Prince Caspian Takes Charge Overseas


With the world obsessing over the return of Indiana Jones, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian has quietly demonstrated its viability as a worldwide franchise, launching impressively in a dozen overseas markets.

In a healthy pre-Indy session on May 16-18, “Caspian” took in $23.6 million at 3,037, nipping at the third frame of “Iron Man,” which grossed $25.8 million at twice as many locations. The “Narnia” sequel also edged the soph sesh of romantic comedy “What Happens in Vegas,” which held exceptionally well with a 7% slide to $23.1 million at 4,265.

The early performance for Disney’s Prince Caspian, which won’t move into many European markets until June, showed solid traction as it launched 40% above comparable markets for predecessor The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. That’s notable, given that the original wound up with $453 million offshore — the 22nd highest number of all time.

Additionally, Disney and producing partner Walden Media have already launched production on the third film in the franchise — “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.” And there are probably another four “Narnia” pics after that, based on the C.S. Lewis series.

Caspian posted its highest grosses in Russia with $6.7 million, the biggest launch of this year; in Mexico with $6.3 million, 15% above the original; and in South Korea with $4 million, the third biggest Disney title for that market.

The surging market in India — no longer solely devoted to Bollywood titles — chipped in with $2 million, three times higher than the first Narnia, and Malaysia scored $1.1 million to represent the third largest Disney entry ever there, behind the second and third Pirates of the Caribbean.

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