One month after Disney dropped plans to make a third Chronicles of Narnia movie over budget concerns and release-date qualms, Fox 2000 has picked up the franchise and plans to release The Voyage of the Dawn Treader in 2010.
Although only the first Narnia film, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was a major hit, both it and the sequel Prince Caspian had skyrocketing budgets, and the latter was a disappointment at the box office. So, it’s not surprising that Fox has worked out a deal to cut costs.
Variety: Fox and Walden will split production and P&A costs for “Dawn Treader,” which is projected to go into production at a $140 million budget. That’s considerably less than the $215 million or so spent on last year’s “Prince Caspian,” which was considered something of a box office disappointment as compared with the first “Narnia” pic, 2005’s “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” ($419 million vs. $745 million worldwide, respectively).
Walden’s decision to partner with Fox also wasn’t a surprise.
THR: Despite a couple of suitors, including Columbia, Walden only had eyes for Fox, with whom it partnered to market and distribute its fare under the Fox Walden banner after the first “Narnia” film.
But what does seem unusual is the banner under which Fox chose to release the film. Despite its great success with movies like The Devil Wears Prada and Marley & Me, particularly compared to 20th Century Fox’s recent dismal record at the box-office, Fox 2000 is known for movies aimed at women not the family fare of the Chronicles of Narnia. But maybe budgetary concerns put Narnia at Fox’s subsidiary.
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