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‘The Golden Compass’ Flops?

Courtesy of New Line

Variety reports, and Nikki Finke crows, that New Line's The Golden Compass did poorly at the box office this weekend. The film collected a "soft" $26.1 million, well below studio expectations of a $30- to $40-million opening frame. While Compass, budgeted at $180 million (and rumored to cost even more), performed very well internationally, it seems clear that New Line never managed to convince American audiences that The Golden Compass was a crucial epic story in the mold of Lord of the Rings — despite their best efforts to do so.

Does this mean hopes of a sequel are dead? Does it mean that The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass will never be seen onscreen? Variety points out that fantasy performs well overseas, where even a domestic flop like Starlight is still playing and raking in the dough. So there might still be hope — but there's pretty much no way Chris Weitz will get to make the "less compromising" movie he claims he wants to make.

'Compass' charts not-so-golden bow [Variety]
'Golden Compass' = 2007's Bigger Bombs [DHD]
Earlier: New Line Selling ‘The Golden Compass’ as ‘Lord of the Rings IV’
Where Did ‘The Golden Compass’ Go Astray? And Was Tom Stoppard's Original Script a Masterpiece?