The early estimates are in, and the experts were right, sort of.
Prince Caspian did top the box office, but the Narnia sequel only pulled in $56.6 million, $9 million less than the first movie’s opening-weekend tally and far below our experts’ $80-94 million predictions. According to Nikki Finke, the sequel’s darker content—murder, betrayal and political intrigue—scared away family audiences. But with all due respect to Nikki, there may be a simpler explanation: Everyone knows the story of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, but Prince Caspian, not so much. The sequel’s hardly as popular as C.S. Lewis’ first book, so it’s no wonder that the movie version met the same fate. That doesn’t bode well for Lewis’ five(!) more Narnia novels. (Please tell me we don’t have to suffer through movie versions of all of those.)
Anyways, rounding out the top three are Iron Man, with $31.2 million, making its total gross $222 million in two weeks and What Happens in Vegas with $13.9 million. Speed Racer, meanwhile, took a 59 per cent drop to number four, with a $7.6-million 3-day total and $24.4-million cumulative gross, nowhere close to breaking even on the movie’s $120-million budget.
Other noteworthy tidbits: this weekend’s box-office results were down significantly from last year’s when Shrek 3 opened to $121 million. And 20th Century Fox still has the largest market share of the major studios this year with 17.2 per cent, but Paramount’s right on its heels with 13.7 per cent. Should be interesting to see what happens to those standings when Paramount’s highly anticipated Indiana Jones sequel hits theatres on Thursday.
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