It’s official, according to Box Office Mojo. Not including Sunday’s revenues, “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax” has only taken in $172 million after 3 weeks, whereas “John Carter” has taken in $179 million after only 2 weeks. Naturally, the US news media continues to heavily favor “The Lorax” in reporting box office success.
We can nitpick the metrics all day long but I’ll grant you that “The Lorax” has proven itself a profitable movie because it has already recouped its production costs.
“John Carter” may make back its $250 million production costs through continued box office sales but it’s looking more likely it will have to rely on Blu-Ray and DvD sales, TV licensing, and very limited merchandising sales (such as the soundtrack CD). Realistically, when you make a $250 million movie you probably need to think about the marketing well in advance of release. I’ve been saying that for two years.
Meanwhile, John Carter fans continue to assemble on Facebook in an effort to drum up support for a sequel. Disney has not yet announced anything (and if they decide NOT to do a sequel they may say nothing, if only to keep fans hanging and entice more ticket sales).
“John Carter” is a great movie but unfortunately the US news media flexed its social media strength to persuade American viewers to stay away. Even though several million American fans did go see the movie and overwhelmingly favored it in their online reviews and social media posts, The Hollywood Reporter and other online news organizations pulled out all their guns to pummel the movie’s reputation. They withheld vital overseas box office information, repeated the same old data several times each day, and consistently declared “John Carter” to be a disaster even though it has outperformed every other movie at the box office in 2012.
US audiences have the rest of this week (until Thursday night) to see “John Carter” at their local theaters. It’s possible the 3-D experience (totally unnecessary in this writer’s opinion) is putting off some people in addition to the negative media stance. However, you can also see “John Carter” in regular 2-D at many theaters.
It’s a real shame that Andrew Stanton and Disney decided to do the movie in 3-D. It probably would have been more appealing in a 2-D showing.