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Monday, December 13, 2010

Hollywood weekend box office

'Chronicles of Narnia' Cruises to No. 1 with $24.5M this weekend box office.

Chronicles of Narnia
The latest chapter in "The Chronicles of Narnia" saga has sailed to the top of the weekend box office, though the franchise sank to a weak debut compared to the first two movies.

"The Voyage of the Dawn Treader," the third in the franchise based on C.S. Lewis' fantasy novels, took in $24.5 million domestically, according to studio estimates Sunday.

Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie's romantic thriller "The Tourist" opened in second-place with $17 million.

"Dawn Treader" revenues showed a huge drop from 2005's "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," which took in $65.6 million over opening weekend, and 2008's "Prince Caspian," which did $55 million.

But with the movie topping $80 million in 85 countries overseas, for a worldwide total of $105.5 million, executives at distributor 20th Century Fox said they are making good headway toward recouping the movie's budget of just under $150 million.

"We had a huge task ahead of us to resurrect this franchise and get movie-goers back to that feeling of affection they had for the first movie. I think all the evidence says we've accomplished that," said Chris Aronson, head of distribution for Fox, which took over the "Narnia" series when Disney dropped it after the second movie finished at $141.6 million domestically, less than half the $291.7 million haul of the first. "I think they all had such a bad taste in their mouth from the last one. That's why we really had our work cut out for us."

"Dawn Treader" follows the adventures of some of the Pevensie siblings from the first two films as they take a magical sea voyage with their royal pal Caspian. Liam Neeson again provides the voice of talking lion Aslan.

Sony's "The Tourist" also had a quiet start. The film stars Jolie as an Englishwoman who picks up a mild-mannered American (Depp) on a train in Europe as a diversion while she's on the run from cops and gangsters.

"You have two of the biggest stars in the world, so expectations could be skewed a bit," said Rory Bruer, Sony's head of distribution. "But it certainly is a respectable opening."

The previous weekend's No. 1 movie, Disney's animated musical "Tangled," slipped to third-place with $14.6 million, raising its domestic total to $115.6 million.

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