Disney Drops Narnia 3 Like a Bad Habit

Following the so-so box office results for The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, Walt Disney had decided to pull out of distributing for the upcoming The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

The Hollywood Reporter says, “Disney and Walden Media confirmed Tuesday that for budgetary and logistical reasons the Burbank-based studio is not exercising its option to co-produce and co-finance the next Narnia movie with Walden.”

I’m a bit surprised by this. Sure, Prince Caspian didn’t do as well as The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, but let’s consider this:

  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is the face of the Narnia series. When you think of Narnia, you think of this book specifically.
  • The decision to release Prince Caspian in May was a bad one, as admitted by the studio. It’s a crowded month designed for the biggest and best blockbusters, and there was no Christian holiday to build a marketing campaign around.
  • Prince Caspian still made $141 million in the U.S. and an additional $278 million worldwide. That’s nearly half a billion dollars.

The fear may be that Voyage of the Dawn Treader will have even less brand awareness than Prince Caspian did – I’ve read the books, but don’t remember a damn thing about it. Still, the movie is going to make several hundred million dollars – and presumably will be released in December 2010, where it will thrive off churchgoers and holiday shoppers.

This was a stupid move on Disney’s part, at least with the details provided.

By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: Movies
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