There was so much talk of John Carter‘s budget before the film was released that, after not winning its opening weekend and dropping 55% in its second weekend, Disney is already doing damage control. Despite the fact that Andrew Stanton‘s film has made almost $200 million internationally since its release, Disney just released a pre-emptive strike admitting the film will likely equate to a lost of about $200 million for the company. Read the statement and more below.

Deadline was among the several places to print this statement from Disney:

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.

First of all, it’s important to note the wording of that statement makes it clear this $200 million loss is strictly from the theatrical release of the film and all the work that went into that. Any future revenue – Blu-ray, VOD, TV Rights, etc. – is not included.

That said, I think it’s still pretty off-putting that a studio would admit a film has lost $200 million when it’s still playing in thousands upon thousands of theaters. Of course we know the film is not going to be the Avatar size hit Disney likely needed it to be, but, if I were director Andrew Stanton or star Taylor Kitsch, I’d take it very personally that my work – love it or hate it – has been publicly written off by its parent company while it’s still in the market place. “Insulted” might be a better word.

What are your thoughts on Disney’s statement? Does the sense it might make strictly from a financial point of view make it okay? Wouldn’t you think they’d wait until after the film was out of theaters, especially internationally where it’s doing much better than the US, to say it’s a flop?

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