Narnia Sets International Records

Posted December 12, 2005 8:51 am by Tirian

The big screen adaptation of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe – CS Lewis’ first book in his much beloved series – hit all the right notes this weekend opening in cinemas across the UK to the staggering tune of £8,039,600 in just 3 days: THE HIGHEST OPENING WEEKEND IN BUENA VISTA INTERNATIONAL (UK)’s HISTORY EVER!

The magical children’s classic beat the comparable 3 day weekend figures for every other Disney branded movie including the hugely successful Disney / Pixar’s Toy Story 2 which went on to gross £44 million in the UK; as well as topping the first in The Lord of the Rings franchise The Fellowship of the Ring AND the first in the Star Wars franchise The Phantom Menace which took £7.2 million and £7.5 million respectively. The Chronicles of Narnia also held the highest Thursday previews in BVI UK’s history, bringing the 4 day cumulative to a remarkable total of £8.8 million.

First time live action director Andrew Adamson (Shrek / Shrek2) has proved his ability to conquer audiences both in the UK and worldwide with the film opening at $61.7 million in the US – the second largest US December opening of all time behind only the third chapter of The Lord of The Rings – and generating an estimated worldwide sum of $108.8 million across 14 markets, where the film went straight to #1.

Harper Collins, publishers of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe novel have reported sales of 42,503 copies in the seven week lead up to the film’s release, putting the novel at the number one slot in the children’s paperbacks chart and placing the book 24th in the official top 50 overall book charts; the latest Harry Potter novel currently resides at 44. The classic edition of the book, illustrated by Pauline Baynes, entered the chart this week at number 18, and 28 editions of Narnia books sold more than 45,000 copies between them last week.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe was released in the UK on December 8th by Buena Vista International (UK) Ltd. Directed by Andrew Adamson and produced by Mark Johnson (Rain Man), the film stars Tilda Swinton, James McAvoy, Jim Broadbent, Ray Winstone, Dawn French, Liam Neeson, Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, Anna Popplewell and William Moseley.

Thanks to Phil for this report.