Angelina and Depp face 'Narnia' at the box office

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The Independent Culture

Superstar power vs. fantasy family fare - that is the choice at US cinemas this weekend as The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader takes on the romantic thriller The Tourist, costarring Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie.

The Narnia threequel has been converted to 3D in hopes of helping the franchise of dragons and dwarves rebound after a disappointing follow-up to The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. It opens wide in 3,500 theaters across the US and around the world this month.

Despite the fact that The Tourist will only be screening on 2,600 screens, its two stars are box office gold, so the caper could outperform the beloved C.S. Lewis tale in North America.

Internationally, The Chronicles of Narnia 3D threequel may have an edge this weekend since the film is releasing in many international locations, while Tourist, shot in Venice and Paris, rolls out more slowly from December through January.

Holdovers from the last couple of weeks - the animated Tangled in 3D and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 - are likely to see another drop in ticket sales.

In addition, films that open in limited release in order to be eligible for Oscar consideration - notably The King's Speech starring Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush, The Fighter starring Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale, and Black Swan starring Natalie Portman - will gradually expand. They are receiving a strong reception.