Man, things are getting tough all over. We already know money's tight for individuals, families, and businesses, but fictional characters are starting to feel the pinch, as well. Recent reports suggest that Hollywood is recession-proof -- it is cheaper, after all, to watch a movie than to fly to Cancun for some fun in the sun -- but that protection doesn't seem to apply to all of Tinseltown's residents. Disney, for example, is getting out of the Narnia business by dumping the third installment of the C.S. Lewis trilogy that started with 2005's The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, effectively putting The Voyage of the Dawn Treader in limbo for the time being.
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian has made $151 million in not quite two weeks, and Disney is totally pissed. Disney CEO Robert Iger said on Wednesday that Prince Caspian wasn't performing as well as had been expected and blamed the fact that its release date -- May 16th -- was too competitive. Disney had originally set the film for release in December of 2007, but the film would have competed with Caspian producer Walden Media's other fantasy film The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep, which was shooting for the same audience. And for all the bitching about the release date harshing Narnia's box office buzz, The Hollywood Reporter points out: "It's an interesting thesis, considering Disney purposely moved the film to that date and, in doing so, turned the seemingly natural Christmas franchise -- the first installment featured a cameo from Santa Claus -- into a springtime experience." And truly, it's not as if anyone expected Indiana Jones 4, which opened just six days after the Disney film, to do poorly.
Sex and the City strutted its way to the No. 1 spot at the box office this weekend, raking in $55.7 million on 3,285 screens, knocking Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull into second place, with $46 million on 4,264 screens in its second weekend.
According to The New York Times, industry analysts were predicting a $27.5 million opening weekend as recently as a week ago. Folks lining up at theaters across the country had some predicting as high as $70 million, but $55.7 million is enough to make the movie a bona fide success.