Catholic League president Bill Donohue commented today on the box office results for “The Golden Compass”:

“Our goal was to stop ‘The Golden Compass’ from meeting box office expectations, and we succeeded. The anti-Narnia flick pulled in $26.1 million in the U.S. and Canada. Now compare that to ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’: it took in $65.5 million its first weekend out. Indeed, the recent Disney movie, ‘Enchanted,’ took in $33.3 million during its first weekend. And when we consider that ‘Golden Compass’ cost $180 million to produce, and another $30-$40 million in advertising, the inescapable conclusion is that our boycott worked. No wonder the New York Times said today that instead of the movie giving Hollywood a much needed shot in the arm, ‘It got more like a punch in the face.’

“All we heard from the chattering class over the past few weeks was that our boycott would have the reverse effect of enticing more people to see the film. Yet as USA Today reports, ‘Rolf Mittweg of New Line Cinema, which released Compass, concedes that the religion controversy might have had an effect.’ It sure did.

“The disappointing numbers make it far less likely that New Line Cinema will want to produce the film version of The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass, the second and third volumes of Philip Pullman’s trilogy, His Dark Materials. That’s good news for Christians, in general, and for Catholics, in particular.

“Let this be a lesson to militant atheists like Pullman: keep your hollow beliefs to yourself. And ease up on demonizing Catholicism—no other religion has done more to promote human rights, science and goodwill. Why not make a movie about that?”

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