For most movies, a $30.2 million opening weekend would be considered decent — respectable, even. But most movies aren’t John Carter, Disney’s sci-fi opus about a Wild West outlaw (Taylor Kitsch) who winds up in the middle of an interspecies war on Mars. Directed by Pixar guru Andrew Stanton (WALL?E), the movie cost $250 million to make. Even if it climbs to $100 million domestically — and builds on its $70.6 million opening internationally, where CG spectacles play well — Carter seems like a long shot to recoup Disney’s distribution fees and marketing costs (reportedly another $100 million). Still, ”John Carter is surrounded by videogame adaptations, toys, foreign sales, DVD sales, video on demand, and TV sales,” says Vincent Bruzzese, president of the Worldwide Motion Picture Group, which analyzes box office data. ”It will be years until we know its true profitability.” In that case, Godspeed, Mr. Carter: We’d hate for you to end up earning a place on this list of the biggest bombs in history. (Surprise! Ishtar didn’t even crack the top 10.)
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