Box office flop John Carter just turned into a mayjuh pain in Disney’s pocketbook.
Walt Disney Company shares fell one percent in the hour after the company announced that it expects the mega-budget science-fiction movie to lose $200 million for the filmmaker, dragging Disney’s entire film budget into the red. The movie cost an estimated $250 million to produce, but was slammed by critics following its release earlier this month.
John Carter — starring Taylor Kitsch and Willem Dafoe — opened in North American on March 9 and took in about $30 million in its opening weekend, finishing in second place behind The Lorax. To date, John Carter has generated just $184 million in ticket sales worldwide.
“In light of the theatrical performance of John Carter ($184 million global box office), we expect the film to generate an operating loss of approximately $200 million during our second fiscal quarter ending March 31. As a result, our current expectation is that the Studio segment will have an operating loss of between $80 and $120 million for the second quarter.”
Even before the movie opened, Wall Street analysts projected John Carter would be a commercial failure at the box office as industry tracking showed little interest in the film.
John Carter was the first live action directorial effort for Oscar-winning lensman Andrew Stanton, who won Best Animated Picture Academy Award for Finding Nemo in 2004 and Wall-E five years later. He also wrote for all three Toy Story movies as well as the screenplay for Monsters, Inc.
Disney believes the losses can be turned around in the second half of the fiscal year by upcoming projects, including the hotly-anticipated The Avengers and Brave.
“As we look forward to the second half of the year, we are excited about…The Avengers and Brave which we believe have tremendous potential.”