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“Dawn Treader” sinks, “The Tourist” trapped

The “Chronicles of Narnia” series came to an unfortunate end this weekend. The franchise that launched in 2005 with “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe” burned out with “Voyage of the Dawn Treader.” The third and final entry tallied $24.5 million in sales with just over 54% of sales from 3D viewings. Disney smartly dropped the series after two installments when “Prince Caspian” made less than half its predecessor’s gross. Fox assumed it could turn the series into a hit, but “Voyage of the Dawn Treader” made less than half the opening weekend business of “Prince Caspian.”

The Tourist was sent packing with only $17 million. The star pairing of Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp couldn’t inspire audiences to overlook a bland romance and predictable story. Although the movie was marketed as a thriller, harsh criticism exposed the mundane plot to simply be Knight and Day without the humor. Black Swan was the only bright sight on the silver screen. After expanding from four to ninety screens, Darren Arnofsky’s latest picture jumped onto the charts with $3.3 million. At sixth place, the indie flick has drawn $5.6 million in popular support.

The charts yielded few surprises with holdovers dropping down a slot or two in typical fashion. Casualties of the weekend included The Warrior’s Way, The Next Three Days, and Faster. The first only spent one week in the top ten. This is an atypically slow December and next week may prove another disappointment.

The Top Ten

1.  The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader - $24.5M (weekend)…$24.5M (gross)
2.  The Tourist - $17.0M…$17.0M
3.  Tangled - $14.5M…$115.6M
4.  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 - $8.5M…$257.6M
5.  Unstoppable - $3.7M…$74.2M
6.  Black Swan - $3.3M…$5.6M
7.  Burlesque - $3.2M …$32.5M
8.  Love and Other Drugs - $3.0M…$27.6M
9.  Due Date - $2.5M…$94.8M
10. Megamind - $2.5M …$140.2M

Tron Legacy is certainly the movie event of this holiday season, but thus far it is receiving mixed reviews. Rather than over-promote the film with a re-release of the original Tron, Disney has practically made the source material disappear (that includes from my Netflix queue-grumble). Previews dazzle the eye but reviewers ride the fence about the story. The film releases in IMAX and in 3D at 3300 locations.

Surprisingly, Yogi Bear is opening at 3400 cinemas nationwide. Tron Legacy is also a PG family friendly affair, so it's anyone’s guess which of the two will win the number one spot. How Do You Know provides a romantic comedy alternative. The comedy cost $100 million to produce yet provides nothing unique to the genre. Results will likely disappoint Sony Studio. It releases on more than 2500 screens. The Fighter, starring Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale expands to 2200 theaters. Thus far, reviews have been positive toward the sports drama, which hopes for a Rocky reception this weekend.


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