Pic earned $2.26 mil in preview screenings
Buena Vista Japan is predicting strong B.O. for “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” when it opens on 800-plus screens here on Friday following record preview numbers for the distrib.The film earned ¥262 million ($2.26 million) in preview screenings on 701 screens on Saturday, beating the preview B.O. for BVJ’s previous record holder, “Finding Nemo,” by 19%. Buena Vista Japan reckons “Narnia” will gross more than $86 million — in the same ballpark as “The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King” ($89 million). However, its preview take is more in line with previews for “Spider-Man 2,” which ended its Japan run with $56 million. Director Andrew Adamson and the film’s stars, including Tilda Swinton, were at the film’s Japan premiere on Feb. 16 at the Budokan Arena in Tokyo.