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Thread: John Carter (2012)

  1. #11
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    Re: John Carter (2012)

    A fairer review then most:

    ‘John Carter’ translates Burroughs’s vision with integrity | Sound On Sight

    ‘John Carter’ translates Burroughs’s vision with integrity
    Published on March 19, 2012 by Michael Ryan in Reviews
    Tagged: Andrew Stanton, Disney, John Carter, taylor kitsch

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    John Carter

    Written by Andrew Stanton, Mark Andrews and Michael Chabon, based on the novel A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs

    Directed by Andrew Stanton

    Listen to our Mousterpiece Cinema John Carter podcast or read Josh‘s extended thoughts about the film.

    *****

    John Carter and the Princesses of Mars

    The one thing that John Carter does better than anything else is understand who John Carter (Taylor Kitsch) is, what his journey needs to be and how to properly illustrate that journey.

    The start of John Carter’s journey (as told to Edgar Rice Burroughs through Carter’s diaries) finds him in the Arizona territory on a quixotic and near-suicidal quest for a treasure that may not even exist. It seems like Carter, perhaps unhinged by his personal losses, has devoted his life to an all or nothing pursuit: either Carter finds enough gold to achieve the best kind of revenge (living well) or he will die trying.

    A veteran of the Confederacy, Carter has seen his personal and professional world destroyed. His nation, the Confederacy has been destroyed by war and Carter’s wife and child killed. In the same way that Arlington National Cemetery was built on the confiscated family property of the wife of Robert E. Lee, Carter’s home is now a graveyard. This destruction has simultaneously soured Carter on war in general and made him dangerously sympathetic to the cause of the underdog.

    Despite clinging to the ideals of the romantic South, Carter’s losses and his empathy for the underdog have made him a post-slavery Southerner. He treats everyone as equals whether they are Red Indians (Apache), Red Martians or Green Martians (Tharks). The only races that earn Carter’s scorn are the white ones: the White Martians (Therns) for acting like slave-owners and the White Apes for acting like monsters.

    It makes perfect sense that Carter should find himself in a desert, the lifeless desolation echoing what lies in his heart. The Arizona territory or Apache territory is another world on the verge of death – it is no surprise that Carter is sympathetic to the doomed Apache cause or that he is able to demonstrate his linguistic skills by speaking with the Apache. At the same time, Carter’s refusal to join another war on either side leads to him doing paradoxical things like rescuing Colonel Powell from the Apache.

    Thark HatchlingWhen Carter finds himself transported from Arizona to Mars, at first his only clue that he is no longer in Arizona is his ability to jump in the lower gravity. Like Arizona, Mars is a desert. It is also a dying world, filled with natives (Tharks) barely clinging to survival. Early on, Carter finds a nest of young Tharks whose struggle to break free of their eggs and flee to safety resembles the race to survival of turtle hatchlings.

    Captured by the Tharks, Carter is essentially turned into a Thark hatchling and given into the care of secret Princess of Mars Sola (Samantha Morton) who teaches Carter how to speak the language of Barssom with the help of a magic liquid used to accelerate the teaching of Thark hatchlings.

    Carter quickly blunders into the middle of a thousand year war rescuing Helium Princess of Mars Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins) from the forces of the walking city Zodango and their leader Sab Than (Dominic West).

    While on a quest to figure out how he came to Barsoom from Earth with the two Princesses of Mars and his new pet “dog” Woola, John Carter chooses to sacrifice himself to save the two Princesses and attacks a huge group of enemy Tharks. This is the most Frank Frazetta moment of the entire film. Frazetta, the legendary fantasy artist, worked directly with Edgar Rice Burroughs on covers for the John Carter books. One of the criticisms of the film is that it could have taken more inspiration from Frazetta. That’s not entirely fair. The film is visually gorgeous and saving this “Frazetta moment” helps give the sequence a real emotional impact.

    What drives the sequence is the sense that Carter has finally found the good death that he has been looking for, sacrificing himself to save two lives to make up for his failure to stop the death of his wife and son. And in sense the sequence is both a burial and a death, the death and burial of John Carter of Virginia.

    Carter’s spiritual rebirth comes much later in the film’s other bravura action sequence when Carter fights the two blind White Apes. It is prefaced by a speech from deposed Thark King (“Jeddak”) Tars Tarkas, Sola’s father and the Thark who initially captured Carter, “When I saw you, I believed it was a sign… that something new can come into this world.”

    It is not a huge leap to understand that in fighting the blind White Apes, Carter is fighting himself, fighting the incoherent rage that has blinded him since the death of his wife and child. The film confirms this when Carter literally kills the second Ape from the inside out – emerging drenched in the blue blood of the ape, becoming something new on Barsoom: the first and only Blue Martian. Part of what makes this sequence work is the muted palette that Andrew Stanton has used in the film, causing the blue blood to practically explode on the screen.

    At the risk of being ridiculous, the sequence predicts Carter’s later wedding to Dejah Thoris. Carter is simultaneously something old (a kilt-wearing blue-painted Pict), something new (a Blue Martian), something borrowed (a human stolen from Earth) and something… well… Blue!

    Spiritually reborn, John Carter is finally able to become what he was always supposed to be, a war leader, leading the Tharks to save Helium and fight off the Zodango forces, rescuing Dejah Thoris from being forced to marry Sab Than.

    There are many things that John Carter fails to do, (and plenty of places where you can read about its failings) but all of its shortcomings are direct results of a great director trying to make a great film. Its successes spring from a keen understanding of John Carter’s character and the journey that turns John Carter of Virginia into John Carter of Mars.

    - Michael Ryan
    "When life gives you lemons, squirt lemon juice in your enemy's eyes."

  2. #12
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    Re: John Carter (2012)

    While John Carter is not the Blockbuster hit that Disney wanted it is the number one film in Russia for 3 weeks now.
    "When life gives you lemons, squirt lemon juice in your enemy's eyes."

  3. #13
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    Re: John Carter (2012)

    Well it is still making money and has a worldwide gross of $172,100,000 3/25/12 per Box Office Mojo. The overseas figures are a week old though. Still doing well in Russia.
    Last edited by Bearcata; 03-25-2012 at 04:10 PM.
    "When life gives you lemons, squirt lemon juice in your enemy's eyes."

  4. #14
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    Re: John Carter (2012)

    Has now made just over $234,000,000.
    "When life gives you lemons, squirt lemon juice in your enemy's eyes."

  5. #15
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    Re: John Carter (2012)

    'John Carter': China Box Office Surprisingly Strong

    "John Carter" may have bombed at the U.S. box office and in some foreign markets, but not in China. According to Filmbiz.asia, Disney's sci-fi Mars extravaganza has scored $29.8 million dollar total in 10 days in China.

    "John Carter's" opening weekend debut in China hit an estimated $10.4 million, good for Disney's second-highest ever China opening.

    The success of Andrew Stanton's film in China shouldn't come as too big of a surprise; international filmgoers - especially the Chinese - have long appreciated Hollywood's exported blockbusters, especially when 3D is involved. On the list of all-time China openings, "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" tops the list, with "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" in third place. Avatar is omitted from that list, but was reported to break opening day and week box office records by a wide margin. All three films were in 3D, and likely available in pirated form on Chinese streets long before their Chinese theatrical release dates.

    China has a thriving movie-going audience and big spectacles like "John Carter" with little meaningful dialogue can often become hits. Poor marketing and pirating problems not withstanding, "Carter's" debut is on par with "Tron Legacy," which Disney opened in China to $10.6 million.

    Adapted from Edgar Rice Burroughs's famed series and starring Taylor Kitsch in the titular role, "John Carter" cost a reported $250 million (or possibly even more) to produce. Disney also spent untold millions more in marketing, so a few successes in China and other overseas markets aren't likely to ever put it into the black. Still, overseas earnings could lessen the final blow to Disney's financial books, which some have suggested might not be as bad as the predicted $200 million.

    With a current domestic box office total of $63 million, $172 million internationally (not including China or Japan), and China's 10 day total of $29.8 million, "John Carter" is currently sitting at around $264 million in total box-office earnings, with openings still set for Japan on April 13.

    Not everybody has disliked "John Carter"; critics' scores on Rotten Tomatoes clock in at 51 percent positive, while users have been a bit more forgiving. Fans have given the film a 70-percent Fresh rating.
    "When life gives you lemons, squirt lemon juice in your enemy's eyes."

  6. #16
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    Re: John Carter (2012)

    A closer look at the Hollywood flop phenomenon - Den of Geek

    Over the past day or two, news outlets of every type have been reporting about John Carterís tepid box-office with barely concealed glee. The revelation that Disney would incur a $200 million writedown on John Carter was trumpeted in newspapers, on websites and on television. Could it be a bigger flop than Cutthroat Island, some outlets wondered. Could it even be the biggest flop of all time?

    Now, thereís no getting away from the reality that John Carterís performed significantly below expectations. With $100 million spent on its advertising alone, the worldwide ticket sales of around $184 million wonít even cover the filmís marketing budget once the theatres have taken their 50 per cent cut.

    Whatís irksome about the way John Carterís box office situation has been reported is that it leaves out so many important facts. The movieís only been out for two weeks. In most territories, it hasnít even had its second weekend yet - the time of week when plenty of cinemagoers venture into their local multiplex. John Carter only opened in Portugal on the 15th of March. Itís not out in Japan until April.

    By the time John Carterís out of the cinemas and released on DVD and Blu-ray, itís likely that itíll start to break even, and perhaps start going into profit - Disneyís predicted losses for the film are based on its projections for the next three months, since its fiscal year ends in March.

    Of course, most news reports havenít mentioned any of this. It was the same story with Waterworld back in the 90s, a film released to cries of 'flopí and 'box-office wash-outí that, once all the DVD sales, TV syndication revenues, merchandising and theme park rides were factored in, didnít actually do that badly at all.

    Flops make great stories, and always have. This explains why, when the first John Carter trailer came out last year and left many people nonplussed, reporters began to smell a failure in the offing. And when Disney announced the movieís name change, the scent became stronger than ever.

    We really canít blame the media entirely for its enthusiastic reporting, though - Hollywood must shoulder some of the responsibility itself. For Hollywood movies, hype is oxygen. When a film has great pre-release anticipation, as, say, The Hunger Games has, the resulting feedback loop between marketing wizards and the public can reach deafening levels.
    Considering John Carter is a huge hit in Russia, doing great in China and expected to be a big hit in Japan I wonder how much of a flop it can be. Still I liked this article and posted part of it. I like how the media did not mention Disney's fiscal year ended in March and John Carter did not have time to recoup the $250 million dollar film budget or the $100 million marketing budget. The marketing sucked by the way.
    Last edited by Bearcata; 04-09-2012 at 01:01 AM.
    "When life gives you lemons, squirt lemon juice in your enemy's eyes."

  7. #17
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    Re: John Carter (2012)

    John Carter's Trip to Mars Finally Earns Its Budget - Forbes

    Tech
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    4/02/2012 @ 5:16PM |15,377 views
    John Carter's Trip to Mars Finally Earns Its Budget

    Money is awesome because it buys you happiness, if happiness means paying your rent and your insurance bill. Hollywood loves money too. In fact, Hollywood loves money more Smeagol loves his Precious. Which is why the producers of John Carter are probably ecstatic to hear that their film, released one month ago, has finally earned its keep.
    4 Reasons Why John Carter Was Surprisingly Awesome Carol Pinchefsky Carol Pinchefsky Contributor
    Why 'John Carter' Is Loads Of Fun & You Should Ignore Cynics Who Can't Have Fun At Movies Mark Hughes Mark Hughes Contributor

    BoxOffice Mojo reports that John Carter has grossed $254.5 million, a $4.5 million over its budgetócurrently not technically a profit, considering its advertising budget, but itís far better than the epic loss that many had feared.

    Unsurprisingly, most of this coin has come from overseas. While John Carter earned over $66 million here in the United States, international markets have pulled in over $188 million. Film Buff Online writes that John Carter was #1 in box office receipts for two weeks in a row in China. This profit will keep increasing, as John Carter has yet to be released in Japan, where it will surely put the movie several million dollars in the black.

    Then there are DVD/Blu-Ray sales. Film Buff Online said,

    [I]f we need any more proof of the true popularity of the film, we have to look no farther than Amazon.com. Amazon shoppers who signed up for e-mails to alert them of DVD & Blu-Ray new releases were informed that they were able to pre-order John Carter on video today. As of this writing, the Blu-Ray 3-D/Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital Copy was the #1 selling item in Amazonís Science-Fiction Movie list, and ranked #2 in the Action & Adventure and Fantasy CategoriesÖ. It ranks #13 over all in the Movies & TV Blu-Ray list.

    If you recall, Waterworld had cost $175 million to make yet only earned $88 million in North America. But according to Yahoo Voices, ďOverseas sales along with VHS and DVD sales allowed the movie to recoupĒ its losses. Ultimately, Waterworld earned $264 million.

    If DVD/Blu-Ray sales are strong, it could very well catapult John Carter into the kind of success that give Hollywood executives sweaty dreams and encourage them to marry trophy wives.
    "When life gives you lemons, squirt lemon juice in your enemy's eyes."

  8. #18
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    Re: John Carter (2012)

    For those who wonder why I keep posting to this thread. I was interested in observing the word of mouth about this movie. I went to see it based on having read "A Princess of Mars" as a kid. I had read the Tarzan novels and comic books so was familiar with Edgar Rice Burroughs and his serials and the trailer looked very well made. What I found interesting about the entire launch of this film was the very heavy "bad press" it received before it even launched. I followed the box office receipts on Box Office Mojo and found that John Carter is the number one film in Russia and China and has at this time earned over $268 million dollars most of it overseas. This film was released in Japan on April 13 and I have yet to see the actuals from that country. Fans are watching this movie multiple times and keep coming back. I am amazed that Disney basically threw this very expensive movie under the bus and had horrible marketing for it and did nothing to halt "bad word of mouth" and I don't understand why they did that considering the money involved. Overall it is a very good example of how the marketing of the film industry works and how "word of mouth" can effect people's impression of a movie and how perhaps politics at Disney can cost over $200 million and no one cares.

    "Flop" JOHN CARTER Grosses Surpasses Production Budget | FilmBuffOnline



    “Flop” JOHN CARTER Grosses Surpasses Production Budget

    Posted on 02 April 2012 by William Gatevackes

    Media cynics were calling it a failure from the time its first reel unspooled. But with another $2 million domestically and a strong showing overseas, John Carter has now grossed $254,510,000 worldwide in four weeks, $4,510,000 over its estimated $250 million production budget.

    A $4 million profit doesn’t seem like anything to shout about, especially if you, like most of the naysayers are now doing, choose to add its advertising budget of approximately $100 million to the total hurdle the film needs to cover come (Personally, I choose not to because A) every film has an advertising budget and that cost should be considered an institutional expense, and B) when the critics like a film and promote it as a box office success, they never include the advertising then, making its inclusion here seem like dirty pool). However, the film is coming of two weeks of a strong showing in China (where it was the number one film two weeks running to the tune of another $30 million) and its set to open in Japan, another country that likes its 3-D blockbusters, on April 13th. Which means that profit will only go up.

    Of course, the naysayers are still saying nay. Box Office Mojo points out that the film’s overseas grosses ”plummeted” 72% to $6.2 million this past weekend. That number seems quite dubious since the films grosses in Mainland China has averaged $14 million per weekend for the two prior weeks, and actually made more on its second weekend than its first. To have drop off that left the grosses as just a fraction of that total seems unrealistic.

    Regardless, if we need any more proof of the true popularity of the film, we have to look no farther than Amazon.com. Amazon shoppers who signed up for e-mails to alert them of DVD & Blu-Ray new releases were informed that they were able to pre-order John Carter on video today. As of this writing, the Blu-Ray 3-D/Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital Copy was the #1 selling item in Amazon’s Science-Fiction Movie list, and ranked #2 in the Action & Adventure and Fantasy Categories , behind the Game of Thrones Season One box set. It ranks #13 over all in the Movies & TV Blu-Ray list. So someone obviously wants to see it.


    The following were 2 comments to the above article and love the answers as to why candy is so expensive at movie theaters.


    2 Comments For This Post

    Barry Dutter Says:
    April 5th, 2012 at 12:51 am

    Of course you realize a film has to gross DOUBLE its budget before it begins making a profit, because half of all the ticket sales go to the theaters… That means JC will have to gross $500 million before it begins to earn any money. That will never happen, which is why Disney has written the film off as a flop.
    William Gatevackes Says:
    April 5th, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Per The San Diego Reader(http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblog...atres-over-/):

    “There is no 50/50 division of box office coffers between distributor and exhibitor. Contrary to popular belief, theatre chains do not make the lion’s share of their income off ticket sales. Most of what a movie theatre takes in at the box office is kicked back directly to the studio. Studios lease their titles to theatres that are lucky to keep 20% – 25% of the box office receipts.

    In the case of certain blockbusters, especially those geared for kids who insist mommy and daddy fork over a wad of cash for candy, theatres get to pocket 0% of the box office take. This is not a new practice. When Empire Strikes Back opened at Chicago’s Esquire theatre, the manager told me that they didn’t see dime-one from the box office until several weeks after the film had opened. After that, the percentage is gauged on a sliding scale that can go as high as 50%.”

    The 50/50 split is a myth. If it were true, American towns would still have a mom and pop theaters as an anchor on every main street, we’d have a whole lot less cineplexes and we’d be paying less for soda, popcorn, and candy at the concession stands because theater owners would be struggling less to meet the costs of running a movie theater.

    Odds are that John Carter is in the 0% range. But even if it is kicking back 20-25% to theaters, with a strong opening in Japan and continuing grosses in the US and other overseas markets, it should make enough in theaters to clear a profit, if it hasn’t already.Not much of one, but a profit nonetheless.

    Hope this clears things up, and if this is the same Barry Dutter that wrote for Marvel, Mad and the Weekly World News, it’s an honor to have you reading the site. Thanks for your comment!
    Bill
    "When life gives you lemons, squirt lemon juice in your enemy's eyes."

  9. #19
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    Re: John Carter (2012)

    I was over at BoxOfficeMojo.com checking out The Avengers and Battleship I was surprised to see John Carter still on their list. Yes, John Carter is still making money and has earned $72,100,000 domestically and $200,600,000 worldwide for a total of $272,700,000 worldwide.
    "When life gives you lemons, squirt lemon juice in your enemy's eyes."

  10. #20
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    Re: John Carter (2012)

    Up to $282,156,000.
    "When life gives you lemons, squirt lemon juice in your enemy's eyes."

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