LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 22:  Taylor Kitsch arrives at the world premiere of Disney's "John Carter" held at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live on February 22, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)
Movies - TV
Why John Carter Bombed At The Box Office, And What We Can Learn From It
While Disney has been great at handling franchises in the modern era, their attempt with “John Carter” is one of Hollywood’s biggest flops that cost the company hundreds of millions of dollars. The reason for the movie’s failure may appear simple, but some more subtle elements worth examining could help further explain its underperformance.
Director Andrew Stanton envisioned a massive live-action sci-fi franchise based on Edgar Rice Burroughs' "John Carter of Mars" novel series, but considering that the novels are nearly a century old, there wasn't much audience interest. Hollywood's obsession with franchises hoped that a work of fiction based on something would attract customers.
One thing that separates box office hits from flops is the return on investment from producing the film and marketing. The movie cost Disney $263.7 million, so they would need to make about $700 million or more to break even — “John Carter” had a disastrous $30 million opening weekend in the United States and only made $282.7 million worldwide.
With a 60% audience score and a 52% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes, "John Carter" failed to impact viewers. Considering that Marvel movies normally have a budget of $200 million, the lesson to be learned from "John Carter" is that overpaying is unnecessary and irresponsible when the film might not be a guaranteed hit.