Disney’s losses on space epic are over the moon
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