John Carter Opens Weak At Midnight: Why Aren't You Going To See It?

By Katey Rich 2012-03-09 11:09:21discussion comments
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John Carter Opens Weak At Midnight: Why Aren't You Going To See It? image
For weeks and months and maybe even a year, even as Disney pulled out all the stops to market it, there's been a lingering sense of worry that nobody was going to go out to see John Carter. And with the weekend finally upon us, all those predictions seem to be coming true. With The Lorax coming into this weekend strong after last weekend's $70 million debut, John Carter may not even be able to snag first place at the box office, and the most optimistic predictions at Disney have the movie making $30 million this weekend-- a fraction of its $250 million-plus budget. After midnight screenings last night, the picture isn't much better domestically-- Deadline says it made $500,000 from midnight screenings, which is way less than even something like Green Lantern. The movie is doing really well so far in Russia, of all places, but here in the U.S., the lack of interest is palpable.

By now you might have read our negative review or all the others, or read the industry reports that almost gleefully predicted how badly John Carter would perform. But it's still somehow surprising to see a movie so big, so heavily marketed, so rooted in the sci-fi stories we all know and love, preparing to fall on its face so badly. 5 years ago 300 opened in the first week of March to a $70 million debut, stunning almost everyone; why isn't John Carter capable of doing the same? It's not just bad reviews that are tanking it-- plenty of disasters, including The Lorax, do just fine. There's something about John Carter that's turning people away, and after months of watching it, I still can't figure out what it is.

So I'm turning to you guys, as we go into a box office weekend that's bound to be depressing-- for the industry, for fans of the movie, or people like me who are fans of director Andrew Stanton and wanted to see him succeed. Jump into the comments and let us know why you aren't seeing John Carter, and if you are, why you think other people aren't. Is this movie just cursed? Is there something we're all overlooking? Let's work this out and, when Monday rolls around with inevitably low numbers for a giant-budget movie, we might at least have an answer.
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