While I can understand why Disney would bounce out of the Narnia franchise just on the basis that the films aren't all that great, it is impossible to ignore that they still do well at the box office. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian opened to the top spot and was able to earn over $400 million worldwide. So why leave behind something that makes positive revenues?
The Chronicles of Narnia Without Disney
While Disney didn't give much of a reason for failing to option the next Narnia installment, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the franchise's revenue graph could be one explanation. Though Prince Caspian did well with close to $420 million worldwide at the box office, the film also cost $200 million to make. So, $220 million in profit, right?
Well, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe cost $180 million to make and earned a whopping $750 million worldwide; over double the profit of the sequel. With ticket sales declining on the franchise, and the cost to produce the sequels going up, maybe Disney decided that, with the given state of the economy, maybe now wasn't the time for another Narnia sequel.
The only catch is that Walden needs to keep cranking these sequels out if they want to stick to their original cast. What's the banner to do? Without Disney, Walden Media is expected to turn to 20th Century Fox to pick up half the responsibilities for Dawn Treader. Both production companies already have a strong relationship through Fox Walden.
The only catch is that Fox has been struggling with franchises of late as well. Can they bounce back before Narnia?