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Disney bails on next "Narnia" movie!

Old 12-24-08, 02:02 AM
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Disney bails on next "Narnia" movie!

Not going to say I'm surprised. There have been rumors that Disney was considering dropping out of doing any further sequels, since before the release of Prince Caspian. It will be interesting to see what studio will pick it up:

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/...3ef6b6b0397e0f

Disney jumps ship on next 'Narnia'
Studio won't exercise option for 'Dawn Treader'

By Borys Kit

Dec 24, 2008, 12:00 AM ET

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

While declining to elaborate, Disney and Walden Media confirmed Tuesday that for budgetary and logistical reasons the Burbank-based studio is not exercising its option to co-produce and co-finance the next "Narnia" movie with Walden.

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.

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.

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 $292 million domestically and another $453 million internationally in 2005. This year, "Prince Caspian" grossed a healthy $141 million in North America and another $278 million internationally, but that was well off the "Lion" take.

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 boxoffice results to prove it -- Hollywood's fascination with the genre intensified.

But no other fantasy adventure films have shown that kind of boxoffice 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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Old 12-24-08, 03:00 AM
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Opening Caspian in May was stupid. It should have opened last Christmas as planned. That's their own fault.

Wonder who will pick it up.
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Old 12-24-08, 03:10 AM
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I have a feeling Universal might. They lack franchises.
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Old 12-24-08, 07:24 AM
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Damn. I hope someone does, and hopefully soon, since the actors are aging as we speak! I think Voyage is the strongest book and would make a hell of a movie.

mcfly is right though, Disney fucked it up trying to make it a summer blockbuster, sandwiched between Iron Man and Indy? That guy needs to be fired.
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Old 12-24-08, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Michael Corvin View Post
mcfly is right though, Disney fucked it up trying to make it a summer blockbuster, sandwiched between Iron Man and Indy? That guy needs to be fired.
Yeah, it was a really dumb move, but wasn't it released then so as not to compete with the new Harry Potter flick?

And now that move turned out to be for naught. Shame.

Hope someone picks it up.
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Old 12-24-08, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by The Bus View Post
I have a feeling Universal might. They lack franchises.
They gave Hulk another shot; why not Narnia?
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Old 12-24-08, 09:11 AM
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I feel confident this will be made. It wasn't a disaster at the box-office, and anyone can see it was released at a poor time of the year. Hopefully it'll get picked up soon.
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Old 12-24-08, 09:23 AM
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I'm of two minds: one is that "yes, opening Prince Caspian in May WAS stupid," right in the middle of Iron Man and Indy 4. But at the same time, no one knew IM would be such a big hit. This is not the first summer where a major release has opened every week, so Prince Caspian should have been able to open HUGE and even if it dropped, it still would have had a hell of a start, but it didn't. The fact is, the first Narnia movie opened with $62 million in late 2005 and Prince Caspian opened with $55 million in May 2008, which is definitley a bit of a dip, especially in these days of the $100-million dollar opening. Had the movie opened with, say, $85 million, it could have pulled in $220 million or so domestically, which would have been solid.

I think the real problem is not with the release date, but with the movie itself and the fantasy genre in general. Aside from the original Narnia movie, every other major "fantasy" epic has just come off like a Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter knockoff. Look at last year: The Seeker, The Golden Compass, Stardust (which was very good, btw). In commercials, Prince Caspian looked every other fantasy epic we've been seeing for the last seven years, which probably told audiences that it was nothing special.

The original Narnia's advertisement was built around the children AND the fantasy, which is what made it different, and thus a success. Disney is smart to ditch the new movie, but I certainly hope that it means shopping around to a new studio means a bigger budget for the new movie.
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Old 12-24-08, 12:12 PM
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I hope it get's picked up, I enjoyed Prince Caspian rather dark view of Narnia. And if it does get picked up, hopefully the same cast of children return.
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Old 12-24-08, 12:19 PM
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I'm sure a different studio will pick it up - but I think the poor showing of Caspian, while the release date certainly played a factor - was mostly due to people being underwhelmed with it AND with the first one - yeah a lot of people went to see Lion, Witch - but a lot of them hated it and didn't want to get burned again.
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Old 12-24-08, 12:28 PM
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How is Caspian doing on DVD/Blu?
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Old 12-24-08, 12:35 PM
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I haven't seen Caspian yet, but I think a Winter release for this kind of film would have resulted in a stronger box office.
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Old 12-24-08, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by fumanstan View Post
I haven't seen Caspian yet, but I think a Winter release for this kind of film would have resulted in a stronger box office.
I agree....


Good News: Disney isn't making another narnia flm
Bad News: We'll probably still get another Narnia film!
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Old 12-24-08, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by BullGooseLoony View Post
Disney is smart to ditch the new movie, but I certainly hope that it means shopping around to a new studio means a bigger budget for the new movie.
That's the problem the next film has... Both films cost over $175 Million each. Most studios are only going to bet on a guaranteed franchise, and even though the films have brought in nearly 1.2 Billion worldwide, it fell off more than 40% between films. That is not a solid prospect, especially if the budget is going up. (The ability to get financing is also going to put a crimp on the franchise.)

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Old 12-24-08, 01:20 PM
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The article says that FOX is the most likely candidate to pick up the franchise since they already have a relationship with Walden Media.

I wonder how much of the bill Walden will require the next studio to take on?

Now, this brings up another question. How many film franchises have switched studios?

I know Transporter 3 was a Lionsgate production when it was originally made by FOX.
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Old 12-24-08, 01:38 PM
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^Terminaor had a new studio for each of the 1st 3 films.
Hellboy 2 went from Sony to Uni.
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Old 12-24-08, 03:08 PM
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Fox picking this up makes total sense. They don't really have any Big budget franchises coming up in the next few years and their box office has been hurt by mediocre at best movies the past few years. In other words Fox needs a Blockbuster to put on their schedule.
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Old 12-24-08, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by DJariya View Post
I know Transporter 3 was a Lionsgate production when it was originally made by FOX.
Not true. Transporter 1 and 2 were both financed overseas by EuropaCorp and Fox picked up the distribution rights for North America (similar to Taken). When 3 rolled around, Lionsgate was offering more money than Fox to pick up the rights.

The biggest two franchises that have swapped studios have been Rambo and Terminator. While most of them were financed through independent companies (such as Carolco), they were all distributed by different studios.

Horror franchises are also common to switch hands. Friday the 13th (Paramount to New Line) and Halloween (independent to Universal back to independent to Dimension to Weinsteins) are the two I can think of instantly.
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Old 12-24-08, 05:23 PM
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I bet this series will go to FOX and get a $80mill budget kinda like City of Ember & Journey To The Center of THe Earth.
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Old 12-24-08, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by JJE-187 View Post
I bet this series will go to FOX and get a $80mill budget kinda like City of Ember & Journey To The Center of THe Earth.
$80 million? That's low balling it.

I know Fox is desperate for another hit, but they also distributed Walden's City of Ember and The Seeker; both which were gigantic failures at the box office.

Has anybody heard anything from Warner? New Line did distribute Journey and some other Walden films (like Hoot and How To Eat Fried Worms).
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Old 12-24-08, 08:27 PM
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And Disney is running the first movie on ABC (owned by Disney) as I type this. Wow. Screw them, I hope the rest of the movies get picked up and make a load of money for whoever continues the series. Glad I didn't buy Prince Caspian yet, I'd hate to have an incomplete series.
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Old 12-24-08, 08:53 PM
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Wow this is shocking news to me. Thanks for the heads up.
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Old 12-25-08, 01:24 AM
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So much for a complete box set ...
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Old 12-25-08, 11:07 AM
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Prince Caspian didn't do to well, because they shouldn't have cast Timothy Olyphant as the prince...
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Old 12-25-08, 04:41 PM
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Yeah what's going to happen if they make all of the films? No ultimate all-in-one boxset on BD or DVD, eh?
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