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Peter T Chattaway

Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

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David Smedberg wrote:

: The fact that this movie is trailing Eragon in terms of attendance makes me sad.

FWIW, Dawn Treader had a better second week than The Golden Compass and Eragon did. Dollar-wise, that is. Attendance-wise, I don't know how things would pan out after we take inflation and 3D surcharges into account.

From Box Office Mojo's weekend report:

Among holdovers, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader had a better second weekend percentage hold than The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Golden Compass and Eragon. The fantasy sequel slowed 48 percent to an estimated $12.4 million. Its $42.8 million tally in ten days was still below par, but the movie pulled ahead of Golden Compass, which had $40.8 million at the same point. In attendance, though, Dawn Treader trails Golden Compass and Eragon.

That's just how eye roll.

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And since Lewis tells us that she didn't want to offend the giver but not that she liked the giver, it's possible that the giver also possessed the sort of goodness that Eustace's parents disliked. However, AFAIK Lewis offers no clue who this mysterious gift-giver was and what connection he or she might have had to Narnia.

Digory and/or Polly would be the likeliest candidates, methinks. Since in the first book the Pevensies are sent away from London to Digory's country house, there is likely to be some sort of prior connection between Digory and the Pevensies' parents ... and if Aunt Alberta is a sibling of one of those parents, she might have a similar connection to Digory.

Edited by mrmando

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From Box Office Mojo's weekend report:

Among holdovers, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader had a better second weekend percentage hold than The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Golden Compass and Eragon. The fantasy sequel slowed 48 percent to an estimated $12.4 million. Its $42.8 million tally in ten days was still below par, but the movie pulled ahead of Golden Compass, which had $40.8 million at the same point. In attendance, though, Dawn Treader trails Golden Compass and Eragon.

And the Dawn Treader kept the #1 spot for its second week at the International Box Office.

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Micheal Flaherty's special for the Wall Street Journal: Guess who's reading C.S. Lewis?

Joy Behar. Words fail me...

Actually, they don't, but I don't want to use those words in this forum.


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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And since Lewis tells us that she didn't want to offend the giver but not that she liked the giver, it's possible that the giver also possessed the sort of goodness that Eustace's parents disliked. However, AFAIK Lewis offers no clue who this mysterious gift-giver was and what connection he or she might have had to Narnia.

Digory and/or Polly would be the likeliest candidates, methinks. Since in the first book the Pevensies are sent away from London to Digory's country house, there is likely to be some sort of prior connection between Digory and the Pevensies' parents ... and if Aunt Alberta is a sibling of one of those parents, she might have a similar connection to Digory.

AFAIK the evacuation of kids to the country during the war was widescale, not just to those who happened to have friends/relatives in convenient places. And given that there's no indication of any prior knowledge I think it's a leap to assume it. Which is a shame cos it's a nice theory.

Also it's weird to see the name Digory mentioned so many times in a paragraph that is nothing to do with my (similarly named) son.

Matt

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SDG wrote:

: In Prince Caspian . . . the Telmarines are descendants of pirates from our world who arrived in the Narnian world through an unexplained portal . . .

Exactly. And a seemingly "natural" portal at that, as opposed to one that is grounded in a human (or humanoid) artifact. (Hmmm, looking further down, I see you make a distinction between "unbaptized" and "baptized" portals. Interesting.)

: Although we never learn the genesis of the painting, it seems to be uncanny from the get-go: Edmund and Lucy recognize the ship as "very Narnian" in look. It's also interesting that the painting is hanging in a small back room because Aunt Alberta doesn't like it, but can't get rid of it because it was a wedding present from someone she doesn't want to offend.

Oh, wow, I had forgotten that detail.

: However, AFAIK Lewis offers no clue who this mysterious gift-giver was and what connection he or she might have had to Narnia.

I'd be interested to know what sort of fanfic there has been around this question. :)

: However, the obvious Middle-easternness of the Calormenes raises the obvious possibility that Calormen was colonized by visitors from the Middle East entering through a portal like the one by which Telmar was colonized.

I must admit, it was only in recent years that it dawned on me that the Calormenes and the Telmarines were not, in fact, the same race, or that the names of those two races were not interchangeable the way that say, Maugrim and Fenris Ulf are.

: In fact, however, God's will and sovereign choices reflect His perfect Wisdom.

Ah, but perfection, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

mrmando wrote:

: Since in the first book the Pevensies are sent away from London to Digory's country house, there is likely to be some sort of prior connection between Digory and the Pevensies' parents . . .

Some sort of connection is possible, I suppose, but likely? I wouldn't think so, given that hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people were swept up in the evacuations of that period.

Overstreet wrote:

: Micheal Flaherty's special for the Wall Street Journal: Guess who's reading C.S. Lewis?

When I first saw that, I must admit, I was kind of impressed as to the lengths he was going to try to sell this movie -- at least to one niche audience.

Did Palin ever specify which particular Lewis books she was reading, though? Or was Behar merely assuming that Palin was referring to the Narnia books (which would be understandable, given that there are big-budget movie adaptations of the Narnia books and not of, well, anything else he wrote)?


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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: In fact, however, God's will and sovereign choices reflect His perfect Wisdom.

Ah, but perfection, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

No. The perfection of Divine Wisdom is the most objective of facts, like the laws of mathematics. In fact the latter is merely a subset of the former.


“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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SDG wrote:

: No.

Yes, actually. But if it helps, I happen to think God's eye is more reliable than mine. That's how I see it, at any rate. ;)

: The perfection of Divine Wisdom is the most objective of facts, like the laws of mathematics. In fact the latter is merely a subset of the former.

I'm actually not convinced that the laws of mathematics are necessarily consistent across universes, so I don't know where that leaves your argument.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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: No.

Yes, actually. But if it helps, I happen to think God's eye is more reliable than mine. That's how I see it, at any rate. ;)

It does not help. God doesn't see. God IS.

He is, absolutely, utterly, necessarily. He is fullness of being and perfection. His infinitude excludes every privation and limitation. He does not correlate to, approximate or even perfectly equate to a standard of goodness or perfection outside Himself; He is the reality above and beyond all meaningful standards.

When He pronounced Creation "good" and "very good," when He judged that it was "not good" for the man to be alone, He measured by Himself, for there is nothing else. There is nothing about this that is what we humans ordinarily mean by the word "arbitrary," for God is not a human arbiter whose tastes and opinions have a history and influences and biases. He is what He is necessarily.

Any judgments we human beings make about goodness or badness, perfection or imperfection, ultimately depend on the reality that is God.

: The perfection of Divine Wisdom is the most objective of facts, like the laws of mathematics. In fact the latter is merely a subset of the former.

I'm actually not convinced that the laws of mathematics are necessarily consistent across universes, so I don't know where that leaves your argument.

I'm not enough of a math geek to give the definitive answer here, but it seems to me that while different mathematical fields involve principles that hold in some universes of discourse but not others, all possible mathematics depend on logical principles which underlie all possible universes.

Edited by SDG

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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SDG wrote:

: It does not help. God doesn't see. God IS.

And yet he has an "abominable advantage" by virtue of being more than God; he is man, too. :)

And yet, was he always so? Was there ever a time when he was NOT human, and did NOT have the perspective that one gets from being a human? :)

This, incidentally, is one aspect of Christology that the Narnia books are ill-equipped to deal with. Aslan might be an "avatar" of Christ in some sense within that world, but he is not God incarnate. God, yes, but incarnate, no: he is not made of the stuff of that world and dependent on it for his survival the way that Jesus was, at least prior to his Resurrection. I'd be interested to know if Lewis was ever asked about this, and if he ever said anything in reply.

: He is fullness of being and perfection.

And that sentence means nothing to me in the absence of a working definition of "perfection".

If it's just another way of saying "God is what he is", then well, yeah, obviously, he is. And if it's a way of saying "I like what he is", then, well, yeah, I don't doubt that you do. But that would take us back to my original point: perfection, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. (Though I know there are some here that would dispute the subjectivity of beauty, too.)


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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> Was there ever a time when he was NOT human, and did NOT have the perspective that one gets from being a human?

Well, we get into some pretty gnarly incarnational theology here, but if we go with classical theology, God in His nature is eternal and unchanging and is the creator of time, not its subject. Suppose we have an author writing a literary work set in a particular time, and inserts himself as a character into that work. Time, as measured in the work, means nothing to the author's own life and experience. For example, Dante wrote the Divine Comedy and put the beginning of the poem on Good Friday, 1300, but if you ask, from Dante the poet's point of view, whether that means that Dante became a character on Good Friday 1300, and before that he was not a character, you're speaking nonsense. You can’t apply the timeline of the poem to Dante the poet at all, even though we can apply it to Dante the character in the poem. Now the analogy breaks down a little in that Dante the poet is subject to a time outside of the Divine Comedy that he did not create, whereas God is the ultimate author and is subject to no time whatsoever. It also breaks down in that Dante the poet’s creative powers are far inferior to those of God: the universe that God created is much more real than the universe created by Dante for his poem, and God is much more really Jesus Christ than Dante the poet is really Dante the character.

> And that sentence means nothing to me in the absence of a working definition of "perfection".

> If it's just another way of saying "God is what he is", then well, yeah, obviously, he is.

No, it isn't just saying that. You can follow a classical line if you pick up Aquinas's Summa Contra Gentiles, starting at question 13, where he argues first for the existence of God and then for various aspects of His nature:

http://dhspriory.org...entiles1.htm#13

You can agree or disagree with Thomas's reasoning, but you must concede that Thomas is saying much more than just "God is what he is".

Edited by bowen

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: He is fullness of being and perfection.

And that sentence means nothing to me in the absence of a working definition of "perfection".

Focus on the "fullness of being" part. God is the One Who Is; He is infinite being. For all possible created beings, to be at all is to participate in a divine attribute, to resemble God -- imperfectly, of course, since we are finite. Our finitude and limits vary greatly, however; some creatures have relative perfections or fullnesses of being lacking in others, and the extent of the resemblance to divine perfection and fullness varies with the kind of being a creature has, and, within each kind, the degree of perfection the creature possesses. The higher the kind of being and the greater the degree of perfection, the greater the resemblance to the absolute and infinite being that is God Himself.

For instance, a person has a kind of perfection that an animal lacks; our resemblance to God is greater, since we are persons. An animal has a kind of perfection that a plant lacks; its resemblance to God is greater than a plant's insofar as it has a level of awareness and a greater capacity for action. A plant has a kind of perfection that a rock lacks. Even a rock, by its stability and endurance, has a kind of perfection that a particle of some unstable substance that exists for only short periods of time lacks.

Also, and perhaps more importantly, a healthy plant or animal or person has a degree of perfection that is lacking in an unhealthy plant or person or animal, and even an unhealthy plant or animal has a degree of perfection lacking in a dead one. A healthy elephant is to that extent closer to the perfection of elephanthood than a sick or dead one, which is to say, it has in greater degree the kind of perfection by which elephants approach or approximate the perfection of God.

The perfection of health maximizes and expands potential being; sickness and death impairs and limits it. A healthy elephant has open to it a greater range of possibilities than a sick elephant. The same is true of the perfection of maturity versus the imperfections of infancy and senility. Relative fullness and perfection of being more closely approximate the infinite fullness of being that is God; limitation and imperfection of being minimize resemblance to God's infinitude and perfection.

Again, a righteous person has a degree of perfection lacking in a wicked one; which is to say, he has in a greater degree the kind of perfection by which humans approach or approximate the perfection of God. Obviously kinds of perfection can be mixed, e.g., a sick saint versus a wicked athlete, but the fact remains that whatever is, to the extent that it maximizes or embodies the perfection of the kind of being given to it, more closely approximates or resembles the fullness of perfection that is in God. Created beings tend in one way or another toward a perfection by which they approximate or resemble God. God is the infinite perfection of being that underlies all possible perfections and all possible states of well-being for all possible creatures.

An antelope that prefers life to death, that struggles to escape from the lion, to that extent prefers what resembles or participates in divinity to its negation. So does any person, even an atheist, who prefers knowledge and truth to falsehood and ignorance, because knowledge and truth has a perfection, a fullness of being, whereof falsehood and ignorance is the negation or privation. These are not arbitrary or subjective preferences, they are cases in point of the preference of all possible creatures, by virtue of the mere fact of being, for being over non-being, for perfection over imperfection, for expansiveness over limitation.

If it's just another way of saying "God is what he is", then well, yeah, obviously, he is. And if it's a way of saying "I like what he is", then, well, yeah, I don't doubt that you do. But that would take us back to my original point: perfection, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. (Though I know there are some here that would dispute the subjectivity of beauty, too.)

No no no. God is infinitely and absolutely what all possible beings in all possible universes tend toward as their own good. God is not simply what I happen to like, as if there were some other viable option, or as if God Himself might have been any other way -- or might have made me some other way, to prefer not-God to God, or hatred to love, as if hatred in its negation could be the "good" of any creature rather than the positive reality of love. For God to be anything other than what He is (per impossibile) would be a diminution of His infinitude of being. Less absurdly stated, to be other than what God is is to be not-absolute, not-infinite, not-perfect.

Lewis quotes someone as representing God saying, "You must be strong with my strength and blessed with my blessedness, for I have none other to give you." That gets at a big chunk of the issue, I think, although it's not necessarily clear from that that it's not like God simply happened to have the particular sorts of strength and blessedness that He does, or like the lack of other strength and blessedness were somehow a limitation. Another relative picture of the matter can be found in the expression of the Greeks, "If water sticks in your throat, what will you use to wash it down?" I suppose physics might tell us of some liquid more fluid than water, and perhaps with a different biology we might be able to wash down water with something else. But that's because even the fluidity of water is relative; the blessedness of God is not.

And yet he has an "abominable advantage" by virtue of being more than God; he is man, too. :)

And yet, was he always so? Was there ever a time when he was NOT human, and did NOT have the perspective that one gets from being a human? :)

The Incarnation adds nothing to God. God's perfection cannot change, and does not need, benefit from, or in any way change by virtue of the Incarnation. God becomes man, "not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by assumption of the Manhood into God" (Athanasian Creed). The perfection of Godhead does not increase or change by virtue of the Incarnation; the benefit redounds solely to humanity.

And what a benefit redounds to humanity! A blessed Christmas to all!

Edited by SDG

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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C'mon, guys! Don't you think in-depth discussions of the theology of the Incarnation are best AVOIDED on Christmas???

:)

Just kidding. Carry on.


In case you were wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove."

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mrmando wrote:

: Since in the first book the Pevensies are sent away from London to Digory's country house, there is likely to be some sort of prior connection between Digory and the Pevensies' parents . . .

Some sort of connection is possible, I suppose, but likely? I wouldn't think so, given that hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people were swept up in the evacuations of that period.

Indeed. Ah, well. A small card that might strengthen my hand a wee bit: in Chapter 1 of Dawn Treader we learn that the Pevensies' father has a 16-week job lecturing in America, which suggests that he, like Digory, is an academic, and that Peter is spending the summer being coached by Digory as he prepares for an exam. But of course the former connection could be a coincidence, and the latter could have been established during the evacuation.


Let's Carl the whole thing Orff!

Do you know the deep dark secret of the avatars?

It's big. It's fat. It's Greek.

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Just go on and write the fan-fic.


There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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C'mon, guys! Don't you think in-depth discussions of the theology of the Incarnation are best AVOIDED on Christmas???

ESPECIALLY on a message board called Arts & Faith. :)


"You know...not EVERY story has to be interesting." -Gibby

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This conversation is much more interesting than the movie.

Ryan, you rock! I laughed out loud when I read this! As one who has always loved the Narnia books, and CS Lewis in general, I think that the movies are mostly a travesty, and DEFINITELY miss the stories/get them mostly wrong. LWW (the movie) is the best of the bunch (which isn't saying all that much), only because of its quasi-faithfulness to the book. This conversation is absolutely much more interesting than the movie! Thanks for making my day - good to see there's somewhat of a kindred spirit out there. Love ya, SDG, but this movie just doesn't cut it. But keep it up with the theological discussion of the Incarnation!

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I've never read the book, which may account for a lot of my general distance from this while watching it (though it shouldn't, since this IS a movie), and while I didn't find the film itself to be anything more or less than mildly diverting, it did make me really excited at the prospect of The Silver Chair (which I have read) being made with Will Poulter. He was excellent in this.

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I'm not sure what the international total was for the past weekend, but overall, it stands at $165,021,702, or 71.4% of the film's worldwide gross.


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Christian wrote:

: I'm not sure what the international total was for the past weekend, but overall, it stands at $165,021,702, or 71.4% of the film's worldwide gross.

Interesting. FWIW, the overseas figures for Prince Caspian and Lion Witch Wardrobe were $278 million and $453.3 million, respectively.

BTW, I was half-way through writing a reply to some of the posts above when I semi-accidentally rebooted my computer... so I may or may not try to reply to those posts all over again. We'll see.


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Christian wrote:

: I'm not sure what the international total was for the past weekend, but overall, it stands at $165,021,702, or 71.4% of the film's worldwide gross.

Interesting. FWIW, the overseas figures for Prince Caspian and Lion Witch Wardrobe were $278 million and $453.3 million, respectively.

So, is it likely that this film won't meet the international take of Caspian? I don't know how much "life" it has left in its international run. I'm not sure if it has major territories yet to open in, or if a film like this has better "legs" typically in international markets than it does domestically.

I did find it interesting that, according to the data I saw, the film's weekend-to-weekend dip in North America was just 12% -- a figure that would be even more remarkable if the film hadn't opened so softly. But because it did open softly, the decline seems like the smallest of "victories."


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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It has yet to open in Japan, where Caspian earned $27 million. Other films that had similar runs, such as The Golden Compass and Eragon, earned $33 million and $15 million respectively. I would wager that Dawn Treader will be more in line with The Golden Compass in that country. I'm sure it has a few smaller markets to open in as well. The film could pull in around $300 million internationally, if not a bit more when all is said and done.

Domestically, it is having a pretty strong week - doing better business than it did on either it's first or second weekends. I wouldn't be suprised if it actually stayed even with last weekend's gross for this weekend with the New Year holiday. If it does, then $100 million in the domestic market is not out of the question.

Would $400 million worldwide be enough for Fox to greenlight The Silver Chair? I don't know.

Edited by Phill Lytle

"The greatest meat of all. The meat of friendship and fatherhood."

The Blue Raft - Are you ready to ride?

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It has yet to open in Japan, where Caspian earned $27 million. Other films that had similar runs, such as The Golden Compass and Eragon, earned $33 million and $15 million respectively. I would wager that Dawn Treader will be more in line with The Golden Compass in that country. I'm sure it has a few smaller markets to open in as well. The film could pull in around $300 million internationally, if not a bit more when all is said and done.

Based on the information you are suggesting...not really...it has not broken $200 million yet... so even if it pulled in what the Golden Compass did in Japan, it would barely get past $200 million internationally. We are talking about it having to make an additional $135 million to make it past $300 million and beat Caspian. Even with Japan it is seeming like it will be woefully behind Caspian...


"You know...not EVERY story has to be interesting." -Gibby

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