Narnia’s Dawn Treader Hits A Reef?

The “Prince Caspian” DVD doesn’t hit the US til next week, but has already been released in the UK. FilmChat got its hands on a copy and found several pieces of artwork from the next sequel “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” to put online.

The big question is if this will be the only thing of the sequel we’ll see.

Last week Jim HIll Media published an interesting article that the box-office disappointment of ‘Caspian’ has led to some retooling of the studio’s “Dawn Treader” project. With a $200 million budget, ‘Caspian’ took in a little under half domestically and a little over half internationally the revenue of the first film ‘The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe’.

Though studio execs thought the film was stronger, reviews were generally weaker than for ‘Wardrobe’ and the move of the franchise out of Wardrobe’s long-run profitable slot of late Fall to the more crowded early Summer period also seemed to backfire in the studio’s face. DVD profitability of the title though should prove high.

As a result of all this, and the global financial crisis, strict cost-cutting measures have been put into place on ‘Treader’. Original location shooting in Malta, Iceland and Praguehas been ditched in favor of filming two-thirds of the film in the huge water tank in Mexico used for such films as “Titanic” and “Master and Commander”.

The original budget of $140 million may also potentially be slashed to $100 million as Walden Media reportedly wants Disney to put up half the budget of the film along with all the P&A costs. In fact much of the budgetary decision making will depend upon the first week of “Prince Caspian” DVD sales.

‘Treader’ will also move back to the ‘Wardrobe’ December release slot – meaning the film will kick off filming sometime next yeat for a Christmas 2010 release. Development of further sequels such as ‘The Silver Chair’ and ‘The Last Battle’ will end up depending upon the success of ‘Treader’.