While it might be a little too early to begin talking about a follow-up to Eragon, Fox 2000 originally dove into this fantasy novel with the intentions of turning it into a franchise -- one that would hopefully garner the attention from the teens who love Lord of the Rings and the pre-teens who love Harry Potter. Unfortunately, Eragon ran into Will Smith and his kid on the way to the office, and fell short of taking the weekend's top spot at the box office; it finished with $23 million. However, Eragon did manage to kick Casino Royale to the curb and take number one overseas with an estimated $30 million.
Yet, those numbers were nothing compared to The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring ($47 million domestically in its opening weekend) and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone ($90 million domestically in its opening weekend). Seeing as its $23 million will probably be Eragon's largest take in one weekend (especially with films like Dreamgirls, Rocky Balboa and Night at the Museum heading our way), will its final numbers (let's say $54 million domestically) be enough to warrant a sequel? Keep in mind, Eragon's budget was somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 million. So, what does Fox 2000 do with Eldest, Christopher Paolini's follow-up to Eragon and the second book in his Inheritance trilogy?
Based on some reviews, folks aren't too keen on Eldest (which is essentially The Empire Strikes Back of Paolini's trilogy). Add that to the critical lashing Eragon has received over at Rotten Tomatoes (13%???) and Fox 2000 will have a very difficult decision to make, one that could ultimately tarnish Elizabeth Gabler's (President of Fox 2000) fantastic record (Unfaithful, Walk the Line and The Devil Wears Prada to name a few). With every passion project that succeeds, there's one that fails -- where does Eragon fit in?
So, I ask you: Should Fox 2000 cash in its chips and forget about Eldest? For those that have seen Eragon and read Eldest, would you be interested in seeing the follow-up make it to the big screen? Or not so much?