The Walt Disney Co. is dealing with repercussions from a flop that will bring a $200 million writedown to the studio, CNN reports.
The action movie “John Carter” flopped at the box office despite a massive global marketing campaign, the story notes. The production budget for the film, based on an Edgar Rice Burroughs novel, was about $300 million.
The story reports: “The film about an American Civil War hero who journeys to Mars is shaping up to be one of Hollywood’s costliest flops. It has generated $184m in global ticket sales but with about half its takings going to cinema chains, Disney has had to adjust its earnings guidance for the quarter to reflect the film’s performance.”
Disney said it now expects its movie studio operation to post an operating loss between $80 million and $120 million for the quarter following the film’s release, the story reports.
CNN adds: “The writedown deals a blow to Rich Ross, the chairman of Walt Disney Studios, who has been trying to improve returns at the division following a restructuring and a focus on films made under the Disney, Pixar and Marvel brands.”
Things could turn around later in the year, the story notes, with the upcoming releases of “Brave” from Pixar and the superhero film “The Avengers.” Disney said those two films have "tremendous potential to drive value for the studio and the rest of the company,” according to the report.
“However, the abject failure of ‘John Carter’ is not likely to be forgotten in an industry where a single flop can wipe out a studio’s annual profits,” the report adds. “Hopes were initially high for ‘John Carter’: Its director, Andrew Stanton, had made the critically lauded and commercially successful ‘Finding Nemo’ and ‘Wall-E.’
“But the director openly admitted to struggling with the transition from animated film-making to live action directing. Meanwhile, Burroughs’ source material, which inspired filmmakers such as James Cameron, has failed to energize young, male cinema goers, a crucial demographic for any big-budget action movie.”