You knew it was coming. After not hearing anything about this upcoming Disney feature film, to a sudden onslaught of promotion in the past few weeks, it’s time to talk about ‘John Carter.’ This film is the story of John Carter, a confederate captain that comes is transported to Mars to resolve the conflicts of various nearby nations. The movie is loosely based on the Barsoom tales, which marks its 100th anniversary of existing this year.
Who does this movie appeal to? A large group of people depending on how you view it. While many may argue it appeals to an older age group because of the old tale, others say Taylor Kitsch was hired to appeal to the female demographic. Toys weren’t produced for children but ads have been airing on child-friendly programming for some time. With a large amount of people being targeted, why is it that the film doesn’t look destined to smash this weekend at the Box Office?
According to industry experts, there are a multitude of reasons. Originally titled ‘John Carter of Mars,’ the film has received a lot of criticism for its title change because it’s believed to have taken away from the story. People may not recognize who the story is about they claim. Another reason claimed is that the promotion didn’t kick into high gear until recently. Commentators on recent articles by The Hollywood Reporter weren’t even aware it was coming out. Or perhaps, it was the casting of the the film’s lead actor. Taylor Kitsch was on a critically acclaimed show, ‘Friday Night Lights’ that was virtually unseen.
Whatever the reason, ‘John Carter’ is looking to become one of Walt Disney Pictures’ biggest misses of all time. Production of the film was estimated to cost between $250 million – $270 million, while worldwide promotion has become extensive. At last night’s midnight showing, revenue for the film began with a mere $500,000. In comparison, ‘Project X’ opened at midnight screens with over $1 million last week.
Whatever the reason, it’s important to remember that some of the best films have bombed stateside. ‘John Carter’ started off in Russia with the largest opening day ever for a film, raking in $6.5 million. Reviews have been mixed, with a cumulative total of 51% on Rotten Tomatoes. Whatever the outcome, the industry is eagerly anticipating the weekend’s results and Disney awaits with bated breath. ‘John Carter’ is open in theaters now.