. They mangled Caspian. They mangled the Telmarines. And they mangled Aslan. For starters...if they wanted action...there was the whole Miraz-usurping-the-throne deal when Caspian was a small child. There was also the mysterious reason for why Susan is losing her faith throughout the book. There is Peter's character, which exemplifies sanctification and faith, especially when he fights the duel. It would NOT have made a poor movie. There was ALOT there.

But Adamson scrapped all those themes for a teeny-bopper action flick. Whoever wrote the script had no idea what true faith was. Romance was portrayed as a temporary/irresponsible/hormonal thing (no sense of restraint, self-control, or faithfulness). And of course, Hollywood can't stand a real male hero leader, so Peter had to be mangled into "just one of us". Well, it didn't do as well as LWW, which actually stayed true to the themes of the book.

Because there really was so much depth/meaning/symbolism/inner struggle going on in the book. But the scriptwriters were blockheads.

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