Well that sure didn’t take long. Despite being in theatres for less than two weeks, Disney has already owned up to the fact that John Carter is proving to be a giant failure for them. While most studios usually try to spin the numbers to their benefit. the Mouse House has already admitted defeat. They have come right out and said that they expect to lose $200 million on the movie and that it will give them a significant loss for their second fiscal quarter. I guess when the movie makes $13.5 million in its second weekend and there is a guaranteed box office giant like The Hunger Games looming ahead, it’s pretty clear that there is no real hope of recovery. Here is the official statement that they released this week:
“In light of the theatrical performance of John Carter ($184 million global box office), we expect the film to generate an operating loss of approximately $200 million during our second fiscal quarter ending March 31. As a result, our current expectation is that the Studio segment will have an operating loss of between $80 and $120 million for the second quarter. As we look forward to the second half of the year, we are excited about the upcoming releases of The Avengers and Brave, which we believe have tremendous potential to drive value for the Studio and the rest of the company.”
So why did John Carter fail? Does it all come down to a poor marketing campaign or did unfavourable reviews figure into it as well? Was it the lack of a bankable star like Johnny Depp? It does seem like a fair number of people who actually saw the movie liked it (John Carter had a CinemaScore of B+). Perhaps it is just that audiences are not ready to accept a sci-fi or fantasy film unless it comes from a well-known property, and at this point Edgar Rice Burroughs is far from a household name. Are you surprised that John Carter wasn’t a success? What is your explanation for all this?