John Carter Disappoints At Box Office; Was It “Doomed” From The Start?
John Carter, the sci-fi epic from Disney based on the classic novel, debuted in second place at the domestic box office this weekend, pulling in $30 million behind The Lorax‘s second weekend haul of $40 million. This might not have been a problem for John Carter- if the movie hadn’t cost $250 million to make.
The buzz around the film has been bad for some time, but the writers at Culture Vulture think that the problem started with the film’s very first trailer, which was light on action and anything else that might have appealed to most audiences. Blame is apparently landing on director Andrew Stanton, whose massive success writing and directing Pixar’s WALL-E enabled him to demand control over marketing on this project.
Unfortunately, this teaser trailer made all the wrong connections: There was no mention of Stanton’s Pixar pedigree. No effort was made to mention that the story came from the mind behind Tarzan [author Edgar Rice Burroughs]… And, most strangely for an action movie, the John Carter teaser was largely devoid of action. There were only few glimpses of its costly special effects, mostly dwelling on the budding romance between Carter and someone who seemed to be … Princess Leia’s imperiled second cousin? And it was all set to Peter Gabriel’s morose cover of Arcade Fire’s “My Body is a Cage.”
The marketing campaign featured many harsh adjustments and new trailers after this, but to no avail.
(Am I the only one who liked this trailer better than all the one’s that came after it? The less I hear of Taylor Kitsch‘s bad Clint Eastwood impersonation and the spaghetti western dialogue, the better.)
Have you seen John Carter? What did you think?