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film news

Box office bust: The Lorax defeats John Carter

Posted by Patrick Sauriol on Sunday, March 11, 2012

In its opening weekend Disney's $250 million dollar sci-fi/fantasy movie John Carter has been beaten by Universal's animated Lorax adventure (which is in its second week of release.) Despite playing on nearly the same number of screens as The Lorax, John Carter could only muster up $30.6 million while Dr. Seuss' The Lorax remained the number one movie in the land with a weekend total of $39.1m.

Marketing heads will likely roll for John Carter's disappointing returns, and it shouldn't have happened. Before the movie opened on Friday it had extremely low awareness in nearly all demographics, and nearly zero interest from female audience members polled that had been polled. Why had Disney been caught with its marketing britches down with John Carter? Why didn't John Lasseter ride to the rescue of his Pixar pal Andrew Stanton and demand that Disney pick up their marketing efforts months back? These are good questions and ones that will be asked at the highest rungs inside Disney and also likely asked this coming Tueday when Disney CEO Bob Iger has to speak with shareholders for the company's annual report.

The disappointment of John Carter just makes Universal's Lorax movie look all that more spectacular. Its ten day total now stands at $121 million dollars and will surely cross $200 million before the film disappears from movie theaters. Spring break will play well for The Lorax and it could become one of the highest grossing movies in Universal's repertoire.

As for the other movies in the top ten this week:

Warner Bros. saw Project X split one spot down to #3 ($11.5m new, $40.1m total.)

Silent House, a new thriller, opened in #4 with $7 million dollars.

Act of Valor drops two spots to #5 ($7m new, $56.1m total.)

Eddie Murphy's A Thousand Words made $6.3m in its opening weekend.

Safe House is #7 ($5m new, $115.8m total.)

The Vow is at #8 ($4m new, $117.6m total.)

This Means War is at #9 ($3.7m new, $46.9m total.)

And #10 is occupied by Journey 2: The Mysterious Island ($3.6m new, $90.7m total.)

WaltCD
Location:
Posts: 3
Posted: 12 years 10 weeks ago

 I don't agree that Disney didn't try to market this movie. There were big cardboard cut outs at all the movie theaters I go to, and have been there for at least a couple months. 
On TV, there have been plenty of trailers. I don't watch much TV, but what little I've watched, I've seen several trailers.
Entertainment Weekly has been talking about the movie as well. 

As a comic book fan from back in the day, I've always wondered why they just call this movie John Carter. The comic book was John Carter Warlord of Mars. The original book in the series was A Princess of Mars, and most of the others also had Mars in the title. I think this, perhaps, was the biggest marketing blunder. Putting Warlord may have scared away some, but "Mars" would certainly attract a few more sci-fi fans.

 

The biggest loss of this disappointment may be losing Andrew Stanton as a live action director. He certainly has animated cred with Finding Nemo and Wall-E, but moving to live action would have been a huge step such like his Pixar brother Brad Bird made with Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol. That movie has been an incredible success, however, unlike what seems evident with John Carter.

 

The good news, though, is Stanton can always go back to Pixar, head held high and continue to make more animated classics.

Walt D in LV

 

Quasar
Location:
Posts: 7588
Posted: 12 years 10 weeks ago

Yeah, the removal of Of Mars is an astounding mystery. I would imagine whoever came up with that brilliant marketing ploy is currently working the pavement.

Faster and faster, a nightmare we ride. Who'll take the reins when the miracle dies? Faster and faster till everything dies. Killing is our way of keeping alive. - Virgin Steele, Blood and Gasoline
Toppy
Location:
Posts: 38
Posted: 12 years 10 weeks ago

The choice of name was the first thing that came to mind for me.  I'd bet money that the fail on the name is what lost some viewers.  I've seen several trailers and I don't watch a large amount of tv either so they had exposure.  It may just boil down to the name, just like calling a dog 'Mike' or 'Sue', it just doesn't seem/feel right and leaves ou wondering.

 

ShaneCeleb Wallpapers * Glee *
Quasar
Location:
Posts: 7588
Posted: 12 years 8 weeks ago

I'm sending my resume to Disney. It says:

"If I was in the room when you announced you were dropping "of Mars" from the title of John Carter, I would've said "That's dumb."

Boom! I just saved you 200 million dollars!"

Faster and faster, a nightmare we ride. Who'll take the reins when the miracle dies? Faster and faster till everything dies. Killing is our way of keeping alive. - Virgin Steele, Blood and Gasoline