Clapboard – Narnia Epic Tops Ironman

LOS ANGELES ~ The latest installment of the Chronicles of Narnia rode to the top of the North American box office at the weekend, bumping Marvel’s Iron Man to second place, industry figures showed.

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, the second film based on C.S. Lewis’ books about four children who find a magical land, took US$55 million in its opening weekend, box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations said.

The visually stunning film charts the children’s return to Narnia only to find generations have gone by and the place is now under the control of an evil king. They soon join the battle to return Narnia to what it once was.

The film took pole position from Iron Man, which stars Robert Downey Jr as a billionaire industrialist who invents an armored suit to help him save the world. This raked in $31.8 million at the weekend, for a total of $223.1 million.

The weekend’s earnings could be the calm before the storm, with one of this summer’s box office behemoths, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, due for release in theatres next weekend.

Romantic comedy What Happens in Vegas, starring Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher as drunkenly married New Yorkers forced to live together for six months, did not quite hit the jackpot, with $13.9 million.

In fourth was Speed Racer with $8.1 million, marking another disappointing weekend for the long-awaited first feature film from Matrix masters Andy and Larry Wachowski.

In fifth was Patrick Dempsey romantic comedy Made of Honor with $4.7 million, nudging Baby Mama, a surrogate motherhood comedy starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler into sixth with 4.68 million.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall, billed as “the world’s first romantic disaster comedy,” was seventh with $2.8 million, followed by Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay with earnings of $2 million.

The Forbidden Kingdom, the first movie pairing of martial arts legends Jackie Chan and Jet Li, dropped a spot to ninth with $1 million in takings.

And The Visitor, about a college professor whose life takes a new turn when he finds a Syrian drummer and his Senegalese girlfriend move into his New York apartment, just makes the top ten with $672,000.

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