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John Carter needs to make $700M to warrant a sequel

10.11.2011

I’m starting to think that Disney may have bet on the wrong horse where with JOHN CARTER (formerly OF MARS). The classic series turned blockbuster film certainly has potential in theory, but expectations are exceedingly high for how well the film needs to perform to turn a profit and subsequently warrant a sequel.

The production budget is said to be a sprawling $250M, but marketing costs, which are usually massive with Disney tentpoles, will cause that to shoot up even further. It’s worth looking to TRON LEGACY, which grossed $400M worldwide and would be considered a hit by any measure, but that number didn’t seem good enough for Disney, and there’s barely been any sequel talk at all due to how high marketing and production costs were on that film.

Vulture reports that a New Yorker profile of director Andrew Stanton says that the film needs a $700M worldwide haul to justify a sequel. That would put it into the top 50 grossing movies ever. Stanton has done this before with FINDING NEMO, but this time there are no cute animals or the Pixar brand on his side.

Do you think JOHN CARTER can do it? I don’t. I’m not saying the film can’t be good, but from the way it’s being marketed so far, it’s not the type of premise that seems like it can draw that massive of an audience. It’s the Civil War era on Earth? It’s the future on Mars? He’s wearing a Conan the Barbarian costume? For those not familiar with the source material, it’s exceedingly difficult to piece together what’s going on in the footage we’ve seen so far, and I have a hunch that will translate into less than impressive box office numbers unless they can really start to tell people what exactly this movie is about.

Extra Tidbit: As much as I liked Tim Riggins on Friday Night Lights, I'm also not convinced Taylor Kitsch is a leading man yet. This will be his make or break moment.
Source: VultureNew Yorker

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+0
7:10PM on 10/12/2011
Taylor Kistschxeghe has a lizard face. I can't sympathize with a lizard. Gorn's cool though.
Taylor Kistschxeghe has a lizard face. I can't sympathize with a lizard. Gorn's cool though.
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+3
6:40PM on 10/12/2011
it'll flop.
it'll flop.
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6:26PM on 10/12/2011
And that's one of the only film trailers this year that's left my intuition totally blank and confused. I might be in the minority on that, though.
And that's one of the only film trailers this year that's left my intuition totally blank and confused. I might be in the minority on that, though.
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4:30PM on 10/12/2011

700 mil

Even worldwide that's a major stretch
Even worldwide that's a major stretch
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1:50PM on 10/12/2011

Meh

The boot legs will make money for this film. I don't see it happening.
The boot legs will make money for this film. I don't see it happening.
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12:40PM on 10/12/2011

wwallace has a point

You didn't miss anything here, this is a situation where the "they" that are talking don't know what they are talking about. The $700M figure is an estimate that some guy the New Yorker created based on what he thinks will happen. Bottom line, in regards to sequels, studios will always look to the properties they own to develop more content. Especially Disney, that company gets a personal thrill out of re vamping and repackaging there material. No one knows what goes on in the development
You didn't miss anything here, this is a situation where the "they" that are talking don't know what they are talking about. The $700M figure is an estimate that some guy the New Yorker created based on what he thinks will happen. Bottom line, in regards to sequels, studios will always look to the properties they own to develop more content. Especially Disney, that company gets a personal thrill out of re vamping and repackaging there material. No one knows what goes on in the development or how to accurately track the budgets that include marketing (which is not fully attributed to the cost of a production).
In short this (the new yorker piece) was a B article.
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8:56AM on 10/12/2011
Did I miss something here? Everyone seems to be translating "$700M worldwide haul to justify a sequel" into "$700M worldwide to be successful". Couldn't it just mean that they feel a sequel won't be warranted unless it makes a vast amount of money? I'm fine with this. There are far too many sequels saturating the box office anyway.
Did I miss something here? Everyone seems to be translating "$700M worldwide haul to justify a sequel" into "$700M worldwide to be successful". Couldn't it just mean that they feel a sequel won't be warranted unless it makes a vast amount of money? I'm fine with this. There are far too many sequels saturating the box office anyway.
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4:11AM on 10/12/2011
Disney makes a mega-expensive sci-fi action film set on an alien world and then sets about hiding the fact that Disney has made a mega-expensive sci-fi action film set on an alien world?
Hmm. I wonder if the 'Drive' Lawsuit Lady has seen the trailer for this movie?
Disney makes a mega-expensive sci-fi action film set on an alien world and then sets about hiding the fact that Disney has made a mega-expensive sci-fi action film set on an alien world?
Hmm. I wonder if the 'Drive' Lawsuit Lady has seen the trailer for this movie?
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11:52PM on 10/11/2011
Who cares (other than Disney) how much money this movie makes?
I mean, is there anyone who really has any interest in seeing this at all?
Who cares (other than Disney) how much money this movie makes?
I mean, is there anyone who really has any interest in seeing this at all?
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10:26PM on 10/11/2011

Dumb

I'm surprised studios think films like this and Green Lantern will have mass appeal and make several hundred million at the box-office. They should be made on leaner budgets and targeted for a smaller audience.Once in a while you get lucky w/ something like Pirates of the Caribbean, but it is the exception not the rule.
I'm surprised studios think films like this and Green Lantern will have mass appeal and make several hundred million at the box-office. They should be made on leaner budgets and targeted for a smaller audience.Once in a while you get lucky w/ something like Pirates of the Caribbean, but it is the exception not the rule.
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9:52PM on 10/11/2011

Yikes

I wouldn't even watch this for free if it were cut up and aired as the Syfy mini-series it was meant to be. Maybe this should be a wake-up call to Hollywood to stop investing obscene amounts into such glaringly bad ideas.
I wouldn't even watch this for free if it were cut up and aired as the Syfy mini-series it was meant to be. Maybe this should be a wake-up call to Hollywood to stop investing obscene amounts into such glaringly bad ideas.
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7:57PM on 10/11/2011

stop spending so much!

My god, studios gotta learn that just because you spend alot does not guarantee big return. most films that are very successful were made on the cheap and for the love of the film. frankly I kinda want this to fail simply then maybe disney will stop spending 200 M on crap like lone rider, and this, and start spending modest budget hiring great writers and actors than just flash
My god, studios gotta learn that just because you spend alot does not guarantee big return. most films that are very successful were made on the cheap and for the love of the film. frankly I kinda want this to fail simply then maybe disney will stop spending 200 M on crap like lone rider, and this, and start spending modest budget hiring great writers and actors than just flash
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6:10PM on 10/11/2011
LOL this article made me laugh so hard, $700MIL & then i saw worldwide, nope movie looks dumb. BTW putting that formerly of mars is getting old now.
LOL this article made me laugh so hard, $700MIL & then i saw worldwide, nope movie looks dumb. BTW putting that formerly of mars is getting old now.
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4:50PM on 10/11/2011
I've seen the trailer and it looks fantastic, but I have a feeling That it will be a Prince of Persia deja vu.
I've seen the trailer and it looks fantastic, but I have a feeling That it will be a Prince of Persia deja vu.
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+2
4:42PM on 10/11/2011
So lets say it cost $400 million total, does Disney really expect it to bank $300 million in the box office alone? Seems like that number is far to high.
So lets say it cost $400 million total, does Disney really expect it to bank $300 million in the box office alone? Seems like that number is far to high.
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-7
4:36PM on 10/11/2011
This is going to pull in over 1 billion worldwide. You guys are seriously underestimating the appeal of a movie like this in the foreign markets.
This is going to pull in over 1 billion worldwide. You guys are seriously underestimating the appeal of a movie like this in the foreign markets.
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4:24PM on 10/11/2011
The movie looks like it can go either way but I think it'll be a colossal failure, especially if it needs $300 million to break even.
The movie looks like it can go either way but I think it'll be a colossal failure, especially if it needs $300 million to break even.
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3:58PM on 10/11/2011
I'd say its marketing campaign has been as successful In getting its point across as Avatar was. And we all saw how much money that price of shit made. Now, I'm not saying it will make as much as Avatar, or even the 700 mil required for a sequel, but their advertising campaigns have been just as effective at this point.
I'd say its marketing campaign has been as successful In getting its point across as Avatar was. And we all saw how much money that price of shit made. Now, I'm not saying it will make as much as Avatar, or even the 700 mil required for a sequel, but their advertising campaigns have been just as effective at this point.
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2:58PM on 10/11/2011
This Has "The Prince Of Persia" Fiasco Written All Over It
This Has "The Prince Of Persia" Fiasco Written All Over It
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2:50PM on 10/11/2011

Ouch!

Andrew Stanton's a great director and storyteller, but he might have bitten off more than he can chew with this movie. Not sold on Taylor Kitsch either, but I think John Carter will be a good movie. It may not just be a successful one.
Andrew Stanton's a great director and storyteller, but he might have bitten off more than he can chew with this movie. Not sold on Taylor Kitsch either, but I think John Carter will be a good movie. It may not just be a successful one.
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2:39PM on 10/11/2011
it looks okay but just okay and i will not see it in theaters unless it gets super great reviews, opens big and everyone says its awesome.

Then again, that's how I felt about THOR before it opened and look how that worked out? THOR is frigging awesome!! Still, i dont see that happening for john carter.
it looks okay but just okay and i will not see it in theaters unless it gets super great reviews, opens big and everyone says its awesome.

Then again, that's how I felt about THOR before it opened and look how that worked out? THOR is frigging awesome!! Still, i dont see that happening for john carter.
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5:14PM on 10/11/2011
"i will not see it in theaters unless it gets super great reviews, opens big and everyone says its awesome."

How is "opening big" a factor ? Does that mean you don't see movies that "open small" ?
"i will not see it in theaters unless it gets super great reviews, opens big and everyone says its awesome."

How is "opening big" a factor ? Does that mean you don't see movies that "open small" ?
2:21PM on 10/11/2011

$700 million WTF?

It won't even make half that worldwide. But you know what, it won't be a flop, because there was not way it was ever going to be make $700 million to begin with.

It's like when people thought Superman Returns had a disappointing box office even though it made $390 million worldwide. That's great! You just spent way, way, way too much on the movie to begin with.
It won't even make half that worldwide. But you know what, it won't be a flop, because there was not way it was ever going to be make $700 million to begin with.

It's like when people thought Superman Returns had a disappointing box office even though it made $390 million worldwide. That's great! You just spent way, way, way too much on the movie to begin with.
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-3
2:19PM on 10/11/2011

movie looks like shit

doubt it'll make much at all, nevermind (LMFAO) 700+ mil
doubt it'll make much at all, nevermind (LMFAO) 700+ mil
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2:06PM on 10/11/2011

For me

This has the same kind of vibe as Cowboys vs. Aliens.. Might turn out to be a good movie but just wont make money.
This has the same kind of vibe as Cowboys vs. Aliens.. Might turn out to be a good movie but just wont make money.
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2:00PM on 10/11/2011

Won't even make its budget back.

Odds are against this movie. I bet this will make less than $150 mil. Source material is not well known. It has no big names in it to draw people in. So people don't know what its about or who the actors are.
Odds are against this movie. I bet this will make less than $150 mil. Source material is not well known. It has no big names in it to draw people in. So people don't know what its about or who the actors are.
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1:52PM on 10/11/2011
Lynn Collins in a skimpy outfit for an entire movie already got my tickets
Lynn Collins in a skimpy outfit for an entire movie already got my tickets
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1:48PM on 10/11/2011
I personally love the books but, agree this doesn't seem to be the type of project to gross those numbers. Hope I am wrong, I'd love to see a film series based on Edgar Rice Burroughs Martian Tales.
I personally love the books but, agree this doesn't seem to be the type of project to gross those numbers. Hope I am wrong, I'd love to see a film series based on Edgar Rice Burroughs Martian Tales.
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1:41PM on 10/11/2011
The John Carter series is amazing and I'm excited to see this film. However, I don't think this will pull in those numbers. I'll just hope for the best.
The John Carter series is amazing and I'm excited to see this film. However, I don't think this will pull in those numbers. I'll just hope for the best.
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1:31PM on 10/11/2011

Meh

On the fence about the movie but definatly dont think it will pull in those numbers, Tron had the hype that it was brand (although one most young uns dont know), Carter is based on an old if iconic fantasy series, I'm just saying it didnt work for Conan in the least. Also pretty bummed that the number to warrant a sequel nowadays is so high alot of decent flicks that pulled in a solid if not epic load of cash are falling by the wayside e.g. X-Men: First Class
On the fence about the movie but definatly dont think it will pull in those numbers, Tron had the hype that it was brand (although one most young uns dont know), Carter is based on an old if iconic fantasy series, I'm just saying it didnt work for Conan in the least. Also pretty bummed that the number to warrant a sequel nowadays is so high alot of decent flicks that pulled in a solid if not epic load of cash are falling by the wayside e.g. X-Men: First Class
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1:18PM on 10/11/2011
And I think we've all learned by now that great reviews don't necessarily mean big money.
And I think we've all learned by now that great reviews don't necessarily mean big money.
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1:16PM on 10/11/2011
It was never going to happen. There isn't a single element of this project that screams 'blockbuster', from the premise, to the production design to the actors. Andrew Stanton isn't enough to get butts in seats. I wouldn't be shocked to see this bomb- I mean truly BOMB and make well south of $100MM in the U.S.
It was never going to happen. There isn't a single element of this project that screams 'blockbuster', from the premise, to the production design to the actors. Andrew Stanton isn't enough to get butts in seats. I wouldn't be shocked to see this bomb- I mean truly BOMB and make well south of $100MM in the U.S.
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+9
1:05PM on 10/11/2011
Doubt it will.
Doubt it will.
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1:03PM on 10/11/2011

Big risk...

The trailer looked good but I don't think the story is known well enough to make that kind of money. I still don't fully understand the story.
The trailer looked good but I don't think the story is known well enough to make that kind of money. I still don't fully understand the story.
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