In spite of Brad Bird’s success with Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, it appears that not every animation director can seamlessly cross over to the live-action world. Despite having worked on such mega-hit Pixar films as Toy Story 3, WALL-E, and Finding Nemo, Andrew Stanton’s talents couldn’t bring John Carter success at the box office. Just how bad did the film flop? According to the New York Times, John Carter is losing Disney approximately $200 million.
Given that the movie cost $350 million to produce and market, John Carter officially ranks amongst the biggest Hollywood flops of all time. The loss packs such a punch that it will drive Disney’s operating loss down to between $80 million and $120 million for their second quarter. That’s compared to a $77 million operating gain during last year’s second quarter. Those numbers are even worse, believe it or not, than what analysts expected; John Carter was predicted to lose between $100 million and $165 million. Don’t be surprised to see heads rolling at Disney in response.
The news is sad, but not terribly surprising given the horrible marketing for the film and the general lack of public interest leading up to John Carter‘s release. While several of us here at GFR enjoyed the flick, there are plenty of reasons why it was doomed to fail from the get-go. Hopefully it will find a bigger audience when it eventually hits DVD. It may not be a perfect movie, but it’s a solid and entertaining version of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ legendary character, and it deserves better than to be nothing more than a cautionary tale.