'Narnia' Becomes Fox's First $100 Million Movie in 13 Months

by Ray Subers
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

January 24, 2011

On Saturday, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader passed $100 million, ending distributor 20th Century Fox's nearly 13-month-long $100-million-movie drought. This cold streak dated back to Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, which crossed that mark on Dec. 29, 2009.

Dawn Treader reached $100 million on its 44th day in theaters, taking much longer than The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (nine days) and The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (13 days). It also won't reach Prince Caspian's $141.6 million total, much less The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe's $291.7 million. However, on the foreign front, Dawn Treader looks like it will hit Prince Caspian's gross level once it opens in Japan next month.

Fox's 389-day drought was the longest for any of the big six studios since Paramount went on a 16-month cold streak between The Italian Job (Sept. 1, 2003) and Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (Jan. 8, 2005). This was a different era for the studio, though, as it was before they had lucrative distribution deals in place with DreamWorks Animation and Marvel Studios.

Fox did finish 2010 in third place with $1.482 billion, though removing 2009 holdover hits Avatar and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel brings that number below $1 billion. Big-budget disappointments included Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief ($88.8 million), The A-Team ($77.2 million), Knight & Day ($76.4 million) and Gulliver's Travels ($21.1 million in 2010, $40 million total).

Things weren't all bad for the studio, though: Date Night was a comedy hit with $98.7 million, and Unstoppable became Tony Scott and Denzel Washington's highest-grossing collaboration since 1995's Crimson Tide. Also, Knight & Day and Percy Jackson played well overseas, earning $185 million and $137 million, respectively, while Gulliver's Travels is at $112 million and counting.

With a 2011 slate that includes Blue Sky animated movie Rio (April 15), X-Men: First Class (June 3), Rise of the Apes (Nov. 23) and Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (Dec. 16), it's virtually inconceivable that Fox will wait another 13 months for a $100 million movie.

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