Well, you can consider this one the first huge flop of the year, and what will likely be regarded as one of the big disasters of 2012. Disney have officially announced that they are taking a $200 million bath on the big budget film. Here’s what they had to say in their official statement (via Deadline):
“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.”
While there was some enthusiastic talk about a sequel “John Carter: The Gods Of Mars” in the lead up to the release of the movie, you can pretty much kiss that goodbye. And while word on the final budget, whether or not the media was unfair towards the movie and who exactly needs to be blamed for this fiasco will still be discussed in the coming days and weeks, the simple fact of the matter is: the movie just wasn’t very good. And if you are one of the few who is a defender of the flick, it’s hard to argue that the marketing (largely believed to have been spearheaded and managed by director Andrew Stanton) absolutely missed completely with a muddled message that didn’t give anybody a reason to care about who John Carter is.
The announcement is also a sign that Disney is pretty much done with this flick and will let it die off in the theaters where it is already dropping like a stone. And yeah, “The Avengers” and “Brave” will be easier, no brainer layups for the studio though it should be noted: the former is a Marvel movie and the mouse house is already in the hole $115 million, the amount they paid Paramount for the distribution rights and “Brave” is flying under the Pixar shingle. The only other Disney produced movie this year? “The Odd Life Of Timothy Green.”
So after years and years and years of development, “John Carter” — once poised as a great sci-fi franchise — has now died quietly and it will likely be the last we hear that character in a cinematic context for a loooong time.