Disney said “John Carter’’ has brought in about $184 million in ticket sales worldwide so far. But ticket sales are split roughly in half with theater owners. The movie’s production budget is estimated to be about $250 million with about $100 million more spent on marketing.
The movie was based on a series of books written by the late Edgar Rice Burroughs, starting with “A Princess of Mars’’ in 1912 and ending with “John Carter of Mars,’’ published posthumously in 1964.
There was plenty of material for sequels and prequels but they seem highly unlikely now.
With a 51 percent “Tomatometer’’ rating on movie site Rotten Tomatoes, the film got average reviews, though AP Movie Critic Christy Lemire called it “massively confusing’’ and “deadly dull.’’
The poor reception was a shock given Stanton’s directing success with movies like “Finding Nemo’’ and “Wall-E,’’ each of which won an Oscar for best animated feature.
Disney said the loss on “John Carter’’ will cause its studio to lose $80 million to $120 million for the quarter. Profits from other movies and home video disc sales will be more than wiped out.
Miller Tabak analyst David Joyce said the studio’s projected loss is more than double what he had expected, and that will cause him to trim his estimate for Disney’s earnings. The hefty spending on production and marketing is causing the Burbank, Calif., company to book the loss sooner than might be the case for a smaller-budget film.
“It’s good that Disney’s airing their dirty laundry now,’’ he said.
The flop ranks with history’s biggest box office disasters, although it’s tough to rank them precisely because of inflation and incomplete disclosure.
Disney’s eerily real computer animated movie “Mars Needs Moms’’ from last year cost about $150 million to make but only sold $40 million in tickets worldwide, according to Hollywood.com analyst Paul Dergarabedian.
Warner Bros.’ “Speed Racer’’ from 2008 cost about $120 million, but took in only about $94 million in theaters. Columbia Pictures’ “Ishtar’’ in 1987 cost about $40 million but sold only $14 million in tickets domestically, he said.Disney said “John Carter, Mars Needs Moms, john carter, edgar rice burroughs, AP Movie Critic Christy Lemire, production budget <BR/>
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