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Prince of Persia versus Narnia: Disney's Stupid Mistake

Discussion in 'Disney Co News & Discussion' started by docandsix, May 30, 2010.

  1. docandsix

    docandsix Active Member

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    Two years ago, after inexplicably allowing the release of Prince Caspian to be moved from the preceeding Christmas season (supposedly to avoid its potential conflict with Walden Media's The Water Horse), Disney rescheduled it for the summer of 2008, exactly one week after Iron Man and one week before Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull arrived in theaters. After this scheduling blunder set the movie up for relative failure compared to its predecessor, Disney abruptly pulled the plug on its Chronicles of Narnia franchise, citing the disappointing box office performance of the series' second installment. Instead, Disney hitched its wagon to a new potential series, one based--like no other successful single film, let alone actual franchise--on a video game, of all things. It looked like a stupid decision on its face, jumping from one of the most beloved collections of books of all time to a fading video game craze in an effort to make mass-market cinema.

    This weekend, that stupidity is coming home to roost for Disney:
    Prince Caspian's reception: 66% approval from Rotten Tomatoes and $19 million plus in its first day of release.
    Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time's initial tally: 39% approval on Rotten Tomatoes and just over $10 million in its first day in theaters.

    It looks like Prince of Persia will pull in about half of what the "disappointing" Narnia film earned, and this two years later with higher ticket prices across the board.

    Somebody at Disney needs to get fired. I hope that Voyage of the Dawn Treader's success later this year simply rubs salt into Disney's wounds.
     
  2. Sosai X

    Sosai X New Member

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    When Rich Ross came in as the new underboss of the Studios, he fired nearly everyone of the executives that were in power when Prince of Persia was made. They got rid of the divisions that weren't profitable (like Miramax and the Zemekis capture studio). Plus they brought in new talent and a bunch of Internet hipsters from the outside world to bring a new direction to the Studios. We'll see if it improves anything... :drevil:
     
  3. Thrill Seeker

    Thrill Seeker Well-Known Member

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    Dropping Narnia was a big mistake. Prince Caspian didn't make as much money as Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe, but I personally liked it better... Dawn Treader is probably going to be a big hit for Fox, especially because it's in 3-D this time around...

    FYI, I saw Prince of Persia and actually liked it a lot more than expected. It was a good, fun film that could make a good franchise.
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  4. erasure fan1

    erasure fan1 Well-Known Member

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    If the movies follow the games and stay true to them, unlike most videogame movies, it will make a good franchise. I hope to see it in the next few days or so, and I really am pulling for it to be good and break the videogame movie mold.
     
  5. docandsix

    docandsix Active Member Original Poster

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    There's not going to be a sequel.

    Not based on current box office.
     
  6. Computer Magic

    Computer Magic Well-Known Member

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    excatly, it came in 3rd place.
     
  7. Hammer1310

    Hammer1310 New Member

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    Well, Persia is already halfway to Caspian's box office take worldwide but I don't think box office is the whole story. Disney found out pretty quickly that there wasn't much as of a merchandising market for the Narnia books as they had hoped and Persia films could be made cheaper and quicker (don't think a sequel is likely).
    No successful videogame movies or franchises? Tomb Raider and Resident Evil don't count? hmmm, ok.:animwink:
     
  8. stitch2008

    stitch2008 Member

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    Prince of Persia began development in 2004. Narnia began development in 2001. Prince of Persia began filming in July 2008, just after Caspain came out. Persia was expected to come out in 2009 in July. But it was later delayed till May 2010 because of the visual effects. Dawn Treader was always planned for December 2010. Disney had the idea of having two franchise's in Persia and Narnia. But it looks like that wont be the case. So, NO, Disney did not dump Narnia for Persia.

    YES, someone has been fired. Mr.Cook, who approved both films, was fired by Bob Iger and replaced with Rich Ross. You do realize that films take a while to make right? Just cause Ross is in now doesnt mean he approved Persia or got rid of Narnia.

    And just to conclude. How much money do you think Dawn Treader will make? Disney's Tron Legacy opens the very next weekend. It has one week to make its money then Tron will eat it alive.
     
  9. docandsix

    docandsix Active Member Original Poster

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    Different target audiences, I think.

    Voyage of the Dawn Treader is, in my opinion, among the most movie-friendly of the Narnia books. I think it'll make a fine film that will appeal to families broadly beyond the nostalgic look back of Tron Legacy. Of course, the success of each depends in large measure on how well the film is made, so the final chapter is yet to be written on this, but I would not be stunned to see Dawn Treader outperform Tron. We can revisit this discussion in December.

    I then end, my only frustration lies in Disney's curious decision to abandon Narnia (while still keeping a sadly substandard promotional attraction for the films in DHS), despite two facts: First, that the movie that triggered that reversal was based on one of the two least marketable of the Narnia books. Second, that Disney set Prince Caspian up for "failure" (if one can call over $400 million worldwide at the box office failure) by timing its release so incredibly poorly.

    One thing is for sure: This summer's box office is showing how desparate families are for films suitable for all ages, as even the fourth, poorly reviewed Shrek installment has drubbed all comers for three weeks in a row. (Incidentally, can there be any doubt that the table is now set for Toy Story 3 to make an absolute killing?)
     
  10. docandsix

    docandsix Active Member Original Poster

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    Critically Successful? Definitely NOT.

    Yes, both films were financially "successful" enough to justify the development of sequels in someone's mind, but neither franchise was ever a box office smash, along the lines of the Pirates films (which is what Disney was supposedly looking for in Prince of Persia). With the critics, all of those films bombed.

    At the box office, Prince Caspian almost exceeded both Tomb Raider films combined, worldwide, though this is admittedly not adjusted for inflation.

    They just keep making the Resident Evil films, but none has made more than $60 (or so) million domestically and, again, Prince Caspian has earned more than the combination of all three released so far.
     
  11. munkgirl

    munkgirl New Member

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    I think the real problem is the whole "box office movie" thing. It's what? Between $8 and $15 to see a movie in theaters?

    I know I hardly ever go to see movies in theaters anymore. You have to pick a time, put your pants back on, get in the car, drive over there. Then there's a jerk with the cellphone and the crying kid in the R rated movie.

    No. Disney ought to pioneer with streaming movies online. Yeah, that opens the door for easier "pirating", but since they can cut out the middle man of theaters, they could charge a fraction of the price. I'm not likely to get up and get out to go see a movie for $12 a head, but I'll probably watch it online for $5 or $10. And anyways, you can already get the bootlegged dvds for $5 from the shady guy at the laundromat anyways.

    I'm sure there are tons of non-computer parents out there who wouldn't think much of $5 or $10 2 or three times a week so their kids can see the latest movie without having to load up the mini-van and head over to the mall. And then the kids want candy and blah blah and before you know it you've spent $60 for just an hour or so of entertainment for you and the kids. That's almost a day ticket to MK!
     
  12. clarksfan95

    clarksfan95 Member

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    I'll admit, I've never read any of the Narnia books and I really have no desire to. I thought the first movie was...okay. It wasn't terrible, but many movies I see these days are carbon copies of Lord of the Rings and I felt that Narnia fell right into that area.

    The visuals for me were so similar to LOTR. I never read those books either, but when they came out the cinematography was fairly original. You had these immense panoramic views of mountains, valleys, etc. and it seemed very fresh and original. Narnia and (hhmmmm....some other film I can't think of...) both used that style of filming. That's my major beef with Narnia...just the visuals, storywise it really didn't grab me and make me want more.

    Now...I think the only problem with the timing of the release was putting it a week before Indiana Jones. Everyone knew that that film was going to do well, but I don't think anyone believed that Iron Man was going to take off (no pun intended) like it did. I had no interest in seeing Iron Man, he was always one of my least liked comic book heroes, but after it did so well, I decided to check it out and it was probably the best movie that Marvel had put out up to that point. There was no way Disney could've seen that coming...I never did.

    Whether Disney made a mistake letting it go...I don't know. Unfortunately, show business is that way.
     
  13. EpcotServo

    EpcotServo Well-Known Member

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    I for one hop up and down with excitement that Narnia has been forced off the boat. Begone!

    And the only reason I too wouldn't be surprised if Narnia 3 beat Tron Legacy by the numbers is because often times most of the boffo box office films don't deserve it. Like Transformers 2 and Avatar. Lots of money does not equate "good" to me any more...
    :lol:
     
  14. docandsix

    docandsix Active Member Original Poster

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    ?

    Neither paragraph makes any sense to me. You're glad Disney has dropped Narnia, because...?

    Let me guess: It's allowed Disney the opportunity to make other, more appealing films. Which would be...? (Maybe Underdog or G-Force?) Or, it's because it's allowed Disney to make even more money to be invested in the theme parks with franchises like...? Oh yeah, it's given Disney lots of bright, new concepts for attractions based on classic stories like...? Maybe you just don't like Narnia, like you don't like broccoli.

    And of course it makes perfect sense to dismiss a potential box office defeat of Tron 2 by the next Narnia film, because without having seen either film, we can already ascertain which will be better than the other and which will earn more than the other. By this logic, I guess we can safely assume that The Voyage of the Dawn Treader will have been better than Tron: Legacy if it makes less at the box office, since, evidently, Tron's financial success will have been driven by nothing more than fanboys' nostalgic obsession with an old, shiny, computerized video game movie.

    How about this? Let's wait until we see the films before issuing reviews or criticisms.

    P.S. I guess it's pointless to argue with someone who, as I recall, doesn't even like Phineas and Ferb. ;)
     
  15. docandsix

    docandsix Active Member Original Poster

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    More Disney Studio Stupidity

    Two words: John Carter.

    Holy cow. A $180,000,000 loser at the domestic box office.
     

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