John Carter has definitely flopped in North America, where the Disney release has collected only $13.51 million this weekend, March 16-18 — down an alarming 55% from a week ago according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo. Directed by WALL-E’s Andrew Stanton and featuring Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, and Willem Dafoe, John Carter’s North American gross currently stands at $53.17 million. The sci-fier / adventure / fantasy reportedly cost an astronomical $250 million, in addition to an estimated $100 million in marketing and distribution expenses in North America alone.
That’s the bad news. In fact, the really, really bad news for a studio that last year had to cope with a box-office disaster named Mars Needs Moms. Perhaps Disney should stay forever away from any more Mars-set adventures — even if the studio chooses to drop the planet’s name from their films’ titles, as was the case with John Carter.
Now, the good news is that overseas John Carter has been performing quite well. Though down 40% from last weekend, Stanton’s film topped the international box office with an estimated $40.7 million in 54 territories according to The Hollywood Reporter. John Carter’s international cume to date is $126.1 million, thus lifting its worldwide total to a not-unimpressive $179.27 million after about ten days.
Now, remember: Disney will get only about 50-55% of the film’s grosses in the United and Canada, and about 40% of the grosses elsewhere. For the time being, that roughly translates into approximately $75 million for a studio that has spent — if reports are accurate — at least $350 million on John Carter.
Taylor Kitsch / John Carter photos: Disney Enterprises.