Dis­ney’s losses on space epic are over the moon

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - News -

Box-of­fice an­a­lysts have been slightly taken aback by Walt Dis­ney’s decision to go public with the news that John Carter, the flac­cid space epic, is set to lose some­where in the re­gion of $200 mil­lion.

The state­ment read: “In light of the the­atri­cal per­for­mance of John Carter, we ex­pect the film to gen­er­ate an op­er­at­ing loss of ap­prox­i­mately $200m dur­ing our sec­ond fis­cal quar­ter end­ing 31 March. As a re­sult, our cur­rent ex­pec­ta­tion is that the stu­dio seg­ment will have an op­er­at­ing loss of be­tween $80 and $120m for the sec­ond quar­ter.”

The movie has cer­tainly fared very poorly in the US. At time of writ­ing, John Carter, which cost at least $250 mil­lion, had taken around $54 mil­lion in its home ter­ri­to­ries. But it has ac­tu­ally done rea­son­ably well abroad. It broke the record for an open­ing week­end in Rus­sia and, tak­ing $10 mil­lion, and reg­is­tered Dis­ney’s sec­ond-high­est de­but in China.

What’s it all mean? If the movie re­ally were to lose $200 mil­lion then, by some reck­on­ing, it would qual­ify as the big­gest flop of all time. This par­tic­u­lar corner of ac­count­ing is as baf­flingly ar­cane as the in­tri­ca­cies of Bosonic string the­ory. How­ever, many an­a­lysts rate the cur­rent record holder as Renny Har­lin’s Cut­throat Is­land (1995), which lost “just” $147 mil­lion.

Any­way, our ex­pec­ta­tions have been man­aged in a down­ward di­rec­tion. But $200 mil­lion still sounds a lit­tle pes­simistic.

Ishtar- size prof­its on an Avatar- size bud­get: Tay­lor Kitsch in John Carter

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