As many people don’t know, John Carter is derived from source material from Edgar Rice Burroughs. Okay, so most people are still scratching their heads… ERB was the author of Tarzan, by far his most notable work. In fact, John Carter (originally “John Carter of Mars,” but Disney felt the “Of Mars” would turn off potential women viewers) was very successful…a hundred years ago when released (yes, 1912!) as a serial in a pulp magazine. The reality is, practically no one today is remotely familiar with the story, the character or, I’m sorry to say, even the author. Yet someone at Disney had the idea that this would be the tentpole film for the summer to tune of around $250,000,000. Yikes!
It doesn’t take a crystal ball to see this film is destined for disaster. If there was any doubt in my mind, is was assuaged at seeing the abominable marketing campaign launched for the film. Most people seeing the billboards has no idea what they’re looking at. They see “John Carter” and unless they look very closely and see the Disney logo, they’ll have no idea it’s even a movie. The main billboard around L.A. has two ape-like creatures (I’m sure most people think they’re apes) and a tiny man running between them…a man so tiny, most people aren’t even going to notice him. And all this on a horrible red-orange background which makes it striking and strikingly forgettable.
Definitely one of the worst marketing campaigns in movie history. $250 million? Really? I wonder how many people at Disney are going to lose their job over this debacle.
My predictions: domestic box office gross – $65 million.