Round one (so far) goes to Narnia

prince caspian poster largeOh my. Here is a quick, and really mean, little update on the state of The Golden Compass at the box office. As I mentioned in my first post on this, a crucial part of Philip Pullman's appeal to his most devoted fans is his willingness to attack traditional forms of Christian faith.

Based in Oxford, Pullman has gone out of his way to make sure that people know all about his intense hatred for the beliefs and the work of the famous Christian apologist C.S. Lewis. Click here for a report on that and then click here for a Gregg Easterbrook defense of Lewis at And here is a link to a copy of the original Pullman piece about Lewis.

Here is the bottom line for Pullman:

... There is no doubt in the public mind that what matters is the Narnia cycle, and that is where the puzzle comes, because there is no doubt in my mind that it is one of the most ugly and poisonous things I've ever read.

Them's fighting words for millions of readers around the world.

Thus, the editors of Baptist Press have put together a nice little roundup on The Golden Compass and its box-office fortunes here in America, contrasting the movie with -- well, you can guess which movie.

The controversial movie finished in first place on opening weekend with $25.7 million -- short of the hoped-for $30-$40 million -- and over the subsequent weekend fell to third place with $8.8 million, a relatively large 66 percent drop from its first weekend. To date the film, made on a hefty $180 million budget, has made just over $40 million domestically.

By comparison, Disney's first "Chronicles of Narnia" film also cost $180 million to make but brought in $65.5 million its first weekend and $31.8 million its second weekend, a 51.4 percent drop. Domestically, it grossed $291.7 million.

To its credit, Baptist Press also noted that Compass has been much more successful overseas.

This story has legs for one obvious reason: Here comes Prince Caspian. And, hey, there's news out of New Zealand, as well. Pullman also hates the mythology of Catholic scribe J.R.R. Tolkien.

UPDATED: Speaking of Christmas movies, I received a note from Bruce Tomaso of The Dallas Morning News asking for some input from loyal GetReligion readers. He writes: "FYI, I've asked our readers to name their favorite Christmas movie -- not counting It's a Wonderful Life or Miracle on 34th Street. They're too easy. Would love to hear what your readers think as well, if you'd care to post a link."

So here is that link. Deadline is Monday. Here's a handy list of Christmas movies if you need to prime the pump. You know, I think the Dallas gang should have banned that other movie, too.

I'm sorry, but Frank Capra is still the Christmas movie man, as far as I am concerned. I mean, I own my own copy of the wonderful The It's a Wonderful Life Book and the whole ball of wax. Sue me.

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