By Phil Contrino
John Carter doesn't hit theaters until March 9, but many people are already labeling it a financial disaster.
With a reported budget of $250 million, Disney's sci-fi flick needs to make a ton of cash to become profitable. That'll be difficult considering that star Taylor Kitsch isn't a reliable draw yet and director Andrew Stanton doesn't carry the same weight as James Cameron or Steven Spielberg (read: the kind of directors who are usually given $250 million budgets).
Even if Carter manages a strong opening, it'll face Lionsgate's The Hunger Games juggernaut on March 23. That does not bode well for the staying power of a film that's already being hit with plenty of negative buzz.
We know that film journalists are ready to stomp all over Carter, but what does the paying public think? Below, we compare John Carter's Facebook and Twitter activity to TRON: Legacy, another high-profile sci-fi flick from Disney. It's not pretty...
(Activity from 2/8/12-2/21/12)
Total Facebook Likes as of 2/21/12: 101,005
Increase in Facebook Likes since 2/8/12: 18,211
Total Tweets: 6,172
(Activity from 11/18/10-12/1/10)
Total Facebook Likes as of 12/1/10: 283,287
Increase in Facebook Likes since 11/18/10: +54,078
Total Tweets: 30,062
Opening weekend: $44 million
Note: We looked at each film during the same period in the release cycle.
By Sterling Wong
Warner Bros.’ Journey 2: The Mysterious Island continued its unexpected breakout run at the international box office, leading all movies for a second week in a row in a tepid market as it taking in yet another $26M from about 8,700 screens in 43 markets
The film opened in two markets this week – France, where it took in $3.4M in second place behind local film La Verite Si Je Mens , and Spain, where it was No. 1 with an estimated $2.0M.
With $128M already banked, Journey 2 is on track to pass $200M overseas – yet another example of Dwayne Johnson bringing his box office muscle to a movie franchise.
Fox’s This Means War kicked off its international campaign with a solid $11.0M from 1,963 screens in 16 markets. Reese Witherspoon proved that her overseas star power remains strong, as the romcom debuted at No. 1 in Russia ($5.8M from 1,049 screens), Australia ($3.1M from 338 screens) and Hong Kong ($414K from 68 screens).
Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace 3D also performed strongly for Fox, taking in $10.M from 4,571 locales in 63 territories. The blockbuster re-release’s overseas cume is now $37.1M.
Opening in 10 news markets, The Descendants banked $7.5M from 3,014 screens in 50 markets. With the Oscars only a week away, the critically beloved Alexander Payne production enjoyed soft drops in the UK ($968K, down 17%), Germany ($463K, down 23%), France ($480K, down 37%), and Spain ($575K, down 38%). The Fox release’s overseas cume is now $68.4M.
The Vow earned $6.8M in its second stanza from 24 markets. Its international cume is now $22.8M.
Extending its tussle with The Vow to the international market, Universal’s Safe House fell 41% to earn $6M from 35 territories in its second week of release. The Denzel Washington action vehicle has grossed $19.6M thus far, with 28 more markets still to open. Next week, the movie will expand into 11 territories, including France, Germany and the UK.
China continued to power Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol’s late in its run, as the Paramount picture earned $5.8M from 4,160 screens in 65 markets. The Tom Cruise actioner’s international total now stands at an incredibly $461.9M.
In its fourth weekend in China, the film fell 52% to earn $4.0M, bringing its cume there to an impressive $85.6M.
While it has almost concluded its run in the rest of the world, Fox’s In Time opened in Japan this week to blockbuster results. The sci-fi thriller nabbed the No. 1 spot and earned $4.4M from 427 screens in the land of the rising sun. The Fox production has grossed an above-average $112.4M overseas, confirming Justin Timberlake’s appeal abroad.
Debuting in three markets - the UK, France and South Korea - Columbia Pictures co-production Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance earned a disappointing $4M. It's early days, but all signs point to the Nicholas Cage comic book sequel underperforming compared to the original from 2007.
Chronicle opened in six new markets, which boosted its take to $3.8M from 1,656 screens in 41 markets. The teen horror flick has now zoomed past $30M overseas.
Warner Bros.’ Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows trudged along with another $3.0M from 2,350 screens in 53 markets, to take its overseas total to $325M. Its last market to open is Japan on March 10.
Another Warner Bros.’ property, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, opened its international account with $2.6M from 909 locales in 10 territories. Key market results include Japan ($1.2M from 309 screens), the UK ($646K from 301 screens), and Germany ($307K from 151 screens).
Other select international results:
Big Miracle ($900K; Cume: $2.1M), Contraband ($630K; Cume: $9.7M), Alvin & the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked ($1.7M; Cume: $197.9M), Tower Heist ($355K; Cume: $71.8M), Puss in Boots ($2.8M; Cume: $379.2M), War Horse ($4.7M; Cume: $54.7M), Jack and Jill ($5.5M; Cume:$60.8M), The Muppets ($5.8M; Cume: $59.1M), The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo ($4M; Cume: $119.7M), Underworld: Awakening ($3.2M; Cume: $69.5M), The Woman in Black ($6.5M; Cume: $17.6M)