26 December 2007

Searching for Boys with The Golden Compass

Although the Golden Compass movie has gotten generally positive reviews, its American box office performance has been tepid: a weekly average of $16 million over its first three weeks. In contrast, so far the film has made $130 million overseas, and was the world's top draw for two weeks.

The Golden Compass cost a lot to make: $180 million, or about two-thirds of what the Bush-Cheney administration expends on the Iraq occupation in one day. That high cost means it could be hard for the studio to produce sequels on the same scale, even with an international audience. The series might go the way of The Neverending Story, which had two follow-ups squeezed out over the next ten years with decreasing budgets and new young actors in the lead roles.

New Line studio has apparently decided that one weakness with the movie is that it has a young female lead. The Marketing Department has Photoshopped a boy into the newspaper ads. Perhaps armored polar bears alone weren't enough to get boys into cinemas.
At least there's a prominent boy hero in the second book, The Subtle Knife.


Monica Edinger said...

I suspect that is an image from the video game. Or it could be from one of the many (sigh) deleted scenes ---- they cut off the last few chapters of the book and may have had to cut other stuff to make the reworked movie work as it now does.

I was amused before it came out that the television ads showed only the big name adults, not a child to be seen. Guess they are reworking their marketing now.

J. L. Bell said...

The image up top is indeed from a video game package, but it also appeared in newspaper ads for a week or two. Then Roger popped up behind Lyra on Iorek’s back, so awkwardly positioned that it's clearly a Photoshop job using what photos were available. (Not that I believe there was an authentic photo of Lyra on Iorek to begin with.)

Sam said...

Roger's role just keeps getting better and better. First he survives the movie, then he rides a polar bear.
Get ready for a love triangle with Lyra, Roger and Will in the sequel. And then a spin-off where Roger and Will share a dorm room with an overweight, beret-wearing goofball.

Monica Edinger said...

John, no authentic photo of Lyra and Iorek? You mean I have to stop suspending disbelief? Or maybe suspend far beyond the gold dust of New Line?

Sam, first of all, if it is Oxford then they will be sharing a staircase (says I as the Oxford expert after spending one whole week at Christ Church):). Secondly, myself, I lean toward a red-headed half-Muggle as a roommate for them. Didn't you hear that in the latest revelation from Ms. JKR?