I read over at CNN Money:
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — It’s official. The Disney movie “John Carter” is a flop of legendary proportions. “John Carter,” based on a Martian adventure novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs, is expected to lose $200 million in Disney’s fiscal second quarter, which ends March 31.
Later in the story we read:
Box Office Mojo estimates the movie, which is heavy on special effects, cost $250 million to make.
We also read:
The swords-and-loin-cloths epic, a blend of sci-fi and fantasy, has raked in $184 million at box offices globally since its March 9 debut, according to Disney.
So, $250 million minus $184 million equals “more than $200 million”? Ooookay…. Sounds like Hollywood Accounting to me, but what do I know?
What I can tell you is that failing to earn more in three weeks than most films earn worldwide in their lives isn’t “a flop of legendary proportions.” For that matter, earning $184 million in less than two weeks isn’t half bad. That’s better than Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone did in its first two weeks, and no one’s calling Harry Potter “a flop of legendary proportions.” More so, given that John Carter doesn’t star anyone with a matinee marquee name, and came out on a non-holiday weekend in early March.
As it happens, Doyle and I saw John Carter this last Sunday night, down in Claremont, New Hampshire. I’ve seen some flops of legendary proportions—I saw Boat Trip with Cuba Gooding, Jr—and this wasn’t one. It was a charming little SF/fantasy movie.
We saw it in 2-D, which was just fine with us. (I think that 3-D is gimmicky.) I overlook the manifest stupidities (few people would know or care that our hero could hardly have been “decorated six times” in his role as a Confederate calvalryman—the Confederacy didn’t decorate its soldiers at all, and I’m baffled to this day as to why a US Cavalry officer, some years after the war, would bother trying to impress him into the army). The film was pretty, the characters were fun, and everyone involved seemed to be having a good time.
Watching it, I said to myself, “That looks an awful lot like Frazetta.” Later, I was unsurprised to learn that the original conceptual art was, indeed, done by Frank Frazetta. I’m the sort of guy who stays to the end and reads the credits: The best credit was for Spray Tans in the UK (by St. Tropez Tans).