‘Narnia’ seizes box office crown

Disney sequel nets $19.3 million Friday

Walt Disney sequel “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian” had no problem reigning over Friday’s box office, grossing $19.3 million as it opened in 3,929 theaters.

“Caspian’s” opening day haul came in 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 and $65.6 million for its final three-day in December 2005. Both pics are co-productions with Walden Media.

“Caspian’s” loot marked the third best opening day for Disney in May behind last year’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” ($42.9 million) and 2003’s “Finding Nemo” ($20.2 million).

The only new wide release of the weekend, “Caspian” will easily take the weekend crown, and its B.O. will only gain momentum from Saturday and Sunday family matinees.

“Prince Caspian” stole kids away from Warner Bros.’ “Speed Racer,” which came in fourth for the day, declining a steep 68% from opening Friday to $1.98 million from 3,606 for an eight-day cume of $24.1 million.

Placing No. 2 on Friday was Par’s B.O. hit “Iron Man,” which came close to flying past the $200 million mark at the domestic B.O. The Paramount-Marvel superhero pic grossed $8.6 million for the day from 4,154 sites, a 42% decline, for a cume of $199.9 million in the midst of its third frame.

Fox’s “What Happens in Vegas” continued its hot B.O. streak on Friday, declining a slim 37% to $4.6 million from 3,255 for third place. The eight-day cume for the Ashton Kutcher-Cameron Diaz romantic comedy currently stands at $31 million.

In fifth place, Sony’s “Made of Honor” grossed $1.5 million from 2,816, down 37% for a $30.7 million running cume in the midst of its third sesh.

On its sixth Friday, Overture Films’ “The Visitor” was the only arthouse title to crack into the day’s top 10. Pic about a college professor’s friendships with immigrant couples in New York City generated $165,000 from 224 sites for a running domestic take of $2.9 million.

Sony Pictures Classics’ “Redbelt” kicked up $98,000 from 932, a 10% dip, raising its B.O. to $1.7 million.

Paramount Vantage’s “Son of Rambow” saw a 72% hike in its third Friday after upticking its theater count from 36 to 91. The British comedy made $62,000, raising its cume to $348,000.