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When $55 million just isn’t enough

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Disney's fantasy sequel "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian" made $55 million its opening weekend, which sounds pretty impressive. But it was at least $20 million less than studio executives and box-office analysts were predicting going into the weekend.

By comparison, the first Narnia film, "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," made $66 million in 2005, on its way to a nearly $300 million haul in the United States.

To be fair, "Prince Caspian" was facing stronger cinematic competition, from the superhero movie "Iron Man," which looks like the early film to beat this summer. The Marvel Studios/Paramount Pictures film grossed $32 million more over the weekend and now looks like a sure bet to cross the $300 million mark. After three weeks, it currently stands at $223 million.

Still, it was a decent box-office "take" for the Narnia sequel and it's certainly nothing to sneeze at. Warner Bros. probably wishes its "Speed Racer" was doing half as well. The Wachowski brothers' live-action racing adventure film took $8 million over the weekend, raising its paltry two-week to $30 million.

Given that "Speed Racer" reportedly cost $120 million, it may take brisk home video sales and foreign ticket sales just to break even.