Image from The Golden Compass filmThe controversial fantasy film The Golden Compass opens today in theaters across the United States.

With a production budget reported to be in the $150 million range, the film will have to sell a boatload of tickets in the United States and abroad if the investors are to get any return on their money—and the controversy over the film’s origins in the first novel of an openly atheistic trilogy of books does not help things from their perspective.

Auithor Philip Pullman intended the "His Dark Materials" trilogy as an atheist’s alternative to C. S. Lewis’s Narnia books, which Pullman finds utterly repulsive for the author’s intent to provide an engaging introduction to Christian concepts.

Christian groups have been out and about warning against The Golden Compass, as we noted last week.

We’ll take a look at the movie itself soon, but in the meantime those interested in the ideas behind it and the controversy around it can find our story on the subject here.