Box Office Mojo Analysis for Dawn Treader

Brandon Grey from Box Office Mojo has posted his thoughts on how The Voyage of the Dawn Treader will fair at the box office. He seems to come to the conclusion that making the third Narnia film a box office hit will be an uphill battle, although he realizes that “the book on which it’s based is reportedly dearer to Narnia’s disciples than Prince Caspian was.”

While Prince Caspian received a lot of flack, Narnia was never destined to be the next Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter, despite its auspicious beginning. The first movie was based on the only widely-known book in the Narnia series and it was a complete journey, whereas all of the Potters and Rings were famous and had the benefit of story continuity. The wait was longer between the Narnia movies than for Potter and Rings, and Prince Caspian came off as just another fantasy adventure, nearly indistinguishable from the plethora of similar fantasies made in the wake of Potter and Rings.

Read the full report here.

In the final paragraph, he writes, “One should expect the ship to sink further than Prince Caspian.” Let’s prove him wrong, NarniaWebbers! As Douglas Gresham would say, bring your friends, and have them bring their friends (and enemies too).

Thanks to narnian1 and Kotarki for the heads-up!

106 Responses

  1. Blue says:

    His reasons are pretty good. I just have more faith in fans who know the series and marketing indrusty okay more than a professional whose closest brush with the books was probably glancing at the cover in a bookstore.
    Then, who knows? Might be an epic faliure. Might be a hit. Like Indiana Jones.

  2. Lady Galadriel says:

    I am glad that they did not do it in flashback style like the book. I think it might have been weird to have Trumpkin say "Let me tell you a story" on screen, and then have a narrator come in. That is, I would rather not have seen that. But couldn't they have still done the movie in the same more straightforward manner, yet not placed the Pevensies in most of the movie? What I'm saying is, couldn't it have been all the same timeline and simply had the Pevensies arrive AFTER the night raid (instead of Peter being the one to have actually instigated it)? Caspian could have been the one solely in charge of the night raid, and then they could have done something like having the Pevensies fighting the Telmarines in the woods or something. I'm sure it could have been done.

  3. Hermitess of Narnia says:

    Everyone, as long as they stick with the book, the Dawn Treader will not fall into the "just like everything else" category and will probably do well. He might just be saying this to keep people from going to see the movie.

  4. that dude is mean. i'm gonna watch it at least 5 times in theatres now. take that 😛

  5. Reepicheep, Knight of Narnia says:

    Come on, Narnia fans! Let's prove him wrong! The Dawn Treader's going to do great! If Prince Caspian didn't do well, a lot of it had to do with it not having the strongest story line. Anyway, people very well could watch VDT just to see if it's a LWW or a PC, in they way it was made, anyway. Also, a new director, new movie company, etc. might just be enough to make people curious as to where this is going.

  6. Eustace says:

    He will be eating his words soon. I have already decided to take up a summer or part-time job so I can go to the theater several times. We can do it. Let's prove him wrong.

  7. HighQueenofNarnia says:

    I agree with some of the money-making things that he said. But none of the expectations! I hope that this movie will exceed everyone's wildest dreams. I have a lot of faith in Georgie, Skandar, Ben, (I don't know about Will) and the other actors to make a good movie. And I dearly hope that the script is close to the book. Otherwise it will sink. But I think that there is hope for Dawn Treader! Andrew Adamson said himself that the book is *checks movie guide* "very cinematic in scope". So hopefully they use the book as the script.

  8. Anonymous Narnian says:

    (Maybe it's just an over-competitive spirit, but…) I personally take "One should expect the ship to sink further than Prince Caspian" as a bit of a challenge. Well, YOU'RE ON, Brandon Grey! Let's make this movie a success!

  9. Mirima Rosetrader says:

    Hey!!! The Narnia movies happens to be my favorite of all movies! I bet you are soooo wrong, dude! He's getting proved wrong! I'd like to see the look on his face when the theaters are full to the brim with people, lines go on down the streets! Let's prove him wrong, people!!! I'm going to watch VDT three times for sure!

  10. Vdt is going to be the best narnia movie ever!
    Who cares about one persons oppinon whene the
    Houll world would rather chose for themselfs
    Wether its a good movie or not

  11. Embrace says:

    Well Revenge Of The Sith, Return Of The King and the three latest Harry Potter movies did better than there predecessers so there is still hope yet! 🙂

  12. Victoria says:

    It will tread water!
    Just you wait.

  13. Bother Eustace says:

    Lady Galadriel, I think the reason they didn't do it like that is because when people come to see a sequel, they want to see familiar characters from the previous installment. People who came to see PC but had never read the book were expecting to see the Pevensies – they would have been very confused and felt distanced from the movie if the first half was all about some character they'd never seen before, and the old characters were nowhere to be found. Honestly, I agree with you; i think it would be nice if the Pevensies came a bit later. However, in a movie, it probably wouldn't have worked.

  14. Charles says:

    Really the link to the Silver Chair will have to be made by the Character of Eustace Scrubb. If we love that character we will want to go back with him to Narnia. I'm game I love these movies and I doubt the writer was ever a fan so its just conjecture. Hollywood never knows if it has a hit or not so lets show them Narnia is worth the visit again and again.

  15. further up and further in says:

    Eragon and The Golden Compass? He's comparing the Dawn Treader to those two stories? Millions of people from many generations are familiar with the Dawn Treader book, while those other two movies are from very recent books. And The Golden Compass got trounced in America because the word got out that the writer was anti-God, and a lot of people refused to go see it.

  16. Lucy96 says:

    I Agree! I will be doing the same thing!

  17. Liberty Hoffman says:

    I think that VotDT is going to do great and surprise everyone! go VotDT!

    World's end or bust!

  18. Liberty Hoffman says:

    yeah ^^ those two wern't even that popular!

  19. aslan's child says:

    screeeeew him.what does he gonna bring the whole school.lets show em.those idiots.narnia is way better than the lord of the rings and harry potter.i hate the lord of the rings is so boring.and harry potter is just plain weird narnia is nothing like them!!!!!!!!is 100 times better!

  20. glumPuddle says:

    He never says if he thinks the movie is going to be good or bad. He just says that making it a box office hit is going to be very difficult.

  21. glumPuddle says:

    He's not judging the movie itself. He's talking about its BOX OFFICE. Even if the movie is awesome and everyone loves it, I think it's going to have a hard time grossing $500m.

  22. Tarwe, the Narnian Elf says:

    LWW was really popular with people, while PC was a lot more controversial. Some people really like it, and some people can't stand it. (I love it! :-)) I think that the controversial-ism might possibly be good for VDT. It might make people want to see want if LWW was beginner's luck (as far as making Narnia into movies goes) or if they can pull it off again.

    Personally, I'm afraid that VDT might get compared to Pirates of the Caribbean. (Sailing to the end of the world, fighting monsters…) However, VDT has a story, and it's a strong one! I feel pretty confident that it will do well!

    I"ll meet you at the theater! The Narnians have been rallied!

  23. Lady Galadriel says:

    Well, I meant there still could have been scenes with the Pevensies throughout the whole. They would just meet Caspian later, that's all.

  24. Aravis Narnia says:

    I hope this person is wrong. I hope we can prove them wrong. Dawn Treader is one of the best Narnia installments- while PC was a weak one. May VDT succeed in the theatres.

  25. Puddleglum says:

    Sounds like a pessimist to me.

  26. HighQueenofNarnia says:

    I agree- and you would know, Puddleglum. 🙂

  27. Puddleglum says:

    Thank you your Majesty.

    Though I must admit to not looking forward to the concessions in the theater. There will be all the butter they add to cover the stale popcorn. Give me clogged arteries I'm sure.

  28. Duffleglum says:

    me too, but the truth is that these people aren't really that dedicated to the story… I will enjoy the Narnia movies that come in the future, but I know that things of this world are not what we should hope or trust in.

  29. Nuts4Narnia says:

    Not I Have any thing to do about it!!!!

  30. Amber says:

    We HAVE to prove him wrong!! The Narnia books are classics…we have to support it the very FIRST weekend it comes out!!! I am already planning to watch the movie all that weekend and taking my whole family!! I suggest you all do the same!!! As someone already posted: "The Narnians' have been rallied"…we can do this guys!!! VDT CANNOT fail!!!!!!

  31. Hermitess of Narnia says:

    Also, it got out that the Golden Compass was written because the author did not like Narnia. I heard that it was even depressing. It's nothing at all like The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
    Eragon is not like Narnia; it is about a boy learning about magic and swordfighting with a dragon.
    Narnia's fan base mainly comes from parents and their children reading the books, so family friendly movies of them are a must [except, perhaps the Last Battle]. Prince Caspian was a borderline film for the "Family Friendly" category.

  32. I completely agree with you Glumpuddle. Some changes had to be made because of the characters ages, and the populartity of the book. Nathan, please don't be so negative. Flashbacks would have made the movie a bit confusing, and maybe drag. It was fine how it was. Plus, what has been done is done, what good will complaining about it do?

    VOTD will be an awesome movie!!! It will be AWESOMENESS! I'll bring my family and friends (if I can). We'll prove him wrong!! All of us will! It won't sink it will swim and I'll dive in!!!

    (Didn't mean to be rude….if I was)

  33. farsight1 says:

    I really hope B.O. Mojo is wrong, but I understand where he's coming from.

    We still have to see how well Fox promotes Narnia. However, I think it's safe to say that if they market Narnia the way they promoted Percy Jackson, Eragon, City of Ember and The Seeker we could be in for big trouble. The movies weren't all that good – which doesn't help – and it seems they handle all of the promotion materials for their children's fantasy movies (posters, trailers, signs, slogans, press releases etc.) in a 'one-size-fits-all' way.

    Say what you will about Disney, but even when their family films are dumb and all the same, you know their marketing will make them look as if they were slightly interesting and different from one another – even when they're not. Their only major flaw is they usually pick the worst release dates.

    I sincerely hope Walden has more say in the marketing of the movie than we imagine.

  34. shirerat says:

    sadly, Dawn Treader has no villain, no action, and very little plot. the story is great and of course the characters are awesome, but there is no real build-up to anything. no tragedy, very little romance, very little danger, and an epic ending of a mouse ascending to heaven. how is this supposed to be a box-office blockbuster?

  35. NarnianElf says:

    Yikes… now they have me scarred!!

  36. polly plummer says:

    Not to worry shirerat they'll probably add a villian, major battles, new plot lines, tragedy, danger and romance. If they do I don't care if they make any more films – I'll not be watching them if they massacre them the way they did PC I could count on my hands the number of scenes they actually took from the book!

  37. polly plummer says:

    By the way the epic ending isn't 'a mouse ascending to heaven' Its the Pevencies and Eustace meeting Aslan and his revelation as God and how they can see him in their own lifes. If done well it could be a really emotional scene – however given how all references and Christian symbolism were ignored I don't hold much hope for this scene – wow I'm gettign pessimistic!

  38. farsight1 says:

    They don't NEED a story build up to make it a blockbuster. They need to get the book RIGHT. If they start messing around with it the way they did with PC, I don't care if we don't get any more Narnia movies our way anytime soon. Watching your favorite books get ruined on the big screen is too painful (specially when you KNOW how good these movies could have been).

  39. Pessimistic Hubristic Misanthrope says:

    wow lawlz this movie gonna suck

  40. Linnea Rowlatt says:

    I liked Prince Caspian, and I bet I'll like The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, too. I think as long as they're faithful to the spirit of the books, some allowance has to be made for the transfer to another media.

    I also think it's a good idea they're releasing Dawn Treader over Christmas, instead of in May (even though it's a longer wait), because the winter mood for films is different than the summer mood. And, think how nice it'll be to see a beautiful warm ocean on screen in December!

  41. Jo says:

    Truthfully, I don't really care about the fact that there will be less action scenes or whatnot. Just as long as they continue giving us SOMETHING. 🙂 Peace. 😀 I love Narnia!

  42. Pessimistic Hubristic Misanthrope says:

    how the heck did they give you a scar?

  43. Alambil and Tarva says:

    I actually think the fact that VDT is going to be less action-based is going to serve in its favor. Of course we love the action in fantasy/scifi films, and no doubt it will have some of that, but after awhile it just becomes an overload, especially if the plot and characters are weak (think Avatar). What VDT has is not necessarily what one would call a normal plot, but it has the foundation of the archetypal adventure/journey story, a type of story that has been often associated with epics such as The Odyssey, or classic novels such as Treasure Island. It has to be said that although yes, we do love the battles, NO ONE can resist a good story about a sea voyage. There's something that's different about those kinds of stories, something that is magical in a very different way from other stories. Plus, when you combine that with the original genius of C.S. Lewis and the genius of Apted's crew and the cast, you get a stunning film that is much more than an ordinary fantasy film. From what I've read about the sneak peeks in L.A. recently, it looks like we're going to be blown away by this film. Just the implications of how amazing the ocean cinematography is, along with the CGI, and how Mark Johnson and Michael Apted described the plot as being very character-driven seem to indicate that VDT is going to exceed expectations.

    My belief is that it's going to be the surprise blowout hit of the year. I sincerely hope I'm right.

    And just to add, the Potter films as a whole are not that great. Only 'Half-Blood Prince' came just a hair shy of being phenomenal–as an adaptation it was good, and as a film on its own it was amazing. However, none of the previous films really achieved that same status as HBP did (save for maybe 'Chamber of Secrets'). LOTR was mind-blowing, but HP has been for the most part sub-par and very inconsistent in style (you can tell when the directors switched for the films). Both LWW and PC have well exceeded the standards set by the HP movies.

  44. Aravis says:

    I don't think the movie of PC really ruined the books for me. I've been an obsessed narnia fan since I was around seven years old, and I usually don't like it when they make movies way different than the books, but I think they did an awesome job of capturing the general plot of the book, even if many of the details were different. the symbolism really came through, and i thought it was really powerful. I loved both the movies, and I'm definately looking forward to seeing VDT in December!

  45. tolkienlewisfan says:

    It will be a rought ride to VoDT. While i loved the book, it does have some issues when making the transition to the big screen. 1. No villian to root against, unless u cosider eustace one. 2. There is no build up or climax. A mouse ascending into heaven nor the talk between Aslan and the children is a climax. After the dumb decision to sandwich PC between Iron Man and Indy4, I think the Narnia franchise might end here…I pray that I am wrong.

  46. GodsGadfly says:

    And, technically, it's not a mouse "ascending" into Heaven; only Jesus (or Aslan) can "ascend" into Heaven. In Catholic terminology, it would be "assumed" (as in the Assumption of Mary); in Protestant terminology, "raptured" (as in, well, the Rapture)–both emphasing God bringing the person *up* to Heaven, where Jesus ascended of His own power.