Monday, March 26, 2012

John Carter - What Happened?

John Carter is a great adventure movie but it looks like it will be a financial flop for Disney. What happened?

The movie got mixed reviews with many critics complaining about the slow opening. The part that they complain about is also the biggest change from the source material. When adapting the novel, it was decided to flesh his character out more. He was given a wife who was killed during the Civil War making him hostile and apathetic about anyone else. This hurt the movie. In the novel, when presented with a new world to conquer and a princess to win, Carter embraced his opportunities. In the movie, Carter spent the first half trying to return to a miserable existence on Earth. Imagine how poorly Star Wars would have done if Luke kept worrying about getting back to the moisture farm.

The movie was marketed poorly. Disney spent $100 million on marketing alone but never mentioned certain key words like "Edgar Rice Burroughs", "Princess of Mars", or "from the creator of Tarzan". The ads gave no sense of what the movie was about and were nearly indistinguishable from the upcoming sequel to Clash of the Titans.

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