Apparently, atheistic fantasy for children isn't a big seller.
Steve Mason, an LA-based talk-show host reporting box-office receipts, says Golden Compass looks to get about $28 million for its opening weekend.
He offers these comparisons:
Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire - $102.6M opening
Harry Potter & the Prioner of Azkaban - $93.6M opening
Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone - $90.2M opening
Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets - $88.3M opening
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King - $72.6M opening
The Chronicles of Narnia - $65.5M opening
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers - $62M opening
The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring - $47.2M opening
The Golden Compass - $27M opening (estimate)
Eragon - $23.2M opening
Bridge to Terabithia - $22.5M opening
Stardust - $9.1M opening
Lesson? Don't mess with the Magisterium!