Disney’s John Carter Battles Budget Rumors, Low Interest

If all the reports are to be believed, John Carter might actually need to show on Mars to recoup all of its expenses. The film is dealing with a pair of stories that points to ballooning budgets and low tracking scores moving toward the film’s March 9 release.

First, director Andrew Stanton is denying a Hollywood Reporter article that contends the film’s budget swelled from $175 million to $300 million, telling the trade paper’s Heat Vision blog, “I want to go completely on record that I literally was on budget and on time the entire shoot. Disney is so completely psyched that I stayed on budget and on time that they let me have a longer reshoot.”

That leads us into the second piece of bad news, which is that early tracking figures for the film have been soft, making Disney nervous. Deadline reports that several studio executives sent emails pointing out the numbers, noting that people — women, especially — just don’t seem to know or care about John Carter.

Considering the film is based on a 100-year-old character who has only recently been kept alive in comics, this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Perhaps removing “of Mars” from the title has added to the confusion in potential audiences. However, a Disney executive said the Super Bowl ad drew interest and will be followed up by an avalanche of advertising.

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  • Anonymous

    Looking forward to this movie!

  • http://www.facebook.com/alexjholt Alex Holt

    I think I’d have left the “of Mars” bit in – it may be less appealling to women but it gave it more of a sense of identity.  As for the film itself, I don’t think the advertising has really helped – I’ve caught bits and pieces but so far my sum of knowledge of the film amounts to about “the guy who was Gambit fights (bad?) aliens on Mars for some unknown reason”.  Which really isn’t really anything to enthuse about.  It seems like the kind of film I’d probably find mildly entertaining if I caught on TV a few years down the line, but nothing I’m going to go to the cinema for – the advertising really needs to convince people otherwise.

  • Chuck

    Hollywood is hilarious sometimes.

    “Oh no! We can’t call the movie “Princess of Mars” because guys won’t go see it!”
    “Okay, well how about “John Carter of Mars?”
    “No, that won’t work. If it has Mars in the name, women won’t see it!”
    “Okay, well how about “John Carter.”
    “Excellent! It’s so blandly non-descriptive that nobody will avoid seeing it because of the name! Now we just need to avoid any mention of Princesses or Mars. In fact, we should pretty much just not tell anybody what this movie is about at all.”

    Three months later…
    “Why isn’t anybody excited about this movie?!”

  • Orphan

    The real problem here is that Disney got involved and pushed Pixar out of the picture.I thought it was supposed to be Pixars first live action.It is confusing enough that the general public is being told SF for a film that looks like a sword and sandals or sorcery storyline.Besides who wants to see Dejah wearing clothes?

  • sandwich eater

    I really think that business execs and marketing people are ruining the entertainment industry.  They suck all the fun and intriguing things out of everything.  “A Princess of Mars” is a title that perfectly captures the story, so why mess with it?

  • Anonymous

    There has been absolutely nothing offered by this movie that I find compelling enough to pay $12 in order to see it. The lead actors are of the same “bland but pretty” pool fished by the CW and Fox Networks, and the PG-13 rating guarantees a neutered translation of the story’s sexually dangerous and bloody origins. By all accounts, Disney was shocked at the tepid reaction to “Prince of Persia”, which sank any hope of a sequel even though it wound up comfortably recouping its costs after international box office and DVD sales. And now, with the imminent bombing of “John Carter” and its $200+ filming/advertising million budget, Disney may probably NEED a shock… from a defibrillator.

  • Anonymous

    The director may be correct about his production budget, but the advertising for this movie has been insane.  I feel like I see a TV spot during every single show I watch.

  • Coryjameson

    That’s a shame, since this movie looks like it will actually be good and bring new life to Science Fiction in the Movies.

    But what I hope is that the knuckle-draggers out there can be tricked into going to see PROMETHEUS. If PROMETHEUS does poorly, then there’s no hope for great science fiction movies being made anymore. The movie going audiences have simply become far too stupid to appreciate great science fiction.

  • Noni

    pixar doesn’t do live action. this was never a pixar film. it’s just made by a pixar director, using the pixar process which is just how he works. 

  • Big H

    I have to say this is the first and only thing you’ve said that I agree with.

  • Big H

    This movie will do fine. Stop making a story out of something that’s been continuely shot down.

  • Big H

    Also I don’t know why people keep harping on the “of Mars” title. They are clearly centering the franchise around the John Carter character instead of “of Mars.”

  • Anonymous

    I thought the problem was that the movie does not look good.  Big Sci Fi fan, but I have yet to see something that makes me want to see this.  Prometheus, however, two seconds into the trailer and I was sold.

  • pinki

     I do not care who is saying what.Just go and see it, than talk,
    I am looking forward  to see it especially in 3D