Update: March 11, 2012
JOHN CARTER Earns Weak $30M Domestically, $101M Globally
Andrew Stanton's 3D sci-fi epic John Carter hit $30.6 million in its North American debut thanks to an uptick on Saturday, while the film opened internationally to $70.6 million for a total $101.2 million, according to THR
. Disney is under no illusions that it's out of the woods financially despite a slightly bettter-than-hoped for global performance. John Carter cost $250 million to produce plus a marketing spend that puts the total pricetag well north of $300 million and probably closer to $350 million.
At those levels, John Carter needs to earn as much as $600 million worldwide, an impossible benchmark to reach based on opening numbers. Box office observers are now comparing John Carter's potential to Disney's Prince of Persia, which earned $90.8 million domestically and $244 million internationally in 2010 (opinion is divided as to whether John Carter will do more than $200 million offshore).
The good news for Disney was that John Carter received a B+ CinemaScore and was up 25 percent on Saturday, reflecting positive buzz. The film played best to older fanboys, but needed an equally strong showing from younger males. On Saturday, families turned out as well, making up 20 percent of the audience.
In North America, John Carter was trounced by Universal and Illumination's Dr. Seuss' The Lorax, which earned a stellar $39.1 million in its second outing for a domestic cume of $122 million. Internationally, John Carter opened particularly strong in Russia, grossing roughly $17 million, and did good business in Asia as well. It's European performance was mixed.
Update: March 26, 2012
Critics' Review for JOHN CARTER
Rotten Tomatoes: 51% Approval Rating (111 out of 216 critics liked it)
Consensus: While John Carter looks terrific and delivers its share of pulpy thrills, it also suffers from uneven pacing and occasionally incomprehensible plotting and characterization.
Kitsch looks marvelous, but that's the problem: He looks a little too marvelous. He's all sexed up with little to do. He comes off more like the Abercrombie & Fitch model he once was. It's as if he were out to save an entire planet by lapsing into Derek Zoolander's poses. Nothing in John Carter really works, since everything in the movie has been done so many times before, and so much better.
Does "John Carter" get the job done for the weekend action audience? Yes, I suppose it does. The massive city on legs that stomps across the landscape is well-done. The Tharks are ingenious, although I'm not sure why they need tusks. Lynn Collins makes a terrific heroine. And I enjoyed the story outside the story, about how Burroughs wrote a journal about what he saw and appears briefly as character.
Los Angeles Times
That "John Carter" is so hit and miss, and miss, and miss is unfortunate on any number of levels. It starts with a great story — of love and politics, time travel and mystical pathways between planets — badly sucked dry. Filmmaker Andrew Stanton can't find a way to make Burroughs' now-familiar fantasy themes feel fresh.
John Carter is fast-paced - almost too fast-paced. There's a surfeit of story for its 132-minute running time and, in order to cram in everything, the backstory is related with an unseemly rapidity and the politics of Mars become a muddle. It doesn't take long to figure out who the good guys are, but it's not always clear why they are the good guys. Suffers from a convoluted plot and an anticlimactic resolution, but hits enough high notes along the way to be enjoyable.
Update: February 22, 2012
Fantastic Fan-Made JOHN CARTER Trailer Sells the Movie Better
We’re merely a couple weeks away from the release of Disney’s John Carter and a good deal of the general public still has no idea what this movie is about. The previous trailers and TV spots have tried in vain to sell the film as a big action-adventure pic, but none of that matters if your audience doesn’t understand why there are a bunch of CG people monsters hanging out in the desert.
A fan-made trailer for the film has recently hit the web and it’s leagues better than what the Disney marketing machine has come up with. It clearly sets up the story and rightly sells the Edgar Rice Burroughs adaptation as the precursor to basically the entire sci-fi genre. From Star Wars to Avatar, Burroughs’ source material served as the inspiration for some of the world’s most beloved sci-fi stories, and finally the tale that started it all is getting a film adaptation of its own. That’s how the movie should have been sold. It’s a lot better than any of the other official trailers, both from the perspective of laying out the story, and for showing the scope of the film
[Update: Only 3 days left until audience will finally see the story that changed modern science fiction. It's no secret that Disney missed a big opportunity with promoting John Carter. Last month was a 100th anniversary of A Princess of Mars (written in 1912 as Under the Moons of Mars), and they should have mention that in trailers and TV spots, or at least mention Edgar Rice Burroughs, the creator of John Carter. But no, we never got any of that. The same site who posted the amazing fan trailer, made another one titled "Heritage" which shows the legacy of Burroughs' century-old story.]