Disney's 'John Carter' Poised For Big Flop

Disney is going to lose a whopping $200 million on the flop adventure film John Carter.

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I'm not sure who it was who said if you're going to fail, fail spectacularly. "Cutthroat Island," "The Alamo," "The Adventures of Plato Nash" - those are movies that failed spectacularly, huge box office disasters that lost their movie studios well over $100 million each. But they have nothing on "John Carter."

As NPR's Elizabeth Blair reports, the new Disney adventure film is poised to go down as one of the biggest Hollywood flops ever.

ELIZABETH BLAIR, BYLINE: A Civil War vet is transplanted to Mars, where he meets aliens.


BLAIR: I believe they're speaking Barsoomian. But that's the least of "John Carter"'s problems. Its opening weekend only made about $30 million at the box office. And Disney released a statement saying they're expecting to lose about $200 million on the movie, which cost over $350 million to make and market.

BARTON CROCKETT: Well, you know, investors are going to be perturbed - you know, how could you put this much money into a movie that, you know, your grandmother could've told you was probably not worth it?

BLAIR: Barton Crockett is an entertainment analyst at Lazard Capital Markets. He says the loss for Disney Studios is huge. But he says the multi-billion dollar Disney empire will survive.

CROCKETT: Even losing $200 million on a movie is, you know, just a drop in the bucket at Disney.

BLAIR: Disney is a lot more than just its movies. It has theme parks, merchandise, and most lucrative of all, its cable channels, driven in profits by ESPN. Disney acknowledged "John Carter"'s dismal results, but in a statement said it was excited about upcoming releases - "The Avengers" and "Brave."


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (as character) Oh, come on. Shoot, boy!


BLAIR: Elizabeth Blair, NPR News.

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