Disney Pulls Out Of ‘Narnia’

Maybe the movie business isn’t so recession proof.

Disney’s pulled its support of the next film in the “Chronicles of Narnia” series, produced by Philip Anschutz’s Walden Media that owns the rights to the books.

Following cool reception at the box office for the second “Narnia” film that Disney partnered, “Prince Caspian,” which reportedly grossed $419 million compared to the $745 million pulled in by the series’ first venture, Walden Media trimmed budgets for the 2009 production of “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.”

Reports of the $200 million-plus price tag for “Caspian” may have overshadowed Walden’s plans for “Dawn Treader.” However, the company appeared to be set to make the movie for considerably less – in the $100 million to $150 million range, according to Variety.

Still, a Disney spokeswoman told the trade mag “budgetary considerations and other logistics” were the cause for the studio’s departure.

Walden Media said it plans to continue on with the project and secure a new partner.

“We’re disappointed that Disney has decided not to go forward,” Walden chief executive David Weil told the Los Angeles Times. “But we regard ‘Dawn Treader’ as an extremely valuable property and remain committed to the franchise.”