After the second "Narnia" film disappointed at the box office in 2008, Fox and Walden Media are hoping that a targeted play for churchgoing audiences will make “The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader" a hit.
“We’ve gone back to doing faith outreach in a manner that is consistent with the first film,” David Weil, CEO of the Anschutz Film Group division of Walden Media, told TheWrap. “In the second film there was more of an effort to broaden the base and appeal to teenage boys. By doing that we lost some of our core and heartland audience.”
Heres the kicker...The consequence of that more action-heavy campaign was an almost 50 percent drop in receipts. Costing $225 million to make, "Prince Caspian" made $420 million worldwide.
In this case, Christian moviegoers may hold the key to getting the series back on track. Walden and its new partner Fox (stepping in for Disney, who left after the second movie faltered) are determined to win over the faith-based crowds they say helped make 2005’s “The Lion, The Witch & the Wardrobe” a $745 million worldwide smash.
That constituency is also credited with playing a pivotal role in the success of films such as "The Blind Side" and "The Passion of the Christ."
“What Fox has done is really take the Christian community seriously and make stong overtures to this group," says Philip Cooke, a media consultant focused on the Christian market, "Disney let that community wander away."
Fox and Walden have been reaching out to faith-based communities directly or through third-party consultants. With the help of Christian consulting group Grace Hill Media, the studio launched several websites with taped messages from religious leaders such as Franklin Graham and articles about the movie’s theological underpinnings.
It's a interesting article and worth the read.