Dawn Treader’s Fifth Week at the Box Office

Now that kids are back in school, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (along with other family films) took a steep dive domestically at the box office, dropping 55% from last weekend. It made another $4.6 million bringing the domestic total to $94.5 million.

Dawn Treader continues to perform well overseas. In addition to opening number one in China last weekend, the movie placed 5th overall in foreign markets, bringing in another $17.7 million. The Foreign Total is now approximately $242.9 million.

Worldwide, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader has made $337.7 million (est.) in its fifth week at the box office.

Our forum is abuzz with speculation surrounding the box office numbers. wolfloversk has been posting weekly graphic updates comparing all three Narnia movies’ box office results. narnian1 has been comparing individual country totals between The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, which you can check out here. And FriendofNarnia2 has been sending me updates for our Box Office page.

But along with all of this analyzing, one major question still remains — now that the worldwide total has over-doubled its production budget, is that enough to greenlight the next movie? It’s very difficult to say, honestly. A few weeks ago I did some research because for all my time at NarniaWeb, I’ve never been able to find a solid answer on how much of the worldwide profits make it back into the studio’s hands. But here are some of the closest numbers I was able to find. (Please keep in mind that this is a GUESS only and NOT confirmed fact.)

On opening weekend, the studio gets 70-90% of the movie’s profit (sometimes even more than that), but every weekend after that, the percentage decreases to where the theater gets more and the studio gets less. By the fifth or sixth week, the studio is only getting 35%. The shorter the time the movie is in the theater, the more goes to the studio and less goes to the theater.

At the end of the run, depending on how long the movie sticks around in the theater, the profits are probably split about 75% to the studio and 25% to the theater.

For foreign box office numbers, it’s a good deal less. I found one article that said in 2006, American Studios averaged about 40% profit of overseas ticket sales.

So, with these guesstimate numbers, lets take a look at how much profit Fox and Walden have made back on Dawn Treader.

Foreign Total = $242,900,000 * 40% = $97,160,000
Domestic Total = $94,806,410 * 75% = $71,104,807

Fox/Walden’s Guesstimate Profit = $168,264,807

So if these approximate numbers are anywhere close, Fox and Walden have made back their $150 million production budget. However, another $100 million was spent on marketing according to The-Numbers.com, so there’s still a ways to go before they’ll break even.

Thanks to everyone who sent in these links!

177 Responses

  1. tenthofthatname says:

    I haven't heard a voice of clarity quite like yours on this community for a little while. I agree with many of your sentiments and you've just about said it a dozen times better than I could have articulated.

  2. commonlogic says:

    A little touchy aren't we. You come across as a elitist "know it all" and that only your opinion counts. So disparaging of those who may have seen it more than a couple times. I agree with you sometimes, but not always. So sorry.

    If you would have read my comment carefully, I clearly stated "unscientific" when referring to the "most who see it like it" "polls" (again, unscientific) and mentioned some of the websites. I then went on to explain why I THINK "word of mouth" is carrying it along. Fact: TOP CRITICS are 50/50. You agree with the 50% of critics who didn't like, I agree with the 50% who do, among which are some pretty big names who, as you prefer, are not too "emotionally attached". It's very simple; I liked it and you didn't or am I obliged to dislike it as you did?

  3. commonlogic says:

    It's already posted so I can't remove it, But I'm sorry for the personal attack and the harsher parts of my comments. I do stand by the more specific points regarding the movie.

    I'm curious. With the detailed explanation of why you didn't like VDT, I have to ask if you liked any of the 3 so far. I'll assume you disliked PC as much as VDT. Did you like LWW?

  4. commonlogic says:

    I agree.

  5. Non-Negotiable Comment says:

    commonlogic, a few things…

    First I did, indeed, read your comment. Which is why I wrote "as you stated". Second, I have never been "disparaging" of anyone here. Not once. That is in your mind. I have attacked, argued against, and occasionally been flabbergasted by, some theories and opinions that I simply cannot subscribe to, and must speak against. I have never resorted to demeaning the people behind these sentiments. Third, there is no need to apologize. I understand that I can, and have, made many people angry here. That is neither my intention, nor my fault. The things I communicate here, I think long and hard about before expressing. They do not come from a place of negativity, they are well-intended, and, whether or not anyone likes them, they do, at least, I hope, provide a different perspective to make you stop and reflect for a moment. As for coming across as a know-it-all, etc., again, this is not my intent. I certainly do not know everything. But, if I feel strongly about something, I don't mince words, and I like to think that I provide support for my positions, unpopular though they may be. I want to make it perfectly clear that I am NOT here to tell you that you are wrong for enjoying the film. I am not a better person for being bitterly disappointed with 'Dawn Treader', and you are not a lesser person for liking it. What I am trying (perhaps in vain) to do, is to get the community to stop blaming the cruel universe for the many problems this franchise has endured over the last 3-4 years, and to direct your concerns to the appropriate targets: studio management, the creative team, the producers, and the C.S. Lewis Estate. NOT the audience. Or the weather. Or whatever the excuse of the day is. This is a very passionate, caring community, and we all want these books to be represented well. If you have concerns, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Write letters. Write emails. Make phone calls. I don't know. ANYTHING. Whether or not you like this latest product, the status quo approach simply is not working beyond the very limited range of fandom.

    Lastly, regarding the previous films…

    I adored 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe'. There were moments in the film, where I thought they just perfectly captured what it must be like to step through that wardrobe into a pristine and magical, but still very dangerous, world. There were also moments when I was shocked by the passive, almost dispassionate, approach that Andrew Adamson took to some critically important scenes. But, these were fleeting, and overlooked, in light of just how beautiful everything was. The farther I get away from the film, tiny little things eat away at me. And not so tiny things, like the systematic stripping away of Aslan's divine nature. But, overall, it was a huge success in representing the beautiful nature of the book, if not every aspect of its spirituality.

    'Prince Caspian', I have a great deal of respect for. It doesn't occupy the same kind of space in my heart as 'Wardrobe', but it's not the same kind of story, and I didn't expect it to. I think the writers did a fantastic job of adapting a really uneventful, inflexible, book into a pretty decent film. There are some moments in it that I don't like at all, and, much like 'Wardrobe', I felt there was a bit of heavy handedness in steering the story more towards youth empowerment and away from its inherent spiritual nature. But, other than that, I was… satisfied… with it. I was NOT satisfied with the horrific amount of money they spent on it.

    The fact that the franchise BARELY survived the severe consequences of that inexcusable spending spree gave me great hope that 'Dawn Treader' would be something TRULY special that would embrace the imagination and hearts of the public. You know, like when someone has a near death experience, and they rededicate themselves to a better life? Especially considering that the filmmakers had managed to make a decent product of, arguably, the worst source material of the books, and the film series had survived a financial catastrophe. Now, with all that behind them, they had a truly FANTASTIC book to mine for ideas.

    And… well… now it feels like an opportunity completely wasted. Perhaps the last opportunity. This is why I've been so critical in my analysis. Not because I want the film to fail, but because I REALLY wanted to see a WONDERFUL adaptation of the book. Not an 'OK' adaptation. Not a 'family friendly film." I wanted to see, on-screen, even just a HINT of the wonder and joy of the book.

    I did not get that, and I don't know how so many people with so much to lose could produce such a weak, half-hearted result.

    I hope this clarifies my position, and that I have answered your question to your satisfaction.

    tenthofthatname, thank you for the kind words.

  6. commonlogic says:

    Thanks for your answers regarding your opinion of the other 2 films. I probably should have started my comments by saying that I haven't read the actual VDT in years … many years. All I was after was a fun, enjoyable, visually captivating, well enough acted (again, Eustace was great), with some emotional moments, with decent sound and music, … movie that basically followed the story line. For me, I got pretty much all I had hoped for in the long wait for this film to come out. Had I read the book in the more recent past, perhaps I'd feel somewhat differently, though I think I still would have like it.

    I do agree with what is perhaps your main point; that we should all desire the best product posible and write, or otherwise contact those involved to improve all aspects of future (hopefully) productions.

  7. High Queene Shelly Belly says:

    sure wish caspian would email ME-HAHA

  8. High Queene Shelly Belly says:


  9. High Queene Shelly Belly says:

    they did almost NO advertising here at all. I saw 3 commericals on tv. and 1 tiny article in our newspaper. For PC it was on the top of the front page of our city's newpaper, above the paper's name, saying"THe new narnia- better than the first! with a picture of ben barnes.

  10. High Queene Shelly Belly says:

    you may be right, but the real problem is you complain too much! dolly downer!

  11. High Queene Shelly Belly says:

    I know, it's amazing these professionals can't even seem to get the basics done for this series- weird-

  12. High Queene Shelly Belly says:

    which was kinda stupid, like the american market is not impotant?

  13. Anhun says:

    I don't think I'd call these basics. Following this "recipe" would require an enormous amount of thought and work, especially on the pre-production end. The thing that amazes me is that they ignore these things while investing SO much money in the production aspect.

  14. Not Of This World says:

    <O< 😀

  15. Not Of This World says:

    Correction: LOL

  16. Not Of This World says:

    Try to be nice and right at the same time. Your coments come off a little negitave or rude.

  17. reepicheep's_fangirl says:

    i don't need to see a link in order to know that VDT isn't doin' to hot in the Box Office. thanks for sharing, though.

  18. reepicheep's_fangirl says:

    niiice. 😀
    i won free tickets the second time around from Regal Cinema. Man, do i love Regal.
    Will Poultler is no doubtedly VERY talented (and cute 😉 ) and will do an amazing job in SC!

  19. Non-Negotiable Comment says:

    With respect, that is *your* perception. *You* have to work on that, it's not my responsibility. I deal with facts, I provide support for my opinions, I dispute statements I do not agree with. I do not engage in personal attacks, nor do I post anything with the intent to inflame. I also have no problem praising valid, well thought-out points. How someone reacts to what I state is beyond my control. Offense is not intended, but it is often inevitable when people don't like what someone has to say. I am not here to put anyone down, but I am also not here to smooch anyone on the forehead. I intend to do neither.

  20. mcmojo says:


    Your comments about the quality of Dawn Treader are fine for what they are: Your opinion. Sadly, you don't state them as one opinion in a sea of many opinions. You state them as fact. In your opinion, the reason that Dawn Treader has performed worse than Caspian is because Dawn Treader is a terribly mediocre film. It is perfectly acceptable for you to hold that opinion. It is not acceptable for you to force that opinion on others. There is no objective evidence that the quality of the film has had anything to do with how well it has performed at the box office. None at all. You seem to be under the misguided belief that if a film does poorly it must mean the film was not very good. Again, that is wrong. On many levels. I'm not going to take the time to go over the list of good/great films that have totally bombed at the box office. You seem to have some experience studying the box office so it shouldn't be too difficult to find plenty of examples.

    There are some people on here that are trying to make sense of why this film is not a bigger success. There is no crime in that. They loved the film for a variety of reasons, and personally, I don't have any idea why one person loves a film and why another hates the same film. It is subjective by nature so it bothers me when people make comments like the ones you have made. "The problem with this community has been, and always will be, you are all too emotionally attached to the material to be objective, in any way, and you are desperately happy to accept any sub-standard product, rather than have none at all." That is patronizing and just rude. You follow that comment with this: " I have never resorted to demeaning the people behind these sentiments." The previous comment might not be demeaning in the most literal sense, but definitely has an air of "you know better than anyone else on here."

    Could the film have been better and would that have improved the box office numbers? Who knows. The one thing I do know is that the film's first weekend was pretty awful, so clearly it wasn't a case of audiences being disappointed with the film. No one had seen it yet. That sort of destroys your theory that this film is doing poorly because it is a poor film. If audiences thought this film was so mediocre, then I wonder why it didn't just fall off the end of the earth like other recent fantasy films. Instead, it has shown above average staying power and will gross over $100 million domestically before it sails out of theaters. You were satisfied with Caspian, but somehow you don't believe that Caspian's poor performance and its stigma had anything to do with the lack of buzz for Dawn Treader. Curious… Also, if Caspian did so poorly in the box office, then why has it escaped your rants and accusations of it being a poor adapation or to quote you: "The result is a mediocre, middling, hesitant, manically-paced, cheesy kiddie movie, with some very, very brief moments of authentic sentiment shining through, that only served to emphasize how dreadful the rest of the film was."? I can't quite figure that out.

    Dawn Treader has not been a huge success. On the other hand, when all is said and done, it will have grossed as much or more than Caspian worldwide. That means, that the franchise, the brand of Narnia, has not diminished across the world. There are many reasons why the film has not made more money and your opinion about that is as valid as anyone elses. But don't get all high and mighty and talk down to the rest of us for believing its box office performance has a very little to do with its quality.

  21. Gem says:

    I'd rather be sent a personally written and signed note by Reepicheep. LOL

  22. DJ says:

    If the marketing budget was really $100 million, where was all the advertising?

  23. Alexander of Narnia says:

    This is a web site (the users, not creators and moderators) where a lot are a bunch of haters. It's unbelievable! When have any one of you written a novel? When have any of you ever produced a movie? Directed a movie? Acted in a movie? Who here has studied in any institute of higher education the profession of cinematography? Just a bunch of bitter critics with no credentials. Its amazing how right some of you think you are. "NO, I DIDN'T LIKE IT, AND THAT'S FINAL!" Go home with that, nobody wants that here. This is a website for fans of the movies, if you're not a fan of the movies then don't visit the website.

    For fans of CS Lewis and his books, try and get this,…try as hard as you can:

    – A book and a movie are two very different things. Word for Word on screen is the intro to Star Wars, with words scrolling up on the screen. Converting a book into a movie isn't always as smooth as butter. Themes, images, expressions, plots, point of view, etc… are sometimes impossible to convey with an image. When an author says, "and what he saw was indescribable," what do you do with that on screen? Go to Lord of the Rings movie fan pages, or Harry Potter movie fan pages…you'll hear the same nonsense, "I wish they would've done a better job at converting that book into that movie." Try to get it: Its a very hard process that professionals do.

    Homies, try and be happy your favorite book(s) was(were) made into (a) movie(s). If you don't like the movie:

    1st, Get off this website, its a website for fans of the movies, it doesn't make sense for you to be here.

    2nd, Go and produce your own version of the movie you don't like, and release it to the world. Then make a website so that we can criticize how well you did. And please don't delete the comments that speak extra nasty about all the hard work you did.

    For my fam that did enjoy Narnia 3, lets talk about:
    1. Repicheep
    2. Eustace
    3. Aslan
    4. Etc.
    And lets ignore all the naysayers who have never made one dollar making movies talking 'bout, "this is a flop." Your face is a flop! Goodness!
    …..now, forever ignoring the non-fans of this movie….

    A few questions:
    -Who's looking forward to that 3 dvd box set? (I really want it for my birthday on april 19th)
    -What do you guys think about this movie series being the 17th highest grossing series of all time? About to surpass the X-men series?

  24. commonlogic says:

    I've never bought that 100 million number unless 80% was spent overseas where supposedly they make less money per ticket — so it wouldn't be cost effective to invest that much to market in other countries. I live in DFW area, a fairly large metroplex. Advertising here was about nil. Nothing compared to LWW and PC. I'm serious, if you weren't a regular movie goer (like me) or if you weren't a fan or even if you were a fan of the books and you hadn't been following the production and release date, you could very easily have missed it. Of course this is anecdotal "evidence" but promotion here was almost non-existent.

  25. Believe me, the marketing overseas wasn't that great either… well, I suppose I can't speak for other countries, but in Australia there was basically none. There were no posters anywhere but the movies (and they weren't there til about 2 weeks before the film came out), I saw both 'Toy Story 3' and 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' with no trailer for VDT to be seen anywhere, and I scoured the TV for ads and only managed to find 2, about a week before the movie came out. So yes, the marketing was terrible not only in the US, but in foreign countries too. Where did all the money for marketing go? Did it dematerialize? Did it disappear into a wormhole, never to be seen again?
    What about people from other countries? How was the VDT marketing where you live? I would like to know. I'm thinking that if the money managed to stay somewhere on this planet, perhaps it went to a big overseas market such as Japan (?). I don't know, just speculating here.

  26. commonlogic says:

    I've never bought that 100 million number unless 80% or more was spent overseas where supposedly they make less money per ticket — so it wouldn't be cost effective to invest that much to market in other countries. I live in DFW area, a fairly large metroplex. Advertising here was about nil. Nothing compared to LWW and PC. I'm serious, if you weren't a regular movie goer (like me) or if you weren't a fan or even if you were a fan of the books and you hadn't been following the production and release date, you could very easily have missed it. Of course this is anecdotal "evidence" but promotion here was almost non-existent.

  27. Hey Alexander, look, I understand where you're coming from here. I personally loved the movie, and thought it was a big improvement on PC. But you've got to understand that we're all different, and some of our Narniac buddies were disappointed in the movie, and have a right to express this in a communtiy of Narnian fanatics. We may disagree with them, but that doesn't mean we can't respect them and their point of view. "Your face is a flop" isn't a very nice thing to say, and it is criticising people, not their opinions. Narnia doesn't teach us to be mean to people, it teaches us to love and respect them.
    A movie and a book /are/ two different things, I think everyone here realises that, and acknowledges that a perfect adaptation is near-impossible. However, filmmakers are professionals, as you said, and to be honest I think they could have come up with something a little more original than an evil green mist that eats people for the main plot. Hey, it isn't a crime to want a really great product, yeah?
    Just as a side note, I'm fairly sure that quite a few people here /have/ written a novel (most likely via NaNoWriMo, like me). It's nice to have advice on how to improve your novel, but it's never nice to have someone tell you that they could have done better than you or try to tell you /how/ to write /your/ novel. It's just sometimes a bit annoying when the filmmakers make /huge/ changes to the book that they didn't really need to make.
    I guess what I'm trying to say here is that we need to be respectful on this awesome site. I'm not saying you can't love the movie, as I mentioned before, I loved it too. But hey, we're all Narnians here, so let's show it, yeah? You might find, as I have, that it's really rather fun discussing the film with people of differing opinions to yourself. 😀

  28. tenthofthatname says:

    Were you spreading this kind of message when members of the community heavily criticized Prince Caspian? Do you not have a problem with people saying they loved VDT and consider it far superior to "that flop of a disappointment" PC? Do you think "real fans" are defined by their adoration for all three films? If we liked two out of the three are we only 2/3 a real Narnia fan? The fact of the matter is both PC and VDT polarized the fandom and neither film attracted a broader non-fandom audience like LWW did. How did this happen? People here want to talk about possible shortcomings in an effort to improve upon them and SAVE the film franchise, because a ton of factors go into whether or not another adaptation gets greenlit, factors beyond "WELL I LOVE NARNIA UNCONDITIONALLY!!!"

    I work in the TV/film/fashion industry, is my response more credible now?

  29. Alexander of Narnia says:

    you guys are right, my fault, i guess i am stupid, ill never say anything in this website again

  30. Princess Lucy says:

    I totally agree with u…i am from Australia too and like you have stated…i hardly have seen any marketing of VDT in posters and on Tv hardly either…but when tron came out infact before it did…nearly every add break would advertise it..sometimes twice..where as VDT i only seen twice from the same channel…i hope VDT gets better results 😉

  31. Hey, don't do that! I wasn't trying to say "GET OFF!" in my post, and if it seemed like that was what I was saying then I'm very sorry. The very fact that you were able to see error in what you said shows that you have changed. If you say sorry, I'm sure our fellow Narnians will forgive you. 😀

  32. Princess Jennifer says:

    I hope they get enough to mak another movie. I think it would be really cool to see Silver chair, but, even though I know they probably won't get to it, HHB !!! I just LOVE horses !! My Archery lessons start next week. I can hardly wait !! My 4H meeting is this Monday. I am excited. We just moved here so I hope to make friends.
    Today, I looked in the mirror and with the sunlight, I looked like Georgie !!! EXACTLY like her !! That was so cool. We looked like twins !!

  33. Not Of This World says:

    Did they stay within the budget while filming?

  34. Anhun says:

    I've heard narniawebbers from South America say that they were bombarded with advertising for it. Huh . . . Australia isn't exactly a tiny market though. Maybe they thought it would get automatic buzz just because it was filmed in Australia?

  35. Non-Negotiable Comment says:


    How you perceive my tone and intent is up to you. I cannot control your perceptions. I value the passion and commitment of this community, and I have NEVER encouraged anyone to "go away" or not express themselves here. I have never called anyone "rude" or "demeaning", even when I have been treated rudely. Good comments, and well-thought out arguments, I have consistently praised when I see them. Whacko nonsense, and crimes against mathematics, which are far more pervasive, I treat differently, and I do not apologize for that.

    My comment about the lack of objectivity of the community was, indeed, an over-generalization. It does not apply to every member of the community, but it certainly applies to a large portion who post comments here. That, I firmly believe. I think it is a stretch to cite that as an example to contradict my premise that I do not resort to personal attacks, but, if anyone was offended, personally, as a result of that comment, I DO apologize.

    "If audiences thought this film was so mediocre, then I wonder why it didn’t just fall off the end of the earth like other recent fantasy films. Instead, it has shown above average staying power and will gross over $100 million domestically before it sails out of theaters."

    "Other recent fantasy films" don't have the benefit of repeat business from a built-in (rightfully) terrified fan base the size of this one. Especially one with the power of the faith community behind it. And, what "staying power? The most optimistic projections for final domestic totals would see the film finish at around $111 million. That represents a 21.5% drop over the previous film that so many of you insist was so disappointing. The international totals should match those of 'Caspian', I concede that. But, again, maintaining the status quo was NOT an option for this film. Especially when you consider the RELATIVE insignficance of international vs. domestic grosses. The film HAD to make headway in North America. The one thing they did right was to allocate a reasonable budget to the film. It WILL prove to be a more financially viable property than 'Caspian'. It will lose less money during its theatrical run, and will reach profitibility much sooner. That's good. But, that was only PART of the recipe for the solution of how to move forward.

    "If Caspian did so poorly at the box office…"

    And here we come to the heart of the matter. The presumption that 'Prince Caspian' "did poorly" at the box office is the single-most dangerous hoax ever perpetrated upon, and perpetuated BY, the fans of the film franchise. The reckless expectations that this myth is based upon have almost single-handedly sunk the francise into ruin. Here's why:

    'The Chronicles of Narnia' are not ONE single literary property. They are SEVEN distinctly different creatures. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, and each a distinctive flavor. With these varying characteristics, comes varying appeal. Varying appeal creates varying potential as a cinematic adaptation. Each of these books, when translated to the screen, MUST be weighed, measured, analyzed, and treated as SEPARATE ENTITIES unto themselves. NOT in relation to each other. This is the CRITICAL mistake that Disney and Walden made when allocating a $225 million budget to 'Prince Caspian'. They had dollar signs in their eyes and delusional expectations in their hearts, based on the tremendous success of the first film. Thus, they viewed 'Caspian' as 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe II', instead of what it was: a completely different kind of film, with a significantly lesser appeal outside of the fanbase. 'Prince Caspian' is almost universally considered to be the least liked book of the series. It's certainly the most dull. If you don't accept that as an axiom, that's fine. But, I think most reasonable people will agree that it's a significantly inflexible story, not suited at all for the screen. So, making a film adaptation presents many problems. The book contains many important themes, of course, so I don't mean to diminish its worth. But, it really serves as a prologue to greater things. The book could not easily be "skipped" in the series, as its narrative would be so vital for a logical flow to the overall scheme of the films. But, how to make it work? Thus, the book presented a problem in logic. Or, rather, an engineering problem: how to build a bridge from one beautiful point to another, over some relatively unappealing waters.

    So, when I say "I was satisfied" with 'Prince Caspian', I mean that I was satisfied with the film for what it was: a surprisingly comprehensive, well-constructed, logical adaptation of a brutally difficult story to film. It served its purpose. It reached its potential. It found the audience that reasonable expectations would have predicted for it, and it paved the way for better things. Did I love it? Certainly not like the first film. But, then, I don't really like the book, as I've said. Ironically, the one scene from the book that I really did find somewhat endearing failed to even make it into the film. Regardless it was passable entertainment. They made me believe it was Narnia, and I RESPECT what they managed to make from very barren ground. They made the BEST POSSIBLE FILM given all the constraints placed on them, and it far surpassed what I thought it would do at the box office. That is not to say the film was a FINANCIAL SUCCESS. But, irresponsible fiscal management is not the fault of the product. They are separate issues. The film did FANTASTIC at the box office FOR WHAT IT WAS. You want to talk about its stigma? It only has a "stigma" because people insist on comparing it to its predecessor—a film based on a book that is one of the most popular and beloved works of modern western literature. The star power of that book made the first film an "event" film. Not just *a* film. Many people don't even know there ARE multiple books in the series. 'Prince Caspian' and the other books do NOT have that same inherent marketability. None of the other films should ever be EXPECTED to reach that same level of success again. That isn't to say none of them WON'T. But, to increase the budget of 'Prince Caspian' by 25% over 'Wardrobe', and to expect it to do the same (or more) business is evidence of sheer incompetence, clinical delusion, or both.

    Thus, the "stigma" was caused by Disney's panicky reaction to the sudden awareness of their own ineptitude. This triggered an incessant wave of "'Prince Caspian' bombed!!!!" nonsense that has no basis in reality, but is completely derived from not understanding the property's limitations.

    'Prince Caspian' did fine at the box office. It performed at the level of its limited appeal. It reached its potential. It bridged the gap, sufficiently, between where the franchise started from, and where it wanted to get to, creatively. That part, they got right. THAT part, I remain "satisfied" with. It cost an insane amount of money. THAT part, I am NOT satisfied with.

    'Dawn Treader', then, is the literary work that lies at the other side of the "bridge" that is 'Prince Caspian'. The story had much, much more potential to succeed as a cinematic adaptation than 'Prince Caspian'. Its "pallette" has so many more colours. There's so much more imaginative and thoughtful material to mine. Its appeal as a product of entertainment far outweighs that of 'Prince Caspian'. A properly made cinematic interpretation could have blown the doors of off the box office totals of 'Prince Caspian'. I have delved, repeatedly, into what I consider the film's failures to be, and what a huge opportunity the studios have let slip through their fingers. The film is NOT representive of the joyous wonder, adventurous nature, and deep, deep longing that is the book, and it should have been so much more than it is.

    That is why 'Prince Caspian' is a satisfactory effort, and 'Dawn Treader' is not. The former has served its narrative purpose and reached its potential as a cinematic property. The latter has not. Expectations for the individual properties MUST be set accordingly, and their respective performances MUST be evaluated relative to THOSE expectations. I concede that, quality, alone, is not the sole predictive factor of success. There have been many fantastic films that never find an audience. This is a very valid point you make. BUT… quality combined with POTENTIAL goes, a long, long way towards that goal. Yes, the film opened poorly, but I believe the effect of a better film would have eventually increased its appeal far beyond what it has reached, and would have done enough to destroy the illusory stigma of 'Prince Caspian' on the franchise.

    I hope that answers your questions. Apologies to Narniaweb for consuming your monthly bandwidth with this post.

  36. Anhun says:

    The following is my analysis of your situation, in the same way that "you are too attached to the material to be objective" is your analysis of some of us. If you have an intelligent counter-argument to make, by all means make it. I'd be interested to read it. If you have nothing to say but your oft-repeated refrain of ♫You're just biased♫, we've heard it. We can consider it a matter of record.

    You maintain that VDT is a great book. I happen to agree. I'll go ahead and be cheesy by saying that it's a jewel in the crown of children's literature.

    Your frustration with this movie stems from your belief that any great book can be readily translated into a great feature film. When C.S. Lewis was writing these books, he had no interest in their being made into movies. Now, a few of the books (LWW, SC, and HBB) were, by coincidence, written with a structure that lends itself to a movie. VDT was not one of them.

    VDT can best be contrasted with Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, another book with a large number of detailed subplots. GoF also had a central plot, the wizarding tournament; and an overarching plot for the series, Harry's conflict with Voldemort. When they turned GoF into a movie, they focused on the central and overarching plots, and got rid of a lot of the characters and sub-plots, to make a coherent, watchable movie.

    In VDT they couldn't do that. There is no overarching series plot, and the book's central plot is extremely flimsy, with no real climax. The mini-plots, with their fascinating portrayal of the different ways that people struggle with their demons, are really the whole point of the book. Even if they were tempted to get rid of some of them, Douglas Gresham would have balked. So what they had was a series of episodes, linked together by theme, not plot. You said "There's so much more imaginative and thoughtful material to mine." That's precisely the problem. How do they fit all of that into a feature film? You can't.

    Could VDT have been much better? Quite possibly.
    Would I have done things differently if I was in charge? Most definitely.
    Was VDT ever going to be a truly great movie, in the way that the book was a great book, or that LWW was a great movie? No way.

  37. Anhun says:

    Oops! This was intended to be a reply to Non-Negotiable Comment.

  38. Tribunal says:

    Wow. How crazy are you? If you really can't accept someone else's opinion maybe you should take your own advice and "get off this website."

    You have major issues if that's how you react to others' opinions.

  39. princessrosario says:

    no, this is a website for fans of the books and movies. So book purists have every right to be disappointed with the films, just like movie fans have every right to love them.

  40. Anhun says:

    Not really. It was originally supposed to be 140 mil, but it grew to 155 mil. If I understand correctly (which I might not), this isn't exactly uncommon in the film industry.

  41. Tribunal says:

    Early Weekend Estimates:

    Dawn Treader fell 49% to 13th place for a gross of $2.3 million for a total of $98 million.


  42. Orion says:

    FYI the next film will be The Horse and His Boy. I've also heard they needed to clear $250 mil to break even, I'm not sure if that included foreign gross. Also, DVD sales are shrinking industry-wide so don't expect $50 mil in DVD sales. I think the next film is probable but it will likely be a call Fox makes not Walden.

  43. Anhun says:

    I'm going through your comments sentence-by-sentence:

    1st sentence: What is your source? I'm going to hold off on getting excited until I figure out whether or not this is just an opinion of yours. 🙂
    2nd sentence: The 250 mil that they need to break even includes the studios cut of the worldwide gross, as well as DVD sales, and tv income. What is that cut? We don't know. fantasia kitty gave her guesstimate for the current studio income above.
    4th sentence: Actually, Walden holds the rights to Narnia. If they don't want to do it, it won't get done. Whereas, if they want to do it, but Fox backs out, Walden can always try to find another distributor.

  44. commonlogic says:

    Over 98 million domestic and over 355 million worldwide. Japan has yet to open and China should bring in some more as well as some final residuals from domestic sales and the rest of the world. With good numbers out of Japan, we just might top 400 million. If not, we should get very close.

  45. Anhun says:

    Care to make it interesting? 😛

  46. commonlogic says:

    Had domestic sales not slowed down so much in the past week or so, I would has said 400 million was all but guaranteed. Now, I'm not quite as confident. It all depends on China and, more so, Japan. I feel quite confident it will break 390 million … close enough.

  47. Non-Negotiable Comment says:

    "If you have nothing to say but…"

    That was ONE sentence in my previous Tolstoy-length post, meant to clarify a comment referenced by the person I was responding to. I think it amounted to about 0.01% of what I had to say.


    "Your frustration with this movie stems from your belief that any great book can be readily translated into a great feature film."

    I have NEVER said that. Please do NOT base your arguments on statements I have NEVER made. "Readily" means "without difficulty" or "easily". I have NEVER stated, implied, or insinuated that GOOD adaptations are EASY. Good adaptations of superior books SHOULD be easiER than good adaptations of INFERIOR ones. I do not believe that to be a stretch, or an unreasonable hypothesis. There have been many great books translated into great films in a significantly more recognizable form than 'Dawn Treader'. But, the process takes a lot of effort, thoughtfulness, and a special kind of perception. NONE of these books are "readily" adapted. However, requiring effort and thought is a far cry from being impossible. That effort seems ESPECIALLY lacking in a time when this franchise desperately needed something SPECTACULAR, not something SAFE.

    "That’s precisely the problem. How do they fit all of that into a feature film? You can’t."

    Why do you jump to the conclusion that having MORE imaginative material to work from means that I believe that it *ALL* should have been included? Again, I have NEVER said that. Here is what I have said, in this very article, about this adaptation:

    "‘Dawn Treader’ is a very poor adaptation of a beautiful book that tried to make an ESPN-like highlight reel out of Lewis’ work, giving lip service to elements and plot points that Mr. Gresham, no doubt, highlighted in the text with a yellow marker for the (alleged) writers, while investing ZERO emotional weight and substance into ANY of the key themes. The result is a mediocre, middling, hesitant, manically-paced, cheesy kiddie movie, with some very, very brief moments of authentic sentiment shining through, that only served to emphasize how dreadful the rest of the film was."

    I reject the notion that fidelity in an adaptation PRECLUDES a good "cinematic" result. But, fidelity is NOT restricted to an itemized list of what focus groups tell studios that they want to see in an adaptation. It's much more about the writers UNDERSTANDING the material, and REPRESENTING it well, with the proper emphasis on relationships, ideas, and key moments. They threw everything against the wall with this script, but gave NONE of it the time to stick. There is zero character development, no actual moments of reflection about what is really going on at any given time, and I didn't ever believe that I was in the same world as the one depicted in the first two films. That one was real, exciting, precious, and dangerous. This one was tepid and cartoonish. And, as for the spiritual elements, the film is like an ABBA song: recorded phonetically, in a foreign language, with the performers having no meaning as to what is actually coming out of their mouths.

    "VDT can best be contrasted with Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire."

    I'll take your word for that, as I have no interest in, or knowledge of, that material.

    "In VDT they couldn’t do that. There is no overarching series plot."

    You may believe so, but I think this is very, very wrong, and that this defeatist approach to the script is the primary cause of the film's deficiencies. The book is a quest for honour and adventure. It's SO CLEARLY stated in the text. It's even bookended in the text. Caspian has a sacred promise to fulfill, and Reepicheep has a destiny to claim. These two elements are intertwined organically. When Reepicheep voluntarily passes into Aslan's Country, the Seven Lords are awoken from their enchanted sleep, and Caspian's promise is fulfilled. As I wrote in the podcast page:

    "To me (and, I do not claim to have any more valid an opinion than the next person in this regard), the "drive" for the story (and, subsequently, the film), then, should have, indeed, been Reepicheep’s desperate, manic longing for Aslan’s country. Why? Because, while all of the characters are facing change in some way, and are all looking for something else—something better—Reepicheep is the only one who is able to effectively VOCALIZE what he wants, and what he’s prepared to do to get it. Reepicheep understands that he’s been on a journey all of his life. To what, he doesn’t know. But he is willing to DIE, just to get a GLIMPSE of The Undiscover’d Country. And, finally, when he gets to the end of his life-long journey, and he throws his sword away into the sea, it is such a critically important moment in the series. It says: "I’m BETTER than what I’ve been all my life, and I don’t need this THING, this instrument of violence, to validate my existence any more." How beautiful is that? Next to Aslan singing Narnia into existence, I can’t think of a more graceful, hair-raising moment from the books. And it saddens me to no end how the filmmakers just did NOT get this, At all."

    THAT'S what I wanted. Not an ElfQuest movie about chasing seven shiny swords. "More to mine" means "more to inspire". Not "more to add to a list of things to give fleeting relevance to". As for 'Dawn Treader' "lacking a structure that lends itself to a movie", I would remind you that Andrew Adamson made a better, higher grossing, film based on a book that is, essentially, one long walk in a gorge.

    "and the book’s central plot is extremely flimsy, with no real climax"

    "No real climax"?!!! They meet Jesus Christ at the very edge of Heaven!!!

    "The mini-plots, with their fascinating portrayal of the different ways that people struggle with their demons, are really the whole point of the book."

    Totally, utterly disagree with this sentiment. That's all ancillary to the main purpose of the voyage. See above.

    "Douglas Gresham would have balked."

    No comment on that.

    Was VDT ever going to be a truly great movie, in the way that the book was a great book,

    It didn't have to BE the book. It could never BE the book. It had to capture SIGNIFICANTLY more of the joyous NATURE and SUBSTANCE of the book than it did. If you think that was impossible, I again submit to you that I believe that to be a defeatist attitude before you even begin.

    or that LWW was a great movie?

    Again, I don't see the relevance of this. I have NEVER said it had be "as great as LWW". THIS is what I stated:

    "A properly made cinematic interpretation could have blown the doors of off the box office totals of ‘Prince Caspian’." There is a $150 million gap between the domestic takes of 'Caspian' and 'Wardrobe'. Somewhere in the middle was a very obtainable goal, and I maintain that this is a defeatist script that HOPED for the best, instead of TRYING for it.

    Perhaps I simply have much more faith in the medium of film than most people. I don't know. I think it's far less inflexible than it's being given credit for. I only know that the first two films, with their undeniable flaws, still felt… right. They were, at the best, incredible, and, at the worst, at least tolerable and familiar. 'Dawn Treader' feels like an impostor. It has all the genuine warmth and affection of a Stepford wife. And, I just cannot accept that this is the best they could have done.

  48. Rilian The Disenchanted says:

    I think it's because of the 3D Conversion that budget rose from 140 to 155 million $.

  49. freya says:

    Oh, I hope you're right about HHB. It's one of my favourite Narnia books. And I really only have any interest in the books/movies that have the Pevensies in them. They are the only somewhat constant presence throughout the series, when you remove them, something's missing.

  50. samuel says:

    You guys are crazy, obviously it is a true story written from CS Lewis' own experiences, but remember Last Battle… yeah, but there are other puddles in the wood between the worlds

  51. samuel says:

    On the contrary in my opinion there are 4 Pevensies books LWW, PC, VOTD, HHB. There are three Eustice stories, VOTD, SC, and LB. And three Digory stories MN, LWW, and LB. These are the three "connecting" storylines, as major or minor as they may be (and in reality the Pevensies do appear in LB) These create an identification with the audience (namely kids) aside from that the the real and true carrier of the stories is Aslan and Narnia itself.

  52. LittleLioness says:

    They must have had selected/targeted promotion. Where I live, my theater was distributing free teaser posters as early as August, giving away three designs in all by the time the movie finally came out. They had the first preview in Toy Story 3 3D, and featured it in the midnight showing of Harry Potter, plus the entire glass-paned lobby was plastered with Narnia and only Narnia posters the week it came out. Of course, I live in the portion of the US known as the Bible belt, so I think they knew their demographics. I do not recall seeing a single TV trailer for it though, but then, not of the shows I watch were on reruns by that point, so I could have just missed the Dawn Treader trailers…

  53. freya says:

    Of course you're right about Aslan and Narnia. It's just that I like the books with the Pevensies best, and therefore would like to see The Horse and His Boy made into a movie over for example Silver Chair and The Magician's Nephew, if I had to choose. But this is of course just my personal opinion.

  54. Lord Eomíl says:

    You're right. I never bought that either. I am a "master of fine arts" (guess that's the american title – I like the more humble-sounding european title far better) from the university of copenhagen, Denmark. I have studied a lot of those kinds of numbers and it seems implausible that the P&A-budget would be so high (65%). Normally you're talking about 20-30% of the production budget (though it is not part of the production budget).
    I know that the 100 mil. is a generally accepted figure, but it does seem to be rather too large…

  55. lord Eomíl says:

    Here in Denmark the movie was actually very well advertised (for a country with a grand population of 5.5 mil. Go figure). I've seen prints in the newspapers every day in December and a lot of plaques. Unfortunately a very popular Danish movie came out just before VDT and when VDT had it's premiere on the 25th most of the population was forced to stay inside because of snow storms. I ventured to go see it and it wasn't easy… 🙂

  56. Fireagle says:

    Maybe we do have some hope after all. Quite frankly, when I saw the movie, I was scared that we wouldn't ever see another Narnia movie. It was a pretty good movie, but when compared to the book, it paled in comparison. I really liked some of the humor (Eustace fainting for example), how eustace was portrayed, and the sea serpent was wonderfully terrifying. My problems with it as a movie were: It seemed to jump from place to place without many transitions and some acting parts were a little awkward (can't think of many right now). When compared to the book, there were too many problems too count. I was especially upset with the way that the whole scene at the Lone Islands was portrayed, as this was one of my favorite parts of the book. I understand that the movie can only run so long, but if they hadn't added all of the extra stuff in, they would have had more time for the scenes from the book. I also missed the sweetness of the water at the end of the world. Reepicheep had his poem, but they didn't really stress its veracity. How Eustace remained a dragon so long also frustrated me, but not as much. Despite theses additions, I was pleased with some others. I liked how Lucy kept the paper out of the book of spells and how temtation was stressed in the movie, which was true to the book. I LOVE how Eustace was portrayed. Even though some of the lines weren't out of the book (I'm a book purist by the way) it was still a marvelous portrayal. I also liked how Eustace explained that he was a dragon (Once again, not out of the book, but stunning). The sea serpent, although not in the right place was absolutely terrifying (It would have been better if I hadn't just had a large Pepsi). I loved it. Also, the placement of the sea serpent made sense if the movie was just a movie. However, I was upset with how the sea serpent was defeated (another favorite part). thanks for bearing with me. Let's hope that they make the next one and that they make it closer to the book. It'll make a lot more peple happy.