Prince Caspian, the second instalment in the Chronicles of Narnia franchise, has debuted at the top of the US box office charts.

The sequel, which sees director Andrew Adamson returning to Narnia, grossed $56 million (£28 million) from 3,929 screens in the US to push Iron Man into second spot.

Though the fantasy sequel failed to surpass the $65.5 million (£33.4 million) opening of its predecessor, Walt Disney studios are confident that the film will match the box office success of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

"This is a marathon for us, not a sprint. This is about play time," Disney president of domestic distribution Chuck Viane told Variety.

"The true advantage is that we are going to have better play time, with the Memorial Day and kids beginning to get out of school for the summer, even with Indiana Jones.

"We'll have strong weekday numbers," he added.

Iron Man slipped to second spot, taking its total gross at the US box office to more than $200 million, while What Happens in Vegas... and Speed Racer also dropped one rung on the chart ladder.

Independent drama The Visitor was the second highest new entry of the weekend, debuting in tenth position with $687,000 (£351,000).

The top ten films at the US box office are: [last week's position]

1 The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian - $56.6 million (£28.9 million) [-]
2 Iron Man - $31.2 million (£15.9 million) [1]
3 What Happens in Vegas... - $13.9 million (£7.1 million) [2]
4 Speed Racer - $7.6 million (£3.9 million) [3]
5 Baby Mama - $4.6 million (£2.4 million) [5]
6 Made of Honour - $4.5 million (£2.3 million) [4]
7 Forgetting Sarah Marshall - $2.5 million (£1.2 million) [6]
8 Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay - $1.8 million (£910,000) [7]
9 The Forbidden Kingdom - $1 million (£511,000) [8]
10 The Visitor - $687,000 (£351,000) [-]

19/05/2008 09:13:24