John Carter flop to cost Walt Disney $200m

Walt Disney has said it expects to lose $200m (£126m) on its movie John Carter, making it one of the biggest flops in cinema history.

The film, about a military captain transported to Mars, could result in an $80-120m loss for Disney’s movie business during the current quarter.

Disney shares were down almost 1% in early trading in New York.

The firm is still likely to make a substantial quarterly profit, though, thanks to its TV businesses.

I saw the ads on DISNEY CHANNEL (why they would advertise a stupid pg-13 movie on a channel where most programs are aimed at tween girls and prescholoers is beyond me) and it looks HORRIBLE!

I was a huge fan of the Burroughs series, but I’ll probably be waiting for video.

I’d never heard of JCoM until my husband introduced me to the series while we were dating. He loved the books with he was growing up, and when he found out they were making a movie he was ecstatic. He’s seriously bummed it was an uber flop.


I went and saw it at the cinema during my school’s spring break because I was starved for some cinematic entertainment and there wasn’t really any other big bill picture. It was pretty much mediocre. I would give it a 6/10. It started off quite slow and while it had a brilliant twist and some great action scenes at the end they didn’t really make up for the monotony of the middle of the movie. I recommend waiting until it comes to the Redbox if you want to see it.

Hmm, I saw it and thought it was pretty good actually.

I tried, I really tried to sit through it, but I had to leave about twenty minutes in. I thought it was that unwatchable. Felt like a retread of the equally atrocious “Cowboys vs. Aliens,” and the plot was WAY too confusing, including the (apparent) flashback of the movie being told as a story being read by the real Edgard Rice Burrough’s nephew. Why was that part of it even necessary?

Cowboys vs. Aliens was way cool! We loved it!

Does this mean a return to classic animated films? (wishful thinking)

It was a conceit of the original book that John Carter was known as uncle Jack to Edgar Rice Burroughs and gave him a manuscript not to be opened for 21 years. The movie is making a reference to that. This was a disastrously poor adaption, I first read the Barsoom books around age 12 when my late mother was given some by an eldery patient in the hospice she nursed in. I then picked up the rest second hand here and there. They are mainly pulp fiction but they have moments of oddly melanchonic grandeur or seriousness and this adaption does not catch that mood at all. Marvel’s 1970’s comic book series that lasted a couple of years does a far better job of that as does the current Dynamite comics set on Barsoom. The latter though were launched to an extent of the back of the movie and will probably fade away soon enough. John Carter has never been as well known as Tarzan, although I prefer him myself.

“A Princess of Mars” and all the John Carter books were big favorites of mine as a kid - one of my earliest memories is reading the Dell Comics adaptation in 1964.

I saw the movie and also thought it was pretty good. The Tharks were well done, the SFX of Carter’s enhanced jumping and strength were good, the actors were pretty good (including the two who played Julius Caesar and Marc Anthony in HBO’s ROME), I thought it was money well spent and my kids really liked it.

Part of the problem is that filmmakers have been mining the original books for years - Star Wars, Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, even Superman (whose ability to fly was originally an ability to jump long distances due to growing up on a higher-gravity planet - Siegel and Schuster probably borrowed that from John Carter, along with elements from Olaf Stapledon and Doc Savage), and arguably even non-SF works like Dances With Wolves - so what was original and fresh has now been seen a hundred times over.

I still liked it. It was done with affection for the original story.

Weird trivia: I used to drive past Edgar Rice Burroughs’ grave all the time when I was living in Los Angeles. He is buried under a walnut tree outside the business office for his estate in Tarzana (a suburb which is named after Burroughs’ most famous creation) visible right off Ventura Boulevard up in the San Fernando Valley.

I agree the marketing for this film was terrible. We saw trailers for it when we went to see Beauty and the Beast. I thought, “This is a children’s film?”:confused:

I guess Disney could release one of the classic cartoons to be seen in theaters again. That might make up for the lost revenue.

I wouldn’t mind taking the Children to Snow White, or Cinderella.

I’d have to agree with the marketing. I saw the same commercials and thought the movie looked “boring” (in a generic action flick way). So I didn’t give it a second thought. After I saw the movie was about a Civil War solider on Mars, I became interested and Googled the original books (I didn’t even know there were original books/comics). Now it sounds like something I would like and I might go see it.

Read the books, all I can say is…read the books. I was looking forward to this highly been a big fan of the original books but it was a huger let down. The recent newer comics are decent but there’s a lot of near nudity, which in fairness is true to the books. Marvel, DC and several others have all turns at having books featuring the character. Marvel has the longest running title thus far as their attempt in the late 70’s went on for 28 issues as I recall. Dynamite comics has beaten that for number of comics set in the same universe but not for lenght of issues for a single title. The character is from a different age, even before the pulp magazine age of Doc Savage and the Shadow etc.He’s very much a swashbuckling southern gentleman who has a strong code of personal ethics transplanted into an early science fantasy setting.

He also makes a cameo appearance, along with Gullivar Jones (a similar character whom Burroughs may have borrowed from, and who had his own series in Marvel in the 1970s when Marvel couldn’t acquire the rights to John Carter and so they basically did John Carter using the Gullivar Jones title) in the second series of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series (the one using the War of the Worlds).

The DC John Carter series that was a back-up to the Joe Kubert Tarzan series in the early 1970s was also very good. I think Murphy Anderson was the original artist. I have a very fond and vivid memory of sitting on my bed on a Saturday morning, reading that first issue, eating a slice of Sara Lee poundcake, and sipping a bottle of Barq’s Creme Soda. Good times.

Yes I saw Moores cameo of him in LOEG, he also works C.S Lewis’ vision of Malacandra into that as well and has Carter, Gullivar and the Sorns from Lewis’ work fighting the Martians of Well’s ‘War of the World’. Dejah Thoris is dead by this time we learn via an offhand comment from Carter. Mind you, it wouldn’t be the first time John thought that…

I could just see Moore pulling Carter back out in some form at some point. I particularly liked Moore’s use of Nemo myself as I am quite a fan of Nemo. Especially as I was well aware long before LOEG of him been an Indian and it was great to see a version of Nemo close to the textual original in the comic book genre.

I thought this movie we are discussing here showed the bad side of CGI, where it is used to fill up space in an empty manner. My wife commented watching it that it felt like a second rate console game at places and I’d have to agree.

Oh yeah, I vaguely remember that (the comic book). Do you know who the writers and illustrators were?

Marv Wolfman wrote a lot of the issues, various artists worked on the title.

I saw the adverts on TV and it just looked… boring. Really boring. My boyfriend wanted to take me to see it but I would honestly rather spend the time doing something enjoyable like cleaning public toilets or catching rats with my bare hands.

It was one of those film adverts where the characters are shouting a lot, theres really loud music, one or two snatchs of diaglogue and then GO SEE JOHN CARTER all packed in about 20 seconds. I’m just left sitting there feeling senile saying “what? what was that? what just happened?”

They could have done so much more with it than they did, so much more. The visuals looked fabulous at points, pity the rest of the movie was a disgrace.

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