‘Prince Caspian’ Rules The Box Office, Banishing ‘Iron Man’ To #2

Second 'Narnia' film falls short of first-week take of 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,' putting fate of future sequels in doubt.

The Box-Office Top Five
#1 “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian” ($56.6 million)
#2 “Iron Man” ($31.2 million)
#3 “What Happens in Vegas …” ($13.8 million)
#4 “Speed Racer” ($7.6 million)
#5 “Baby Mama” ($4.6 million)

Play any online game and you’ll often hear one player taunting another with a refrain of “Where is your God now?” This weekend, the answer came down swiftly: at the top of the box-office charts.

“The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian,” Disney’s second adaptation of the classic religion-infused fantasy series from C.S. Lewis, scored $56.6 in its first weekend to claim #1 at the box office, dethroning the previous two weeks’ winner, “Iron Man.”

Still, while $56.6 million ain’t exactly chump change, the movie didn’t set the world on fire either, making substantially less than “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” did when it opened in December 2005. Unless “Caspian” develops the sort of legs that “Lion” did (that movie went on to earn nearly $300 million by the end of its run), it’ll be tough to categorize as an unqualified hit.

That could be bad news for die-hards wishing to see all seven of the novels on the big screen. “Narnia” producer Mark Johnson told an assembled crowd at New York Comic Con last month that sequels beyond “Voyage of the Dawn Treader” — which is in pre-production for a 2010 release — are entirely dependent on how well “Caspian” does at the box office.

So far this summer, those strong legs have belonged to Tony Stark. “Iron Man” continued its impressive run with a second-place finish, earning $31.2 million in week three. The blockbuster comic adaptation soared past $200 million and seems a safe bet to be 2008′s first $300 million movie. Excelsior!

In third place, “What Happens in Vegas …” earned $13.8 million to bring its overall total to a very respectable $40.3 million after two weeks.

Respectable isn’t a word that can be used for “Speed Racer,” which is quickly on its way to becoming one of the biggest flops of all time. The high-priced dud made only $7.6 million in its second week, barely enough to land a fourth-place finish. With just $29.8 million, it has made less than “Made of Honor.” And I use that comparison in the most derogatory way possible.

Tina Fey’s “Baby Mama” rounded out the top five with $4.6 million.

Upcoming Releases

If you don’t know that “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” is opening next week, and I need to tell you, stop reading MTV Movies and go directly to movies jail. They play nothing but Uwe Boll movies on continuous loop.

Check out everything we’ve got on ” The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian,” “Iron Man” and “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.”

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