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 The Wardrobe May not open Again

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darthstich
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PostSubject: The Wardrobe May not open Again   Sat Dec 27, 2008 11:06 pm

"The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" will have to sail without Disney.

The studio said Tuesday that for budgetary and logistical reasons it will not exercise its option to co-produce and co-finance the next "Narnia" movie with producer Walden Media.

The third entry in the series, based on the classic books by C.S. Lewis, was in preproduction and set for a spring shoot for a planned May 2010 release. The development puts the participation of the talent attached in doubt. Michael Apted was on board to direct a script by Steven Knight. The key players of the second installment, "Prince Caspian" -- Ben Barnes, Georgie Henley, William Moseley and Anna Popplewell -- were to return for the third film.

It is rare for a studio to pull out of a planned trilogy in midstream, but the number-crunching showed a franchise on a downward trend. "Lion" roared to $745 million worldwide. This year, "Prince Caspian" grossed just $419 million.

Walden has a strong relationship with the Lewis estate and will shop "Treader" in hopes of finding a new partner. The most likely candidate at this stage is Fox, which markets and distributes Walden fare under the Fox Walden banner.

Any partnership on a "Narnia" movie will require a substantial investment. "Caspian," which filmed in the Czech Republic, Mexico and New Zealand, cost $200 million. The first film, "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," was shot mostly in New Zealand for $180 million.

Further challenging "Treader" may be a waning of the pricey children's fantasy genre. When the "Harry Potter" series topped the book charts and then filled movie theaters, studios began snapping up fantasy manuscripts as quickly as they could. When "The Lord of the Rings" showed it was possible for adults to enjoy the fare as well -- and produced the box-office results to prove it -- Hollywood's fascination with the genre intensified.

But no other fantasy adventure films have shown that kind of box office punch. Earlier this year, Warners and New Line hoped they were launching a franchise with "The Golden Compass," but the adaptation of the Philip Pullman trilogy tanked domestically. The film grossed just $70 million domestically and the co-production partners declined to go forward with a second installment despite the fact the film did take in more than $300 million overseas.

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PostSubject: Re: The Wardrobe May not open Again   Mon Dec 29, 2008 1:58 am

Jinkies! I heard about this! I am so disappointed with Disney! I mean I know it didn't make as much as the first,but I attributed that to the placement of the movie since it came out a week after Iron Man and a week before Indiana Jones! What Disney was thinking I don't know! But I really liked Prince Caspian and was totally looking forward to the next installment. No Sad
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PostSubject: Re: The Wardrobe May not open Again   Mon Dec 29, 2008 2:16 pm

Well part of it is that the two mosst popular characters, Peter and Susan, won't be in the third. Supposedly though Walden Media may make it without Disney

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PostSubject: Re: The Wardrobe May not open Again   Sat Jan 10, 2009 8:31 pm

Walden Media, reports VARIETY columnist Tatiana Siegel, is still committed to the Narnia franchise, despite Disney bailing on a third film.

Disney decided to quit the franchise after crunching the numbers: PRINCE CASPIAN took in slightly more than half of THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE's gross. But sources say that Disney and Walden disagreed on the release date for PRINCE CASPIAN from the start. Disney released the film in May, when Walden wanted a holiday-season berth and was looking to avoid a similar scenario for the next film, THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER.

"Disney didn't like having a pushy partner like Walden and the C.S. Lewis estate," according to one Narnia insider. "Disney doesn't really work with partners, and they don't like ones who dictate release dates and marketing campaigns."

Narnia producer Mark Johnson said that PRINCE CASPIAN was quite simply the least commercially viable story in the seven-book series by Lewis.

"We may have made a mistake in doing PRINCE CASPIAN as the second one," Johnson said. "Unfortunately, PRINCE CASPIAN is one of the lesser-liked books. We also made a slightly more adult, darker story, and we shouldn't have."

However, VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER is probably the most popular in the series, and Walden says financier Phil Anschutz is very much committed to Narnia.

Walden must find a new partner for the franchise.

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PostSubject: Re: The Wardrobe May not open Again   Sun Jan 11, 2009 9:11 am

Well at least there is still hope! It's interesting what they said about DIsney not liking to work with partners,and also about the book not being the most popular of the series.Even though I don't really know since I haven't really read most of the books. Neutral
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PostSubject: Re: The Wardrobe May not open Again   Tue Jan 20, 2009 6:15 pm

"what really derailed Disney's involvement with "Narnia" was a nasty feud between the studio and Phil Anschutz, the real estate baron and supporter of Christian conservative causes who seems to own half of America. Anschutz has a stake in or outright ownership of Regal Entertainment Group (the nation's biggest movie theater chain), Staples Center, the Kodak Theatre, the Los Angeles Galaxy, the L.A. Kings, London's Millennium Dome, a string of U.S. newspapers (including the San Francisco Examiner) and Walden Media, which has produced such films as "Journey to the Center of the Earth," "Nim's Island" and "Because of Winn-Dixie." So when Anschutz gets into an ugly dispute with Disney, we're talking about a true battle of the titans.

What happened? Keep reading

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