In this round-up of film news involving the children’s book world, it was a big opening weekend for Disney’s AChristmas Carol, taking in $30 million; and Little, Brown preps for the long-awaited release of the Twilight sequel, New Moon, on November 20.
Disney’s A Christmas Carol
Disney’s new version of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol opened last Friday and was the biggest box office winner, with a take of $30 million, more than twice that of the #2 film, Michael Jackson’s This Is It. A Christmas Carol features Jim Carrey as Ebenezer Scrooge as well as Gary Oldman, Robin Wright Penn, and Colin Firth; director Robert Zemeckis wrote the screenplay, adapted from the holiday classic. The film features the same “performance capture” animation that Zemeckis utilized in The Polar Express and Beowulf; estimates put the film’s cost between $175 and $200 million.
Disney is offering several tie-in books, including a hardcover movie storybook, a novelization with color photo insert, a number of paperback storybooks, and—on the other end of the spectrum—The Art of Disney’s A Christmas Carol by Diana Landau, a $35 coffee table that shows the development of the various characters and scenes featured in the film.
Twilighters are gearing up for the November 20 film release of New Moon, based on the second book in Stephenie Meyer’s bestselling Twilight Saga. Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson reprise their roles as Bella and Edward in the film, with a heightened role for Taylor Lautneras werewolf Jacob Black. Chris Weitz (The Golden Compass) is directing the Summit Entertainment film, replacing Catherine Hardwicke, who directed 2008’s Twilight.
On the publishing side, Little, Brown printed a whopping 1.75 million copies each of its mass market and trade paperback tie-in versions of New Moon. Also available is The Twilight Saga: New Moon—The Official Illustrated Movie Companion by Mark Cotta Vaz (who wrote a similar behind-the-scenes guide to the previous film), which has been a #1 New York Times bestseller for the past four weeks. Meyer will appear on TheOprah Winfrey Show on Friday to discuss New Moon and the film is being promoted via radio contests, magazine promotions, and on the social networking site Habbo.com. Meyer is also answering questions about the film on the Twilight Saga Web site.