The Independent article is a little annoying, since it insists on blaming (crediting?) the Christian protests against The Golden Compass for the film's commercial failure in the US. That seems a little facile, though even Pullman seems to believe it. The source material didn't turn out to be much of a brand name, the marketing was a bit generic, and I think the movie just never caught on as a must-see holiday blockbuster. I'm not sure the protests had that much pull.
No regrets here, since I think the first film was a bit generic, not doing justice to the book. Though I guess now I really wish Weitz hadn't decided to move the first book's ending to the then-envisioned sequel. Oh well.