During the most family intensive period at the nation’s theaters, the timing could not be better for Fox’s The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader to grab kids and their parents who have made both Tangled and Harry Potter 7 such huge holiday season hits. This Narnia returns to the time of year that made the first film (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) such an enormous hit with a $65.6 million number one debut and nearly $300 million in North America. The second installment (Prince Caspian) made a move to the summer season and though it opened at number one with a solid $55 million, the film was less successful in the long run earning a total of $141 in North America. Look for Voyage of the Dawn Treader to add yet another number one debut to the franchise track record but with a gross decidedly lower than the first two in the low $30 million range, but strong playability throughout the holidays.
Check out our exclusive ‘Narnia’ themed comic strip from Francesco Marciuliano. Francesco writes the internationally-syndicated comic strip “Sally Forth” and the webcomic “Medium Large.” He was the head writer for the PBS series “SeeMore’s Playhouse,” for which one of his episodes won two 2007 Daytime Emmys. He currently writes for the Onion News Network.
Expected to come in a strong second place is the film that pairs the uber-hot Angelina Jolie with that other icon of good looks, Johnny Depp in Sony’s The Tourist. A re-make of a 2005 French film, the mere pairing of Depp and Jolie will be enough to send fans scampering to the theatre to the tune of a gross in the low $20 million range. With its international locations, comedic elements and action sequences The Tourist will have solid appeal with adult audiences looking for a fun romp at the theater this weekend.
A film that debuted bigger than expected over Thanksgiving weekend and continues to draw family audiences across the board is Disney’s Tangled which ascended to the number one spot last weekend and will grab a solid third place in this, its third weekend with a gross of just over $10 million and should cross the $110 million mark by the end of the weekend.
Certainly no holiday movie weekend would be complete without a solid dose of “Potter-mania” and fourth place will find Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 continue its climb up the box office chart. After a second place finish this past weekend, the film climbed back to the top of the chart in the weekday contest and should haul in another $8 million to $10 million for the weekend and thus close in on the $260 million mark in domestic revenue.
The battle for fifth place will pit a burlesque dancer against a runaway train with Sony’s Burlesque in its third weekend and Fox’s Unstoppable in its fifth weekend each expected to earn less than $5 million at the box office.
Notably Paramount’s The Fighter starring Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale (in an Oscar-worthy performance) will open in just four theaters including one in the city of Lowell, Massachusetts where the film is set. It will expand into around 2,000 theaters on December 17.