Weekend Box Office Wrap Up: March 11th, 2012

Published 2 years ago by , Updated March 15th, 2012 at 12:43 pm,

John Carter fails to top the box office 570x306 Weekend Box Office Wrap Up: March 11th, 2012

For the last few weeks the eyes of box office watchers have been on Disney’s mega-budget John Carter (read our review). The pricey project has had poor tracking and many were wondering if Disney would recoup their $250 million investment – that’s just the production budget -  at least another $100 million has been spent on the muddled marketing of the film. The result? A flaccid $9.8 million opening day, leading to an unspectacular opening weekend take of just $30.6 million.

Director Andrew Stanton’s film has had a troubled production – it has been in development at a variety of studios for around a century. That’s not even hyperbole – they’ve been trying to make this film since the book was first published in 1912!

The Edgar Rice Burroughs source material has been mined by George Lucas for his Star Wars films and James Cameron for Avatar, but John Carter won’t come near the grosses of those films. Recent, similar (financially disappointing) films from Disney would be Prince of Persia and Tron: Legacy, which opened to $30 million and $44 million respectively. Persia topped out at $90 million domestically, but went on to gross $335 million globally, while the Tron sequel banked $174 million at the US box office and another $228 million elsewhere for a $400 million total haul. It remains to be seen if John Carter will have this international box office bump, but again all eyes will be watching the film next weekend to see if it has legs. The film has collected an additional $70.6 million at the international box office, giving it a global cume of $101 million, it’s a decent number, but it will need to hold momentum if it wants to turn a profit and get a sequel.

However, forget John Carter, the weekend was ruled by The Lorax, which retained the number one spot after grossing another $39 million for a $121 million total. That’s down about $30 million from last weekend, but The Lorax is already a massive hit.

Low budget comedy Project X banked an additional $11.5 million and upped its cume to over $40 million. A sequel is already on the way.

Act of Valor shot up another $7.5 million and brought its total to $56 million – not a bad number for an action film that cost just $12 million to produce.

elizabeth olsen silent house Weekend Box Office Wrap Up: March 11th, 2012

Million dollar horror Silent House (read our review) debuted to $7 million, a relatively poor number, considering that it will likely drop by 50% next weekend. It will probably find its audience on the home entertainment circuit – but, even at this point, it’ll still be very profitable.

Eddie Murphy’s latest bomb A Thousand Words (read our review) opened to just $6.3 million. The $40 million “comedy” is the latest in a long line of box office disasters for the Beverly Hills Cop star. Things were looking up last year with the release of Tower Heist and a potential Oscars hosting gig. Tower Heist made a decent $78 million domestically and over $152 million globally but then Murphy pulled out of the Oscars when Brett Ratner resigned (after saying some things that he shouldn’t have). A Thousand Words is in line with 2009’s Imagine That which debuted to just $5 million on its way to $16 million. One thing is for sure – it’s better than the $2 million start of 2002’s Pluto Nash. That film went on to gross just $4 million from a budget of $100 million. Ouch!

Safe House and The Vow both continue to do well. Safe House banked $5 million over the weekend and brought its total to over $115 million, while The Vow scored an additional $4 million for a $117 million cume.

This Means War brought in $3.6 million, which means that the Chris Pine/Tom Hardy comedy has now banked almost $47 million. Meanwhile, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island inched closer to the $100 million mark, grossing another $3.6 million and upping its cumulative gross to $90.6 million.

That’s it for now. See you at the movies.

Source: Box Office Mojo

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TAGS: a thousand words, act of valor, box office, john carter, journey 2: the mysterious island, Project X, silent house, the lorax, the vow, this means war

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  1. Look at the top picture carefully. It looks like John Carter has been stuck on with a piece of glue/very bad photoshopping ( bad compositing for film ) .
    Is the whole film like that???

  2. John Carter overall was a misjudged gamble – and an expensive one at that. I can only judge from what I’ve seen in the trailers – but I still wonder on where the 250 million dollar budget went exactly. This will be a lesson learnt for Disney for next time.

    Eddie Murphy has been making flops for so long since i can remember. No suprises with a Thousand Words then.

    • In addition to that, I’m really wondering where the $100 million in marketing went. The marketers sure did a terrible job.

    • The 100 million in marketing is worlwide, not just the U.S. The 250 million production budget includes all the years that was spent in development.

      The title and marketing have nothing to do with the low box office numbers. The problem is this is a single quadrant film. The only ones interested in seeing this are younger males and to a certain extent, older fans of the original novels.

      If a family consists of boys and girls, then chances are that family will go see something like the Lorax. Disney had the same problem with the Princess and the Frog – it was film only little girls wanted to see and the box office reflected that. I also think there was a wait and see factor that kept people from going out. The movie seems to have good word of mouth which should give it some legs.

      Disney will come out in the black on this and we will see a sequel. It will make it’s production budget and probably it’s marketing back when you take into account the worldwide box office. Disney will probably move between 5 and 10 million units in DVD and Blu-Ray. That will bring in another 100 to 200 million dollars. Then there are things like Itunes and TV rights that will bring in another 20 million or so.

      Disney does their homework. They know what the worst-case-scenerio will bring.

      • It was a major misfire. They bumbled this thing from early on. They got the wrong director, and they kept on throwing money at it. Perhaps they’ll break even, but big studios don’t throw around $400 million dollars at a movie just to break even.

        Remember, all the revenue doesn’t go to the studio. They need to pay off numerous other individuals and groups involved.

  3. why does disney throw so much money at these movies? prince of persia and now john carter. why dont they give the first film a more reasonable budget like 130 mil or 150 mil, see how that does in theaters, then give them the crap load for the sequel. i really like prince of persia but i wonder the same thing, where did the 200 mil go? couldnt they have made the same move for like 150 mil? oh and then now theres the lone ranger

    • Prince of Persia had a hell of a lot less special effects that John Carter. Special effects are very expensive. Making movies in places like South Africa, Prague etc… can be a lot cheaper and many fan films get excellent results with lots of professionals volunteering their time. But making a film in America and England using the top special effects companies and everybody else who is at the top of their game is never gonna be cheap.

      I agree that films nowadays are too expensive, but you’re gonna find it hard asking people to take a pay cut to make it more affordable. They probably saved millions by using the cast that they did instead of big stars with over inflated wage demands.

  4. I hope this does well enough to continue this franchise, it was a really good film. Its ridiculous that they had spent so much on this but it is really good.

  5. Re: “(after saying some things that he shouldn’t have).” That’s a good one, considering what that movie appears to be about.

    So Act of Valor has already made about 5 times it’s production cost while John Carter has barely made back a 10th of it’s budget. I’m also wondering why disney gave this movie such a budget. How often does this kind of gamble pay off? They’ll blame the marketing campaign.

  6. We went to see John Carter last night and we were quite happy with the film. In fact, I didn’t realize how much I’d enjoyed it until later when scenes kept popping into my head. The more I thought about it, the more I realized they’d done a better job of making the movie than was immediately obvious. I read “A Princess of Mars” when I was in my early teens (and we won’t get into how long ago that was). This was a respectable effort to do it right. I can’t address the money concerns, but I know this is one of those movies we’ll be watching repeatedly because it’s enjoyable.

    • Perfect. that’s what I wanted to hear before I go.

  7. I thought Carter was great! I hate that it hasn’t done well but I kin of expected it. People don’t seem to understand that star wars and avatar were taken from this and not the other way around. I definately recommend seeing it.

  8. I truly hope that it does better next week and does get a bump from international sales. The film has its flaws, but overall I thought it was a great film that really took me to Barsoom with great effects and acting. I’d love to see them do a sequel though that seems unlikely now unfortunately.

    And it’s weird, but I honestly enjoyed this more than Avatar, which is good itself.

    And they spent $100 million on marketing? There was a fan made trailer that was probably better than pretty much all the ones they made. The only trailer I saw for this that I really liked was the original teaser.

    It’s strange, but I think Disney/Pixar’s Brave is having a similar problem with marketing at least in trailers. The first trailer for it honestly didn’t get me pumped or even tell me what it was really about as a whole. Before John Carter started, there was a brief scene shown which I think did a better job establishing some of the characters at least.

  9. Time will tell but I think John Carter will turn enough a profit to warrent a sequel. Next weekend will be important, with the Hunger Games coming in 2 weeks.

    After 2 trailers of the Brave, I have no idea what it’s about.

    • Look at the Japanese trailer. It is a very dark and dangerous story. Not at all like they are marketing it here in the states.

  10. How in the world does Eddie Murphy continue to get cast in movies? Does he have dirt on Brian Grazer or something???

  11. I still say a big part of the reason why John Carter isn’t doing as well is because they cut the “of Mars” out of the title. The title doesn’t sound interesting and makes you think of something along the lines of a nameless person’s autobiography. You may think I’m crazy, citing the 100 mil spent on TV trailers, but I know plenty of people who either don’t watch TV, TVIO/DVDR everything or just watch movie channels, thus missing those trailers.

    Only thing that can save it now is word of mouth but with it hovering at around 50% on RT, I doubt it will make its money back easily.

    Hollywood keeps making SO many avoidable mistakes and over thinking themselves out of tons of money.

    • Agree Mongoose. Th marketing for this movie has been the worst fiasco I have ever seen in the field of movie marketing. And I use to think The Incredible Hulk marketing was bad (and it was).

    • I’d agree that changing the title to simply John Carter might have hurt the film because it doesn’t exactly sound too interesting like you say, but with ‘Of Mars’ in the title you sort of get the hook of this film.

      I’m a rather surprised by how bad it seems to be doing on RT. The film isn’t perfect, but it is quite good and everyone I’ve spoken to who saw it enjoyed it.

      It feels like the most successful Disney live action films were the Pirate series and only the first one was truly great I thought.

    • I don’t think the title, the marketing, or the list of actors was the problem with this movie. I think the problem is the movie itself. It didn’t dazzle anyone. Mars is boring, green aliens are boring, the soundtrack was boring, and the basic story was all around boring.
      People need big, they need a colorful backdrop, they need something original, the need a story they can relate to, and they need a great soundtrack. Lucas did that with Star Wars, Jackson with LOTR, and Cameron with Avatar. There was something original for people to see, the movies were on colorful backdrops, the stories were fresh and the soundtracks were unforgettable.
      John Carter played it safe and ended up looking boring. No one wants to pay for boring.
      Please don’t tell me that these movies stole from ERB. Books are books and movies are movies. The first to show it, wins the weekend. John Carter is entertaining, but ultimately safe and boring and therefore a blockbuster it is not.

      • Well you are speaking as if you’ve seen it but I was approaching it from an anticipation PoV. So all I have to go on are small snippets of footage and the film title. Those two things have got to wow or at least interest me which neither really do.

        And if Disney had actually stuck with ERB’s actual characters/creatures and story and not the ones you saw in the movie, I think you may have been a bit more wowed (or at least less bored ;) ) Disney “familied” it up a bit too much for its own good.

      • That you were bored by the flick does not mean everyone else is bored by it also. Your hubris is astounding.

        • Barry, my “hubris” has nothing to do with this. Look at the box office numbers. This movie trailers looked boring and therefore no one wanted to watch it. Pretty straightforward I think.
          You want to sell a movie, make something people want to watch. This will be the end of the John Carter series on the big screen in this form.

          • Again, you suggest that because YOU were bored by the film, that therefor everyone else is also bored by the film. You are incorrect in this matter. Clearly many people have enjoyed the movie. Positive comments about the flick in this thread. Some folks in the audience I saw the film with actually applauded as the credits rolled. You are certainly entitled to you opinion, but again, that YOU were bored by the film IN NO WAY means everyone else was. Virtually all the word of mouth I’ve heard has been good. There may in fact not be any more JOHN CARTER films…but it wont be because everyone on the planet was bored by the film. Speak for yourself only please.

            • I wasn’t bored with the movie at all. I never saw it.
              I am simply pointing out the reason why the masses (like myself) never went to see it.
              It looked boring in the trailers. (Refer to my first post as to why it looked “boring”)
              Seems to me that someone else’s “hubris” may be clouding their own interpretation of the simple facts that I am trying to state.
              Box office numbers, critical consensus’s, and mass opinions are usually a pretty good guage . . .

              • OK, so you continue to presume to speak for everyone on the planet…regarding a film…YOU HAVE NOT SEEN…a picture that is only going into it’s second weekend in theatres…Again, just because YOU find it boring does not mean everyone else does. Your opinion is completely valid…for you. Not for everyone else.

              • Snow, I think I understand the point you are trying to make, that the trailer and marketing didn’t properly lure audiences to what could potentially be a very good film, I haven’t seen it yet but am excited about it and plan to soon. What’s sad is that if it indeed is the flop folks are saying so far and it gets yanked from theaters soon, even if it has another resurgence on DVD or whatever, no one will be able to go back and watch it in 3D on IMAX, which I suspect it was tailor made for.

                However, never underestimate box office numbers, critical consensus, and mass opinion to have absolutely nothing in common as to whether a film is good or not.

  12. I agree that they should have left Mars in the title. I think it would have had a better impact. I thought the movie was great and I am going to be really disappointed if it doesn’t warrant making the sequels. Hopefully it will be one of those movies that word of mouth boosts it up in the second and following weekends.

  13. “$250 million production budget – at least another $100 million has been spent on the muddled marketing of the film. The result? A flaccid $9.8 million opening day, leading to an unspectacular opening weekend take of just $30.6 million.”

    The Flesh – “Ouchies!”

    It seems like the marketing is being blamed, I Ask How So? I’ve been running into banner ads on sites and You tube as well as TV Commercials almost non stop since before and after release so how exactly is marketing to blame? Seems to me like they are doing their job at advertising the movie. Or are the trailers themselves to blame?..

    • They stepped up the advertising I feel in the last few weeks before release, but I didn’t see much of it before then.

  14. I like adaption films even though im not a fan of John Carter im gonna check it out

  15. I saw it (in the UK) last Friday and really enjoyed it. Flawless it isn’t, but as a hugely entertaing and epic piece of Sci-Fantasy cinema I thought it brilliant. Engaging and beautiful to look at and there’s fun to be had in the pulp sci-fi feel.
    I agree that the marketing was a disaster. A film from the director of huge, award winning hits like “Finding Nemo” and “Wall-E”, from the creator of Tarzan and stories and sources that are known and acknowledged influences on things like ‘Star Wars’ and most obviously “Avatar – none of these got a mention as potential selling points. Bizarre, quite frankly.

    I really hope word of mouth and the worldwide audience give it the success it deserves because much, much, much more awful films have done better. “John Carter (OF BLOODY MARS Disney you IDIOTS!!)” is, if you love grandeur and mythic storytelling, great stuff.

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