As "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe" rake in millions at the global box office, the movie prepares to premiere this spring in China.
Disney's adaptation of the beloved series, written by C.S. Lewis and based on Christian allegories, was one of the few movies approved since China typically limits foreign film releases each year. The movie was accepted by the China Film Group Corporation.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the movie has grossed over $580 million in the global box office, and is increasingly inspiring talk of a new film franchise as other epics are dying down.
"It looks to be the next big franchise now that 'Lord of the Rings' is completed and 'Star Wars' is phasing down, David Kornblum, the vice president of international theatrical sales and distribution at Disney's Buena Vista international unit, said.
The film covers material from two of the seven volumes of "The Chronicles of Narnia," thus there are other materials for future screen adaptations, Kornblum said to the Reporter.
Christian moviegoers may have added to the success, since churches are supporting the movie and using it as an evangelism tool, such as they did with Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ."
The movie follows the four Pevensie siblings -- Lucy, Edmund, Susan and Peter -- in World War II England who stumble into the world of Narnia through a magical wardrobe, thrusting them into a battle between good and evil. In Narnia, the children meet and work together with Aslan the Lion, whom Christians identify with as a Jesus figure who sacrificed himself for the sins of others.
In late December, the President of Buena Vista International Inc. Mark Zoradi announced the release saying, "It is a great honor for us to have the film accepted by China Film for release in China. It truly highlights the universal appeal of the film's story and how it is connecting with audiences worldwide."
"We are looking forward to continuing our relationship with China Films, with what is sure to be another huge box office success."