It has been one of the most highly anticipated films amongst the general public this year, and The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian has not disappointed fans. Coming in with a respectable 71% on Rotten Tomatoes after its opening weekend, the movie is estimated to acquire a domestic gross of over $56 million.
Though we’re still dealing with studio estimates at the moment (Box Office Buzz will deal with estimates, to be updated by actuals in a mini follow-up on Mondays), Prince Caspian will come out on top, though some critics are focusing solely on the apparent underperformance.
Caspian finally displaced Iron Man from the top place, but it still came in at the second spot earning an estimated $31 million domestically, bringing its total tally up to $222.5 million. What Happens in Vegas, Speed Racer, and Baby Mama round out the top 5.
Regarding the sequel to Walt Disney’s first Narnia installment, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, some were surprised at the timing of Prince Caspian‘s release. A week before the Memorial Day weekend, Caspian could have managed better if they had waited a week; though that is up for debate seeing as Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull makes its debut next weekend.
Nevertheless, Disney are happy though, predicting a long run. “This is a film that we think is going to play all summer long and it’s got nothing but school holidays in front of it,” said Mark Zoradi, president of the Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Group.
Internationally, Iron Man managed to maintain its lead, though tenuously, over all competitors. However, this fact is little more than a nuisance to statistics, as Caspian only opened 8 markets over the past weekend. Australia will see its release on the 5th of June, while the UK has to wait until the 26th before it gets to see Prince Caspian in action.
However, Disney does hope that Caspian will equal or beat its predecessor’s theatrical run, which totaled $745 million worldwide. And fans of the series will be in total agreement, because the future of the franchise will continue to hinge on continued success at the box office, and in DVD sales.
As for the future of the series, there has already been rumors that the third installment, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, will be the last, regardless of how the movies gross. The theatrical retelling of C.S. Lewis’ famed series may only see 3 of its 7 installments told, a tragedy when you consider how popularly the books have sold.
[Box Office Statistics via Box Office Mojo.]