Why Narnia Hits While Golden Compass Flops

Why the Narnia films hit while The Golden Compass flopped

Murray Close / Disney

Ben Barnes, left, and Warwick Davis in The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.

Can God make one movie franchise a hit and another a flop? That was the question hovering over the first film adaptations of two best-selling fantasy series for children, C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia and Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials. Lewis' series of seven books, published in the 1950s, was widely seen as a Christian allegory, presided over by the God-lion Aslan, who dies and rises again. Pullman's trilogy, written in the 1990s, described a battle between a dictatorial deity and the rebel angels determined to defeat him. As the author told the Sydney Morning Herald in 2003, "My books...

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