It appears as though The Golden Compass isn’t exactly raking in the cash:
There was no Saturday miracle surge for New Line. The Golden Compass, an effects-laden family film starring Nicole Kidman with a reported budget of $200M, received a modest 16% increase from its opening day, posting an estimated $10.2M on Saturday. Assuming a Sunday drop of 33%, Compass will finish its opening weekend with a disastrous $25.84M. (For a comparison to other big budget, family-oriented films in this mold along with details about New Line’s dismal 2007 and Nicole Kidman’s box office cold streak, scroll down to my Friday Night report.)
Disney’s Enchanted blew past $80M domestic with a $4.9M Saturday, and the live action/animation hybrid with a sure-fire Oscar nomination for Amy Adams will cruise to an estimated $10.98M. This Christmas (Sony), Fred Claus (Warner Bros) and Beowulf (Dreamworks/Paramount) have finished 3-4-5 on Saturday and for the 3-day frame.
The reason appears to have more to do with the movie being not all that great as opposed to any effects of a boycott, though you can be sure that the Catholic league and the Evangelicals will claim their boycotts were successful. Most of the reviews I’ve read have said that the movie is technically stunning to look at, but just doesn’t have the spark you’d expect it to have. It’s currently holding a 43% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
It’s probably a safe bet that, unless it does really well overseas, the sequels will probably fail to materialize. Which is a shame as it’d be interesting to see how they’d handle the follow ups given the increasingly anti-religious tone the contain. At the moment it doesn’t appear we’ll ever find out.