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Weekend Box-Office: March 9-11, 2012

Mar. 11, 2012by: Dave Davis

Sorry Mr. Carter, the Lorax still has it!

An orange creature held more appeal than a red planet this weekend as Dr. Seuss' tree-lover THE LORAX took the top prize with $39.1 million, holding Disney's colossal sci-fi epic JOHN CARTER in second with $30.6M (in almost the same number of theaters as the mustachioed winner). THE LORAX dropped around 45% since last week and has brought in $121M in its first ten days of release.

There will undoubtedly be plenty of theories as to why the Mars-based JOHN CARTER didn't perform better (even with 3D and IMAX premium prices), and although the movie is reportedly doing well so far overseas, a $30M domestic opening on a $250+M production budget is obviously not the success story Disney was looking for. Between this and last year's flop MARS NEEDS MOMS (also released by Disney on this same weekend in 2011, coincidentally), it doesn't seem like anyone wants to visit our angry red neighbor...

It will be interesting to see if this has any impact on Kitsch, who is also fronting this summer's huge-budgeted BATTLESHIP and Oliver Stone's thriller SAVAGES. Still, even if his presence is downplayed in the marketing of those movies, the guy's come a long way since Renny Harlin's man-witch flick THE COVENANT.

Last week's #2 and #3 finishers are still going strong, with the R-rated "found footage" party comedy PROJECT X brews up another $11.5M as ACT OF VALOR guns down another $7M, bringing the Navy SEALs' total to $56.1M in three weeks.

Meanwhile, crowds continue to show a relative disinterest in Eddie Murphy as his long-delayed attempted-comedy A THOUSAND WORDS (succinctly described by our reviewer Chris B. as "shit, shit, shit") landed in sixth with just $6.3M, even below the barely advertised low-budget horror-thriller SILENT HOUSE in fourth with $7M. Correct, Eddie Murphy is now less of a star than the non-twin Olsen sister.

With another, more colorful alternative to choose from in THE LORAX, families seem to have abandoned JOURNEY 2: THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND, which just clings to the #10 slot. Tyler Perry's audience has also swiftly ditched him -- GOOD DEEDS slips off the chart after just two weeks, so you can probably expect to see him back in drag next time for another inexplicably popular Madea movie. Oscar-winner THE ARTIST only managed to hang around the Top 10 for a single weekend, while the indie ensemble comedy FRIENDS WITH KIDS had a decent $2.1M opening in just 374 theaters.

Next week only has one major new release, the update of the 80s cop show 21 JUMP STREET. Opening in limited release are Will Ferrell's Spanish comedy experiment CASA DE MI PADRE, the Ed Helms/Jason Segel team-up JEFF WHO LIVES AT HOME, the Adrien Brody drama DETACHMENT (from AMERICAN HISTORY X director Tony Kaye) and the latest blink-and-you'll-miss-it Nic Cage release SEEKING JUSTICE. Why do you think JOHN CARTER didn't perform better at the box office this weekend? VOTE HERE!

# MOVIE TITLE WKND $ TOTAL $
1. The Lorax $39.1 M $121.9 M
2. John Carter $30.6 M
NEW
3. Project X $11.5 M $40.1 M
4. Silent House $7 M
NEW
5. Act of Valor $7 M $56.1 M
6. A Thousand Words $6.3 M
NEW
7. Safe House $5 M $115.8 M
8. The Vow $4 M $117.6 M
9. This Means War $3.7 M $46.8 M
10. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island $3.6 M $90.7 M

ACCESS BOX-OFFICE ARCHIVES HERE

Source: Box Office Mojo

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9:34AM on 03/12/2012

I wanted to see John Carter this week-end...

...but then I realized the movie only played in 3d. Yeah, good idea guys! I read good reviews but none were good enough for me to pay the extra.
...but then I realized the movie only played in 3d. Yeah, good idea guys! I read good reviews but none were good enough for me to pay the extra.
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9:26AM on 03/12/2012

Parents Like Gimmicks

Apparently as long as the source material is Seuss, the parents just flock to the theater. As mediocre as the reviews have been, it seems Lorax is going to outgross all of the animated films released last year (Cars 2 being tops). And the reviews are mediocre at best. When near-universally praised films like Kung Fu Panda 2 and Puss in Boots fail to outgross Cars 2 and the Lorax, their is a problem. But then I guess what's new?
Apparently as long as the source material is Seuss, the parents just flock to the theater. As mediocre as the reviews have been, it seems Lorax is going to outgross all of the animated films released last year (Cars 2 being tops). And the reviews are mediocre at best. When near-universally praised films like Kung Fu Panda 2 and Puss in Boots fail to outgross Cars 2 and the Lorax, their is a problem. But then I guess what's new?
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5:27AM on 03/12/2012

JOHN CARTER REVIEW

If you chose to see THE LORAX over JOHN CARTER this past weekend, you should be ashamed of yourself. Check out my JOHN CARTER review at the link: [link]
If you chose to see THE LORAX over JOHN CARTER this past weekend, you should be ashamed of yourself. Check out my JOHN CARTER review at the link: [link]
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-11
4:34AM on 03/12/2012

B.O POISON

Mark Strong,Bryan Cranston and Michael Giacchino hasn't had much luck with Box Office lately. I am not counting Ghost Protocol,Tailor Tinker Soldier Spy or Drive.
I get a sinking feeling when they are involved in a project in terms of commercial viability. Same feeling I have with Clive Owen,Patrick Wilson,Jude Law,Daniel Craig,Paul Bettany, Ewan Macgreg or Jessica Biel and Jessica Alba
Mark Strong,Bryan Cranston and Michael Giacchino hasn't had much luck with Box Office lately. I am not counting Ghost Protocol,Tailor Tinker Soldier Spy or Drive.
I get a sinking feeling when they are involved in a project in terms of commercial viability. Same feeling I have with Clive Owen,Patrick Wilson,Jude Law,Daniel Craig,Paul Bettany, Ewan Macgreg or Jessica Biel and Jessica Alba
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+1
2:52AM on 03/12/2012
saw The Secret World of Arrietty on saturday, GREAT MOVIE! Amazing soundtrack too.
saw The Secret World of Arrietty on saturday, GREAT MOVIE! Amazing soundtrack too.
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12:48AM on 03/12/2012
Also, I didn't even know John Carter was out, I found out today around 5pm when Gawker had a story on it. I went to a 9pm showing.

Marketing?
Also, I didn't even know John Carter was out, I found out today around 5pm when Gawker had a story on it. I went to a 9pm showing.

Marketing?
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12:41AM on 03/12/2012
I just came back from seeing JC and I was fairly disappointed. Not saying I was not entertained- but I expected a lot more.
I just came back from seeing JC and I was fairly disappointed. Not saying I was not entertained- but I expected a lot more.
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12:18AM on 03/12/2012

Plenty of theories but...

I think we can all agree John Carter did poorly because of the marketing. It was embarrassingly bad and I'm not sure how a company so large could possibly market something so terribly.

We don't want "Princess" in the title because we will alienate boys and we don't want "Mars" in the title because we will alienate girls so let's just take both out and alienate everyone instead, leaving them no clue as to what our movie is about.

John Carter and the Princess of Mars - there, I already
I think we can all agree John Carter did poorly because of the marketing. It was embarrassingly bad and I'm not sure how a company so large could possibly market something so terribly.

We don't want "Princess" in the title because we will alienate boys and we don't want "Mars" in the title because we will alienate girls so let's just take both out and alienate everyone instead, leaving them no clue as to what our movie is about.

John Carter and the Princess of Mars - there, I already want to see it, and so does my son and his sister. (Don't have kids, just making a point here)

Right?
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12:36PM on 03/12/2012
I totally agree with you about the title. Not only would it have appealed to a larger demographic, but it would have also sounded like the first film in a (potential) franchise.
I totally agree with you about the title. Not only would it have appealed to a larger demographic, but it would have also sounded like the first film in a (potential) franchise.
11:23PM on 03/11/2012
I liked John Carter, but I can understand it not doing to well. It wasn't kid friendly enough for a family film, but not exactly something adults would flock to. The suits at Disney really need to re-think these massive budgets for films they hope to have sequels for. Seems the same thing happened with the Narnia films and Tron: Legacy ,both which I liked and wanted to see continued.
I liked John Carter, but I can understand it not doing to well. It wasn't kid friendly enough for a family film, but not exactly something adults would flock to. The suits at Disney really need to re-think these massive budgets for films they hope to have sequels for. Seems the same thing happened with the Narnia films and Tron: Legacy ,both which I liked and wanted to see continued.
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10:46PM on 03/11/2012

Booooo!

John Carter was solid. I really dug it.
John Carter was solid. I really dug it.
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10:17PM on 03/11/2012
I REALLY REALLY hope that John Carter does better. It looks like a lot of fun and looks like a GREAT film.

I will be seeing it this week and can't wait to be blown away.
I REALLY REALLY hope that John Carter does better. It looks like a lot of fun and looks like a GREAT film.

I will be seeing it this week and can't wait to be blown away.
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+11
10:10PM on 03/11/2012
As someone who has never heard of John Carter before this movie came out, the trailers were cut so horribly. They weren't engaging and didn't once get me the slightest bit interested in seeing this. So no wonder it flopped. Disney's marketing campaign did nothing to get newcomers interested IMO
As someone who has never heard of John Carter before this movie came out, the trailers were cut so horribly. They weren't engaging and didn't once get me the slightest bit interested in seeing this. So no wonder it flopped. Disney's marketing campaign did nothing to get newcomers interested IMO
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9:18PM on 03/11/2012

Saw this coming.

John Carter was doomed. Disney spent a quarter of a billion dollars on this flick, it had a largely B-list cast, it was based on a property that's rather obscure nowadays (though hopefully, this film's existence may change that) and has been copied by every space opera story in the last century, and let's face it, the first trailer REALLY did not sell this movie to me. Even with the international box office, something tells me that Disney is going to take a wash on this one. I may see it later
John Carter was doomed. Disney spent a quarter of a billion dollars on this flick, it had a largely B-list cast, it was based on a property that's rather obscure nowadays (though hopefully, this film's existence may change that) and has been copied by every space opera story in the last century, and let's face it, the first trailer REALLY did not sell this movie to me. Even with the international box office, something tells me that Disney is going to take a wash on this one. I may see it later this week as a matinee (I'm on spring break), but this was never on my "must-see" list.

Oh, and I bet that a certain anti-"big Hollywood" loudmouth is rolling over in his grave seeing The Lorax at a solid #1 for two weeks in a row. Guess he didn't know what "real Americans" wanted in their movies as much as he thought.
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8:44PM on 03/11/2012
Yikes looks like John Carter flopped big time since it didn't even make half of what The Lorax did in its opening week.

Damn I should really check out Safe House since its still in the top 10 after what 6 weeks it feels like it? Must be an awesome flick, but then Denzel can do no wrong in my eyes.
Yikes looks like John Carter flopped big time since it didn't even make half of what The Lorax did in its opening week.

Damn I should really check out Safe House since its still in the top 10 after what 6 weeks it feels like it? Must be an awesome flick, but then Denzel can do no wrong in my eyes.
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+6
8:31PM on 03/11/2012
John Carter was awesome. I honestly cant remember the last time I enjoyed a movie of this type at the cinema so much. To be honest, I think it's because Ive been watching a lot of 80s movies lately, from Indian Jones to Hook, where the pacing and editing is longer giving the story time to breath. John Carter was very much like that, and that is probably it's downfall; audiences today need a fast pace and fast editing to stay interested. That's a shame.
John Carter was awesome. I honestly cant remember the last time I enjoyed a movie of this type at the cinema so much. To be honest, I think it's because Ive been watching a lot of 80s movies lately, from Indian Jones to Hook, where the pacing and editing is longer giving the story time to breath. John Carter was very much like that, and that is probably it's downfall; audiences today need a fast pace and fast editing to stay interested. That's a shame.
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8:45PM on 03/11/2012
Hook came out in 1991 so not an 80s movie
Hook came out in 1991 so not an 80s movie
8:13PM on 03/11/2012

the lorax...

wins because its a kids film, so many kids are going to see it. John carter looks dope. SIlent House was awesome. Pretty stoked to see Act Of Valor still going strong. I never expected it to do this good. Great film too.
wins because its a kids film, so many kids are going to see it. John carter looks dope. SIlent House was awesome. Pretty stoked to see Act Of Valor still going strong. I never expected it to do this good. Great film too.
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-12
7:54PM on 03/11/2012
It's because it just wasn't that good. The story and concept are fantastic but the directing and writing were garbage. It was extremely cheesy at points.
It's because it just wasn't that good. The story and concept are fantastic but the directing and writing were garbage. It was extremely cheesy at points.
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12:44AM on 03/12/2012
I agree, completely
I agree, completely
+3
7:30PM on 03/11/2012
I was pleasantly surprised by John Carter, essentially knowing nothing of the original source material going in. And, I think that could be the crux of the problem. Many actual sci-fi fans didn't even know what the hell John Carter was before this flick. Dropping a $250M budget on a film with little name recognition and a poor marketing plan was setting it up for failure. I also thought the film was 15-20 minutes too long. Looking at a nearly 140 minute time investment on a flick you
I was pleasantly surprised by John Carter, essentially knowing nothing of the original source material going in. And, I think that could be the crux of the problem. Many actual sci-fi fans didn't even know what the hell John Carter was before this flick. Dropping a $250M budget on a film with little name recognition and a poor marketing plan was setting it up for failure. I also thought the film was 15-20 minutes too long. Looking at a nearly 140 minute time investment on a flick you know little to nothing about can be a turn off as well. As for finding some legs via word of mouth...it's got essentially one week to do so, until the Hunger Games behemoth renders everything else on the top ten pretty much irrelevant.
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7:19PM on 03/11/2012
I liked the John Carter as well. I thought the movie was good and the actors all did well and I think it was well directed. However, the marketing was terrible and it was a bad time to release it, as well as its price tag of 250 million. I hope it has some legs because I truly did enjoy it.
I liked the John Carter as well. I thought the movie was good and the actors all did well and I think it was well directed. However, the marketing was terrible and it was a bad time to release it, as well as its price tag of 250 million. I hope it has some legs because I truly did enjoy it.
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7:14PM on 03/11/2012
Animated movies and Tyler Perry's films gross more than any remake or original movie out there. If anyone believes The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises will perfrorm big...think again.
Animated movies and Tyler Perry's films gross more than any remake or original movie out there. If anyone believes The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises will perfrorm big...think again.
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8:55PM on 03/11/2012
lol really?
lol really?
10:20PM on 03/11/2012
Are you on crack?
Are you on crack?
11:18PM on 03/11/2012
lol, definitely crack
lol, definitely crack
5:54PM on 03/11/2012
This sucks. I liked John Carter.
This sucks. I liked John Carter.
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7:20PM on 03/11/2012
Everyone I know who went and saw it liked it.
Everyone I know who went and saw it liked it.
5:51PM on 03/11/2012
It may still turn out this way in the end, but it would be nice for an article like this to be written when "this weekend" is actually over.

Having said that, most of the reviews I've read contain the phrase "surprisingly good" so maybe there's a chance it may experience better numbers in the coming weeks.

Also let's not forget Lorax is PG, as opposed to John Carter's PG-13. That may play a role as well.
It may still turn out this way in the end, but it would be nice for an article like this to be written when "this weekend" is actually over.

Having said that, most of the reviews I've read contain the phrase "surprisingly good" so maybe there's a chance it may experience better numbers in the coming weeks.

Also let's not forget Lorax is PG, as opposed to John Carter's PG-13. That may play a role as well.
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9:28PM on 03/11/2012
people & hollywood really need to stop using the cliche that a rating affect the grosses, especially considering an R rated movie like Safe House has grossed over 100 mil so far & Act of Valor is still going strong. Enough with the rating issue already.
people & hollywood really need to stop using the cliche that a rating affect the grosses, especially considering an R rated movie like Safe House has grossed over 100 mil so far & Act of Valor is still going strong. Enough with the rating issue already.
2:57PM on 03/12/2012
That's a fairly dumb comment.

For a G rated picture, everyone can get in.

For a PG picture, everyone can get in and kids with parents can get in.

With a PG-13 picture, only folks 13 and over can get in, so you eliminate your 12 and under market.

With an R rated picture, folks 17 and under can't get in, so you eliminate your 16 and under audience.

Of course the rating issue plays a role because it determines the size of the potential audience.

It's not a cliche, it's just
That's a fairly dumb comment.

For a G rated picture, everyone can get in.

For a PG picture, everyone can get in and kids with parents can get in.

With a PG-13 picture, only folks 13 and over can get in, so you eliminate your 12 and under market.

With an R rated picture, folks 17 and under can't get in, so you eliminate your 16 and under audience.

Of course the rating issue plays a role because it determines the size of the potential audience.

It's not a cliche, it's just reality.
-19
5:08PM on 03/11/2012
I called John Carter as a bomb as soon as I saw the trailers. The movie just didn't look interesting. Whether it was a failure of marketing or simply the story that makes up John Carter, it just didn't look good to me. It looked like one I could wait for video to see
I called John Carter as a bomb as soon as I saw the trailers. The movie just didn't look interesting. Whether it was a failure of marketing or simply the story that makes up John Carter, it just didn't look good to me. It looked like one I could wait for video to see
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4:49PM on 03/11/2012

JOHN CARTER NEEDED ...

.. a star for title role. There, I said it. You can't roll 250 mil budget on someone like Taylor Kitch (no disrespect) and expect success, and the timing was also bad. We'll see how the thing plays out in the end, I think internationally Disney will get their money back, but I doubt there will be a sequel, and I guess they were aiming for that.
.. a star for title role. There, I said it. You can't roll 250 mil budget on someone like Taylor Kitch (no disrespect) and expect success, and the timing was also bad. We'll see how the thing plays out in the end, I think internationally Disney will get their money back, but I doubt there will be a sequel, and I guess they were aiming for that.
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4:45PM on 03/11/2012
All movies will copy from other movies at some point. It's the way it's told that seperates it from just being another copy. Shoot, even The Dark Knight has splashes of Heat. But how it was told on screen made it something else. Same goes with The Artist if I want to stay recent. Plus, the highest grossing picture is not necessarily the best picture (with the exception of LOTR and Titanic). JOHN CARTER was a solid adventure film and nice throwback to good old fashioned storytelling (B+/A- at
All movies will copy from other movies at some point. It's the way it's told that seperates it from just being another copy. Shoot, even The Dark Knight has splashes of Heat. But how it was told on screen made it something else. Same goes with The Artist if I want to stay recent. Plus, the highest grossing picture is not necessarily the best picture (with the exception of LOTR and Titanic). JOHN CARTER was a solid adventure film and nice throwback to good old fashioned storytelling (B+/A- at most). If it cost maybe $120-$150 mil, then maybe a lot of people wouldn't be talking about a flop. If the audience would rather spend their money on an animated film that isn't even the best Dr. Seuss movie or best animated movie this year (Arriety anyone?), then that's how it is.
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+19
3:51PM on 03/11/2012
I don't care which movie performed better at the boxoffice. I still want to see John Carter, unlike The Lorax, which seems like an umpteenth computer-animated film.
I don't care which movie performed better at the boxoffice. I still want to see John Carter, unlike The Lorax, which seems like an umpteenth computer-animated film.
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-14
3:33PM on 03/11/2012

JC looked fun, but I think we all knew this was coming...

unfortunately the big question now is... "will it make as much as Prince of Persia" or hell even "will it make as much as Green Lantern?" yeouch
unfortunately the big question now is... "will it make as much as Prince of Persia" or hell even "will it make as much as Green Lantern?" yeouch
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3:48PM on 03/11/2012
Green Lantern actually made more money than Prince of Persia.
Green Lantern actually made more money than Prince of Persia.
11:16PM on 03/11/2012
@andris - how much a movie makes in general was not my point (or what anyone cares about) but rather what it makes in COMPARISON to the budget i.e. profit

Prince of Persia made $335 mil on a $200 mil budget, meaning a profit of roughly $135 million

Green Lantern made $222 mil on a budget of $200 mil, making for a profit of roughly $22 million

not sure how Green Lantern actually made more money than PoP, no matter which way you look at it...?
@andris - how much a movie makes in general was not my point (or what anyone cares about) but rather what it makes in COMPARISON to the budget i.e. profit

Prince of Persia made $335 mil on a $200 mil budget, meaning a profit of roughly $135 million

Green Lantern made $222 mil on a budget of $200 mil, making for a profit of roughly $22 million

not sure how Green Lantern actually made more money than PoP, no matter which way you look at it...?
7:18AM on 03/12/2012
Prince of Persia made $90 million in America. Green Lantern made $116 Million.

I assumed you were talking about american (domestic) numbers, because if you were talking about worldwide grosses it's far too early to call John Carter a dissapointment, when in fact, it opened well internationally and likely it will make good money overseas. Maybe it reaches $500 million worldwide and that would mean a rough $250 M profit. We'll see...
Prince of Persia made $90 million in America. Green Lantern made $116 Million.

I assumed you were talking about american (domestic) numbers, because if you were talking about worldwide grosses it's far too early to call John Carter a dissapointment, when in fact, it opened well internationally and likely it will make good money overseas. Maybe it reaches $500 million worldwide and that would mean a rough $250 M profit. We'll see...
1:34PM on 03/12/2012
ah yeah I was talking total gross and like I said I was really hoping it would do really well but the chances are slim to none that any international numbers will propel it to being anywhere near a success like they had hopes (or even profitable). Like you said we'll see.

Green Lantern actually did better in North America compared to the rest of the world despite a strong opening overseas and as for Prince of Persia, it hit way higher numbers overseas than it did in North America, so we'll
ah yeah I was talking total gross and like I said I was really hoping it would do really well but the chances are slim to none that any international numbers will propel it to being anywhere near a success like they had hopes (or even profitable). Like you said we'll see.

Green Lantern actually did better in North America compared to the rest of the world despite a strong opening overseas and as for Prince of Persia, it hit way higher numbers overseas than it did in North America, so we'll just have to wait and see. I really hope it does well though, even though I haven't seen it, just so sequels can be made as I do think it looks intersting enough to see more of... like I said though chances are pretty slim that it'll be a hit, especially with it's poor marketing campaign and bad word of mouth...
3:07PM on 03/11/2012
I went and saw John Carter (of Mars!!!) this weekend and it kicked all kinds of ass. I really hope this movie will have legs once it gets some positive word of mouth.
This weekend really made me stop and think about how much I despise mainstream film critics. From looking at the Rottentomatoes reviews it seems apparent to me that a lot of the "critics" went in hoping to dislike the movie and simply wanted a catchy negative headline for their inevitable "Disney's huge gamble doesn't pay off"
I went and saw John Carter (of Mars!!!) this weekend and it kicked all kinds of ass. I really hope this movie will have legs once it gets some positive word of mouth.
This weekend really made me stop and think about how much I despise mainstream film critics. From looking at the Rottentomatoes reviews it seems apparent to me that a lot of the "critics" went in hoping to dislike the movie and simply wanted a catchy negative headline for their inevitable "Disney's huge gamble doesn't pay off" type of article. Hell, one guy was complaining about the names being too weird. Are you fucking kidding me?! What, you would have given the movie a positive review if Tars Tarkas was named George? Unfortunately this will give the idea that people actually listen to critics more credibility. But, when Twilight does well the critics simply say it's "critic proof" meaning people will flock to it no matter what, and then when something like John Carter does poorly they'll act like people actually give a damn what they think.
Now don't get me wrong, John Carter had absolutely dreadful marketing, starting with the retarded name change, which everyone that saw the movie will tell you they didn't mind using "of Mars" at the end of the film.
All that being said, everyone that saw the movie should tell their friends how good the movie was and hopefully this will become a big enough word of mouth hit that we can get a sequel, no matter how far fetched that thought seems right now.
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