Critically-panned fantasy adventure film “John Carter” is expected to lose $200 million for makers Disney, dragging its whole movie budget into the red, the studio said Monday.
Disney said it would take the huge operating loss on the movie, made by Oscar-winning director Andrew Stanton about a Civil War veteran transplanted to Mars, in its second fiscal quarter.
“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,” Disney said in a statement.
Starring Taylor Kitsch and Willem Dafoe, the movie cost an estimated $250 million, but was met with a chorus of derision from critics when it was released earlier this month.
The respected Rotten Tomatoes website said: “While ‘John Carter’ looks terrific and delivers its share of pulpy thrills, it also suffers from uneven pacing and occasionally incomprehensible plotting and characterization.”
It was the first live action movie for Stanton, who won best animated film Oscars in “Finding Nemo” in 2004 and “Wall-E” in 2009. He also wrote for all three “Toy Story” movies as well as “Monsters, Inc.”
But Disney insisted the embarrassing loss can be turned around by upcoming projects, including “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 to drive value for the Studio and the rest of the company,” it said.