.- The new film adaptation of C.S. Lewisâ classic âNarnia: the Lion the witch and the wardrobeâ fantasy has topped box office charts both in the U.S. and internationally, recently toppling the much touted remake of âKing Kong.â
While some had doubted that the filmâs heavily Christian allegory would be able to hold up at the box office, most doubts have likely abated as Narnia overtook Kong for Hollywoodâs top spot in the days since Christmas.
R. Kinsey Lowe of the Los Angeles Times reported yesterday that ââKing Kongâ surpassed âNarniaâ over the four-day Christmas weekend with a Sunday-Monday boost, but the Disney movie directed by âShrekâ veteran Andrew Adamson outperformed Peter Jacksonâs extravaganza on every day since then.â
Some speculate that hints of the tenuous âculture warsâ are playing out in the filmâs success while others simply think âNarniaâ appeals to a broader market.
The film website, monstersandcritics.com bluntly labeled the box office battle, âJesus versus King Kongâ and said that Narnia is ânow showing more places than 'Kong' and its slightly shorter running time makes it easier for theaters to fit in more showings.â
â'King Kong'â, they reported, âhas the better critical consensus but not necessarily better word of mouth. Christian groups are pushing hard for their parishioners to get out and watch the loose Christ-allegory in âChronicles of Narnia.ââ
Many have praised the Narnia movies, which will continue to be released over the next several years in line with Lewisâ books, as Christianityâs answer to the popular âHarry Potterâ series.
Likewise, the filmâs success has surely been accelerated by the recent completion and huge success of J.R.R. Tolkienâs âLord of the Ringsâ film adaptation trilogy.
Moreover, with âNarniaâ and âLord of the Ringsâ appealing to such large, mainstream audiences, experts say that the door could now be open to more directly Christian-themed films.
Whatever the exact causes, this much is clear to the film industry: monster Kong has his work cut out for him as he races the lion Aslan, Narniaâs principal hero, for success at the box office this holiday season.