Walt Disney sequel The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian reigned at the weekend box office in North America, grossing $19.3 million but is likely to fall short of industry expectations, according to preliminary data issued on Saturday.
Prince Caspian's opening day haul was slightly lower than industry expectations and behind first Narnia installment, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which pulled in $23 million on its first day, $65.6 million in its first weekend, and eventually totaled $291.7 million in domestic box-office sales.
By contrast, industry observers were expecting the sequel to rake in in estimated $78 million to $85 million this weekend. Estimates for the three-day period will be issued on Sunday.
Paramount Pictures and Marvel Entertainment Inc's superhero smash Iron Man, the box office champ for the past two weekends, was the No. 2 choice on Friday. Marvel Studios have delighted in the $188.1 million the comic book adventure has brought in. Sales decreased 48.1 percent during its second weekend in release to $51.2 million from $98.6 million
Prince Caspian has received solid reviews from most media outlets. The films are based on the C.S. Lewis novels of the same name that use fantasy as a tool to explore Christian dogma. The films are family-oriented, with a PG rating, and have screened well with audiences of all ages.
Internationally, Prince Caspian will be rolled out over the summer on a schedule aimed at taking advantage of local school holidays.