The Chronicles of Narnia is a classic of children’s literature. Its movie adaptation was produced by Walden Media and Walt Disney Pictures (except for the last film), but of the seven books of this series, only three of them were adapted into movies. Why? This is what happened to The Chronicles of Narnia movies:
The Chronicles of Narnia is a best seller series written by the British author Clive Staples Lewis. This series is composed of seven books, all of them published during the 50s. These books have sold over 100 million copies and have been translated into 46 languages.
This series takes place in Narnia, a magical place in which animals can talk and mythical beasts are real. The Chronicles of Narnia narrates the story of a group of children that are transported to Narnia, being called by the Lion Aslan so they can help to protect Narnia from evil.
How well did The Chronicles of Narnia movies do?
One might think that given that only three out of seven Narnia books were adapted into movies maybe their box office was not good and therefore they were not profitable. Was it that so? Let’s see how each of the Narnia box office performance:
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005). Directed by: Andrew Adamson. Budget: $180 million. Worldwide box office gross: $745 million.
- Prince Caspian ( 2008) . Directed by: Andrew Adamson. Budget: $225 million. Worldwide Box office gross: $419 million.
- The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010). Directed by: Michael Apted . Budget: $155 million. Worldwide box office gross: $415 million.
As you see, The Chronicles of Narnia movies did more than well at the theatres. Maybe it was because of the critical and public response? Word mouth is really important in this kind of movies, so let’s take a look:
The scores are pretty good, even the last movie The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, has a somehow decent score. If it was neither a matter of grossing or public response how come the next installment, The Silver Chair, had never a movie adaptation?
Disney’s decision to dump Narnia films
While The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and its first sequel were co-produced by Walt Disney Pictures, this wasn’t so in the third movie. Disney decided not to coproduce the third movie in the series, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, this lose of interest was never fully explained, but Disney said it was due to budgetary and logistical reasons.
Why did Walt Disney decide not to finance The Voyage of the Dawn Treader?
This is just an assumption, but it may be a financial decision: just notice how the numbers of Prince Caspian are not so far from the box office gross achieved by the first movie. Specifically, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe grossed $291,710,957 in North America while Prince Caspian grossed $141,621,490. Similarly, worldwide office gross of the prequel is way lower than the first one.
So maybe Disney had just seen this box office decrease as a warning and decided not to coproduce the second prequel. Were they right? Well, it is true that The Voyage of the Dawn Treader grossed $104 million in North America, but given that the worldwide box office gross worldwide was $415 million, the figures are only four million below its predecessor movie.
But if Warner coproduced the third movie why did they stop releasing Narnia movies?
In 2011, Walden Media’s contract of the series’ film rights expired in 2011. In 2013, The Mark Gordon Company acquired these rights and entered into an agreement with the C. S. Lewis Company to produce an adaptation of the next installment, The Silver Chair. It was not until 2017 when it was announced that Joe Johnston would be the director.
However, in October 2018, a different announcement was made: Netflix and the C. S. Lewis Company had made a multi-year agreement to develop a new series of film and TV adaptations of The Chronicles of Narnia. As a result, Narnia movies would not continue, The Silver Chair film has apparently been canceled instead having a tv adaptation.
So this is the story why Narnia movies were canceled, did you expect such an outcome? Don’t forget to comment!
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