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Weekend Report: 'Narnia' Fails to Tread Water, 'Tourist' Trips

by Brandon Gray
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
 

 
December 13, 2010

Few journeyed back to Narnia over the weekend, and few sparks were set off by the coupling of two hot stars. Between the soft debuts of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and The Tourist and the uninspiring holdovers, this holiday season's tepidness continued: overall weekend business was off five percent from the same period last year when The Princess and the Frog led.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader docked with $24 million on approximately 6,500 screens at 3,555 locations (3D showings at 1,989 venues accounted for 54 percent of business). It was hoped that a return to December along with marketing that pushed the first movie's lion, witch and Christian angles and the addition of the 3D illusion would rekindle interest, but the third Narnia went south of the fantasy also-ran The Golden Compass, which mustered $25.8 million on the same December weekend in 2007 (or nearly $30 million adjusted for ticket price inflation), let alone the other Narnias.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe pulled in a mighty $65.6 million its first weekend, while The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian claimed $55 million (and ultimately made less than half the first movie's gross). But Voyage of the Dawn Treader's start wasn't merely low for its franchise, it was below average among recent fantasy movies in terms of estimated attendance (effectively matching The Spiderwick Chronicles). To be fair, the odds were against Voyage restoring the franchise's former glory after Prince Caspian disappointed and considering its advertising made it look redundant to those outside the Narnian faithful. Distributor 20th Century Fox's exit polling indicated that 51 percent of Voyage's audience was female, 52 percent was aged 25 years and older and 44 percent was parents and their children.

The Tourist fared relatively better than Narnia, packing $16.5 million on around 3,400 screens at 2,756 locations. That was stronger than Duplicity, a bit better than Killers and lower than Knight & Day, among comparable titles, but was far less than many recent pictures from stars Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie. The marketing rested on the laurels of star power and presented an otherwise generic innocent-caught-in-intrigue romp that vacillated between comedy in some ads and drama in others. According to distributor Sony Pictures, 55 percent of Tourist's audience was female and 53 percent was aged 30 years and older.

Both Narnia and Tourist will attempt to save face over the the usually bustling Christmas-to-New-Year's period. Click here for more analysis on Narnia and Tourist.

In third place, Tangled maintained much of its sheen, dipping 34 percent to $14.3 million. With a $115.4 million tally in 19 days, Tangled has surpassed the final gross of Walt Disney Pictures' previous princess movie, The Princess and the Frog.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1's descent continued but was only slightly worse than Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and The Twilight Saga: New Moon on their comparable weekends. The penultimate Potter fell 50 percent to $8.5 million, hitting $257.7 million in 24 days and passing Despicable Me to become the sixth highest-grossing movie from 2010. Its 24-day tally ranked as the second-highest of the franchise, behind Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, but dead last in terms of estimated attendance.

In limited release, Black Swan made waves again, grossing $3.3 million at only 90 locations and ranking sixth for the weekend. The ballet thriller blew past Up in the Air's expansion on the same weekend last year, and all recent limited releases paled in comparison, including The King's Speech and The Fighter (which opened to $300,010 at four locations). Black Swan's tally rose to $5.6 million in ten days, and it's scheduled to reach nationwide release on Dec. 22.

At the foreign box office, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader drew $65.8 million (including previews) on 10,141 screens in 56 markets (85 countries), bringing its total to $79.8 million, and ranked first in at least 41 markets. 45 percent of its screens were in 3D, and they accounted for 66 percent of the gross. The previous Narnias didn't open as broadly, so there is no apples-to-apples comparison. However, Voyage was down sharply from its predecessors in the United Kingdom and Australia but saw higher grosses in many non-English markets, including its top market of the weekend, Russia ($7.8 million). Add in domestic, and Voyage's worldwide total stood at $103.8 million.

Related Stories
This Weekend in Box Office History
Weekend Briefing: 'Narnia Voyage,' 'Tourist' Travel Into Choppy Waters

Previous 'Chronicles of Narnia' Reports
5/19/08 - 'Narnia' Retreats with 'Caspian' Sequel
12/12/05 - 'Narnian' Delight: Passion of the 'Lion' Pays Off

Last Weekend

'Tangled' Takes Reins from 'Potter'

This Timeframe in Past Years:
2009 - 'Princess and the Frog' Leaps to the Top
2008 - 'The Day the Earth' Stalls

2007 - 'Golden Compass' Doesn't Get the Lead Out
2006 - 'Apocalypto' Impales Top Spot
2005 - 'Narnian' Delight: Passion of the 'Lion' Pays Off
2004 - 'Ocean' Swings, 'Blade' Dulls

Related Charts
Weekend Box Office Results
Fantasy Opening Weekends
Showdown: 'Narnia' Vs. 'Narnia'
2010 Grosses



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