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8 (Possible) Reasons John Carter Bombed At The Box Office

Posted on Friday March 23, 2012, 16:00 by Ali Plumb in Empire States
8 (Possible) Reasons John Carter Bombed At The Box Office

At the time of writing, John Carter has made $184 million in ticket sales worldwide. Its production budget was $250 million, its marketing another $100 million. Disney have formally announced that it’s writing it off as a $200 million loss for the company.

Whatever you thought of the film, financially, it was a failure. There’s no way on God’s green earth or Barsoom’s barren wilderness that this movie will make any money this year. Though a few – including ourselves – have seen the better side of the film critically, most outlets have given it a mauling, and audiences have stayed away.

In America, it only made $30 million in its opening weekend, beaten to first place by a two-week-old kids’ movie, The Lorax. It was then, just on the first weekend, that people started picking over the bones of Andrew Stanton’s first live-action feature.

These discussions of the demise of the film formally known as John Carter Of Mars have mentioned many points, but the ones we’ve collated for you below are the most common.

Whether you agree with them depends on whether you’ve actually watched the movie – statistically unlikely, it seems – or whether you think you know how to make a movie better than the guy who brought us Finding Nemo – as well the studio that brought us, um, the Disney back catalogue. As you might have guessed, the internet does think it knows better. Much better, it looks like.

Anyway, here they are, some of the many possible reasons why John Carter didn’t set the world on fire. Do you agree with them? Or is it something bigger than all this?

The marketing didn’t work

Generally put, there was a lack of direction. Was this a kids’ film? Was this a nerds’ film? Was this a family film? Was this a romance? What was this film and what was it actually about?

The title didn’t work

Many have honed in on how the “Of Mars” suffix was dropped halfway through proceedings and pointed out that John Carter doesn’t really invoke anything other than a vague memory of that guy off ER. With the recent box office bomb Mars Needs Moms still a bitter memory for many in Hollywood, at least you can see why they did it.

The “brand” – if you don’t mind using that word – just wasn’t well known enough

Edgar Rice Burroughs’ more famous creation was Tarzan. People know Tarzan. People don’t know John Carter. Diehard science fiction buffs know John Carter, and big name Hollywood directors know John Carter – George Lucas and James Cameron to name but two – but despite its huge influence on science fiction as we know it, it wasn’t well known enough to stand up against, well, the likes of Dr. Seuss.

It was too epic, and too hard to explain

Rather, it was hard to explain with out making it sound a little silly. Even if I continue comparing it to its first weekend competitor in the US, The Lorax, it still sounds a touch odd.

Put very, very simply, The Lorax is a Dr. Seuss film, with all the kid-friendly goobledeegook that that implies, full of colourful cartoon characters and general weirdness.

John Carter, however, is about a soldier in the American Civil War who gets sent to Mars after touching a space thingummy in a cave. He then meets some green, four-armed aliens, gets entangled in a Martian civil war, meets a beautiful princess, discovers some Godlike evil alien people, kills a lot of bad guys and eventually saves the day. Oh, and when he’s on Mars, he can jump really far and is very strong. Almost forgot.

It is, to quote Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, an epic of epic epicness – and perhaps a little too much so.

It was set in space, but looked too much like somewhere on earth

Avatar was spectacular, a riot of green and blue and 3D magiciness. John Carter looked like it was filmed in a desert in Utah. Which it was. A bit. Part of what makes sci-fi so appealing, some have said, is the fantasy of it all… and John Carter didn’t have all that much of that.

It was too loyal to its original source

I don’t want to get bogged down on what they kept from the books and what they didn’t, but there is a point to be made in terms of how people who have been inspired by the Barsoom series have made incredibly successful films – Avatar, to repeat another example – by drawing on the stories making them their own.

Plus, it’s easy to forget that the man behind the entirely original Wall-E, Finding Nemo and Monsters Inc. wasn’t just making his first live-action feature – he was also shooting his first adaptation.

The departure of Disney studio head Dick Cook and the arrival of Rich Ross

You’d have a tough job pointing the finger of blame at either of these guys, but it's something to be aware of in terms of how John Carter was made. Cook greenlit the project with a $200 million budget, and Ross saw it through to completion. Again, no-one could argue they're the reason the film didn’t pull in the punters, but it definitely wasn’t an ideal situation for the movie to be in.

No big name stars

As commenter 'attakdog' points out, the stars themselves aren't exactly... well known. You try spelling Taylor Kitsch's name right without looking it up. And what's Lily Collins doing in this movie? Wait, Lynn Collins? Who she?

With all these ideas on the table, there’s a lot to think about. No-one wants these big movies to fail – especially big movies on relatively unknown subject matter – but when they do, it’s hard not to wonder why. As someone far wiser than me once said, it’s a mystery how good films are made, and it’s an even bigger mystery how bad ones are too. Far worse films have fared far better financially, and it’s that magical balance of appeal and quality that makes the movie business so fascinating in the first place.

But enough of this – why did you not see the film? What put you off? Leaving all these points to one side for the moment, why did you, beloved Empire reader, not go and watch John Carter? Was it just a case of bad buzz? Or something more specific? Let us know in the comment box below.

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1 attakdog
Posted on Friday March 23, 2012, 17:11
Shouldn't reason number 1 be in big bold letters - "It's got a star NOBODY has heard of, last seen dieing on his arse as Gambit in the Wolverine film".???

2 sirvolkar
Posted on Friday March 23, 2012, 17:22
I have seen the film and I enjoyed it. Although I nearly didn't, walking to the ticket office and asking for one ticket to John Carpenter - now theirs an idea!

So yeah, I enjoyed it. It was seriously campy in performance, darkly light-hearted in tone and sophisticatedly simple in plot, but overall it was fun. Perhaps such juxtapositions are what turned the critics off, but as for the masses, I must say I am surprised by the response. This was no Clash of the Titans (a sequal?!?!?), Prince of Persia, Men in Black 2, Wild Wild West or X-Men: Last Stand catastrophe. In fact, I thought it was of a same vein as The Phantom Menace in style (if not quality - generally better performances, more interesting characters and superior SFX).

Perhaps nerd backlash against the rape of Star Wars and childhood memories finally manifested itself and was redirected at John Carter as a consequence.

I also found it more entertaining than the Fern Gully rehash that was Avatar. I still don't get why people were so impressed by that film and its dreadful script (there's more wood in it than the forests of Pandora). Perhaps its because I don't see in 3D?

So basically, in response to your question, I have no idea. The guy sat in front of me who thought it was the "worst film he'd ever seen" might have had a better idea.

3 Swedle
Posted on Friday March 23, 2012, 17:24
I think Taylor Kitsch was partly to blame, poor boy was clearly trying his hardest but he isn't leading man material at all, not enough charisma there to keep his grandmother interested for two hours, never mind the rest of the world, obviously there were marketing issues, but I think having star power behind it would have helped.

4 Morehumanthanhuman
Posted on Friday March 23, 2012, 17:42
I like sc-fi. Ilike sci-fi alot,but i`m no uuber geek and am not aware of every piece of sci-fi literature or sci-fi film on the planet. I had never heard of John Carter,whether he be of the Mars variety or not. I then saw the trailer and, erm well, the hero just did`nt seem likable. The guy you root for should be likable. The other reason is, it did`nt seem original, even if it is "The Original" i`ve seen it all before, most recently Sully of Pandora. Sorry Avatar........

5 Mark Daws
Posted on Friday March 23, 2012, 18:13
For me I have just become too snobby about which films I choose to see each year, I tend to pick three or four blockbusters which I think will be good preparing for disappointment along the way, this year Prometheus, The Dark Knight Rises and The Hobbit are my must see films, there are some others which I may be persuaded depending on positive or negative reviews and I am sure some smaller foreign or independent films which have gone unnoticed so far which will become pleasant surprises.

John Carter was written off by me from the first trailer, it looked a little too CGI for me, up there with Conan and Avatar and overall it seemed like a story I have seen over and over again, I have read reviews which were overall positive 6/7 out of 10 in general which for me at best is a DVD rental movie or catch it on TV in a couple of Christmases time.

6 maxthom
Posted on Friday March 23, 2012, 18:26
3-D. Simple as. If I was gonna see a film adaptation of a 100-year old book series then I'd be hesitant to cough over 10 quid to see it, so waited for 2-D showings but they were always inconveniently placed

7 hamsterminator
Posted on Friday March 23, 2012, 18:27
I didn't see the film, but the news that it flopped doesn't surprise me.
There were several factors why I didn't, many of which were covered in your article.

Firstly, I heard precious little good about this film. When Avatar came out, I had a feeling I wouldn't like the furry loving CGI feel, but upon hearing many friends who normally wouldn't touch scifi with a barge pole saying they loved it, I saw the film and loved it. I know of noone other than critics who watched John Carter, and they universally thought it was rubbish.

Secondly, the whole CGI monster thing is a turn off for me. After the horrific Star wars prequels (which I might add also include a gladiator scene vs giant CGI monsters) this film just looked like a remake of something I didnt like before. If you have to include CGI monsters, do it somewhere where your imagination is left to fill in the blanks, e.g. in Jurrassic Park, or more recently in the brilliant Troll Hunter and Attack the Block films.

Lastly to those asking why we didn't see the film, I would say "why should we?". There is nothing about this film that is enticing to those unfamiliar with the character. Title? Bland. Advertising? distinctly unmemorable. Storyline? Nothing we haven't seen before. Disney? How many good Sci-fi films have Disney made exactly?

8 SouthMouth
Posted on Friday March 23, 2012, 18:48
I haven't seen John Carter but the point is that I have never wanted to see it. Basically, when I first saw the trailer, I thought it looked like an entire film based on the last half hour of Attack of the Clones which straight away did not appeal! I have heard people talking for ages about how good the special effects are but it just looks like a George Lucas Star Wars film. The monsters in an arena with our hero jumping around fighting them? Exactly the same scene when Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen are sent out in chains to their death in AOTC.

As for the lead, Taylor Kitsch is indeed what some people have said so far, completely dull and if you don't think so, check out the trailer for Battleship. He is just a pretty face but a dull actor. Battleship is another film I will be avoiding. Taylor is not the main reason for this but he is one of them.

The title of the film has no appeal as well. I know historically the word 'Mars' has been box office poison but if you are thinking that in the first place, then you deserve a poor showing as it was all about the money in the first place and not the subject matter. As for adapting this source material, studios have to know when to draw he line with adapting comics/books etc. It may have inspired years of great Sci-Fi and be a old time classic but that might be the's old time. The whole thing sounds like it was made purely for financial purposes and the arrogance of this is that they just assumed people would flock to see it because they spent a lot of money on it and because they are Disney.

The whole idea of this project was just a bad idea from start to finish. Very happy that it has happened but at the same time, very disappointed that all that money spent could have made a lot of brilliant lower budget films with amazing, refreshingly new ideas rather than using it all on one really old one.

9 E.T.
Posted on Friday March 23, 2012, 19:34
I saw John Carter, and liked it. It is a rare thing today to finally find a movie i can watch with my child. He likes actionmovies but is still young. Lorax is to dull for him, but wrath of THE titans is to much, even THE avengers are probably too much for him. So John Carter was just THE right kind of entertainment on a sunday. It was for me a trip down memorylane, for my Son a beautiful introduction to real sci fi. It felt like an old adventure movie. Like the ones i saw as à child, like Tarzan with Johnny Weismuller, or Robin Hood with errol Flynn. But maybe i am just à bit different. I didnot like ET or THE prequels of Star Wars and i have 5 different versions of Jane Eyre in my collection.

10 HighwayJoe
Posted on Friday March 23, 2012, 19:37
I went to see this movie for the one, easily recognizable name in it: Willem Dafoe. Unfortunately, Mr Dafoe is a green, CGI alien, so that potential viewers do not see him in either the trailers or posters. So there goes that chunk of the audience. More audience goes as they fail to recognize Mr Kitsch--and another chunk of it probably leave after being told he played Gambit [never a particularly popular X-man, for reasons that... well, elude me, for the most part].

The rest of the audience leave once word gets around that it's "nothing we haven't seen a 100 times." To me, it played like Prince of Persia on Mars. I bothered to find out what John Carter was, looked up the novels, decided to give it the benefit of the doubt for basically being the Grandfather of Sci-Fi... but the average viewer doesn't do that. So to them, it's a formulaic, noisy rip-off of Star Wars et al.

I didn't watch John Carter a second time. It was enjoyable, for what it is, but not interesting enough to merit shelling out $11.00 twice. Alongside Prince of Persia, it reminded too strongly of other costumed spectacles--neither of them particularly good: Flash Gordon [the 1980 version with the Queen theme] and Masters of the Universe. Not a good thing.

11 alfiepacker
Posted on Friday March 23, 2012, 19:38
I saw this film yesterday and enjoyed it. I would recommend going to see this on the big screen before you miss it

12 Strangerthanemma
Posted on Friday March 23, 2012, 19:49
Taylor Kitsch actually does a really good job in the film, and I hope he keeps getting work, but this compared to Friday Night Lights and the Bang Bang Club... well the man certainly has a large range to give. However, how disney can spend 250 million on (any film what so ever!!!) a film with a lead actor who has never really had a lead in a movie before... is beyond me. This film should have had a 70/80 million dollar budget, and same movie would have been made. People need to stop being greedy and take a pay cut... this means producers, and animators.

13 onafriday
Posted on Friday March 23, 2012, 19:49
When Mars needs Moms bombed the Disney suits paniced and demanded that any referance to Mars be removed from the title. But its not Mars people are fed up with.....ITS FUCKING 3-D!

14 onafriday
Posted on Friday March 23, 2012, 19:52
Also the clothes he is wearing in every promo shoot gave me a horrible Zardoz flashback...its does look stupid. Worst costume in a film since Catwoman

15 jontysidgwick
Posted on Friday March 23, 2012, 19:57
One word: Disney.
Shallow, but if I didn't know this was a Disney film, I would have been more inclined to see it.
Disney, to me, says childrens films.

16 Dustcatcher
Posted on Friday March 23, 2012, 20:12
I'm off to see this tomorrow... I like ERB's writing, and the Empire review was solid enough for me to have a go. I'll post again with a verdict later...

But seriously: it's got 6 armed giant tusky gorilla-thingies in it. What's not to get excited about?

17 DJ Rob C: Mark II!
Posted on Friday March 23, 2012, 20:18
I get all the figures and stuff add up to a failure, but if you look at it still, a lot of people did go to see this movie just not enough to make it as big a hit as it needed to be... it needed to be the most popular movie of the year to break even, too big an ask really

I applaud Stanton and Disney for making it because it's visually amazing and whilst not a perfect movie, kudos to them for giving it a go...

I'm just fed up of people saying stuff like 'No one saw it. Why did you not see it' the problem wasn't people not seeing it, it was that the whole of the universe didn't see it twice...

18 Armani88
Posted on Friday March 23, 2012, 20:18
I saw this film with a few friends but wasn't eager to see it as the trailers laid out the basic story which didn't seem outstanding (whereas when you watch avatar trailer it draws you in). When i first heard the title i thought it was a standard drama! not good...

I loved finding memo and mosters inc and desperately wanted this to do well as i like Andrew Stanton.

Overall i thought it was a good film but not brilliant partly because it stuck to the source too closely which is more than 100 years old i think, therefore could have been updated, as some parts were too slow. It was also quite predictable and aimed at children and not enough for adults, and this comes across from trailers.

I love sci-fi films and can see where many other films have got their ideas, so everything seemed too familiar.

I don't think that unknown actors are that important as many films over the years have done very well without big stars.

I think if the screenplay was more updated and marketing was done better then it could have been so much better! Good Try Andrew Stanton!!

19 durelius
Posted on Friday March 23, 2012, 20:21
I saw it and enjoyed it, thought it was light hearted and entertaining. The cast were interesting not big names but people I was certainly aware of.
Marketing I did notice they were plugging the hell out of this film as far back as xmas, is it really necessary to do that 3 months before release.
I do though find it quite disturbing how quickly everyone jumps to the conclusion it's a huge failure when the dam film is still on release, it's still on for another week at the cinema I go to, annoucing so publicly that their film has failed to live up to their initial expectations has now just put the final nail in the coffin, people who may have gone to see it this week who have read about it's financial short comings in the press and gonna say well forget that lets see something else.
I also watched it in 2D as I'd read the directors comments in Empire with regards it being a conversion so there was no point in seeing in 3D. So they wasted money on 3D conversion and maybe too much marketing, but for me the film delivered as much as I expected.

20 IanRees78
Posted on Friday March 23, 2012, 20:44
I saw it last weekend - to be honest I had been curious about it since I first saw the trailer at Empire's Big Screen last year. I would agree that the title alone is something of a non-event; it was the visuals that drew me in.

I enjoyed the film - I wasn't familiar with the book so I did find I had to work quite hard to keep up with the lore and I felt the film strained a little under the 'weight of the concept'. Ultimately though I think it was worth the effort. In a way it put me in mind of Dune, another sci-fi (again heavily desert-based!) which seemed to labour a bit with its ideas, but was worth sticking with if you are prepared to accept that some aspects will seem a bit overcooked (even, dare I say, silly).

John Carter may not be Andrew Stanton's finest work, but I think it deserved to be seen more than it has. Perhaps all this 'box office failure' publicity might spark some added curiosity and maybe even attract a cult following when the DVD is released (much like the original 'Tron' - few people I know have a bad word to say about it these days!)

21 pecman2000
Posted on Friday March 23, 2012, 20:50
I dont think the lack of a star name is relevant at all, look at the hugest films over the years, Titanic (at the time, Leo who?), Avatar (Sam Worthington?), or even Star Wars (Harrison Ford?), what made these films was the promise of being on board the sinking of the most famous ship of all time, or travelling far, far away, etc.
John Carter had none of this, as already stated, its in a desert in Utah, plain for all to see. And who the hell was it aimed at?
Also, post conversion 3D.....No!!! This film was on a par with 'Clash....' for inept 3D, but there wasnt a cinema near me that had a 2D option.
I watched this, it made no sense to me, and all i can now remember is how awesome the super fast dog was, film stealer!
Poor marketing, non-sensical fim, very poor 3D, lack of fantasy. Nuff said.

22 stevolegendbauer
Posted on Friday March 23, 2012, 20:54
It simply came to late to its own party, there was some cool stuff here but as the source material influenced Star Wars and Avatar, it's all stuff we've seen before. I just didn't really see any draw. I've seen big battles, I've seen a man in a desert gladiator stadium defeat giant beasts, I've seen the desert filled with CG. What I haven't seen is Taylor Kitsch, like who is he? Why has he been given the job of heading up a 250 million dollar movie, admittedly the same could be said for the leads of Star Wars and Avatar, but they were original and of a superb quality, this is getting average reviews and the fact is, i watch the trailer for this "epic" movie and I'm just not excited about it, I remember when the full trailer for Avatar came out, I was blown away, I watched that thing 50 times. And I've done the same with the recent trailers for Avengers, Dark Knight Rises and the Hobbit. This is just so meh, and in times when money is tight, I'm not gonna spend my money on this when I could go see the hilarious 21 Jump Street.

23 TimRiggins
Posted on Friday March 23, 2012, 21:26
Okay, no big star names...but Taylor Kitsch was THE ONLY REASON I went to see this film.Massive fan of Friday Night Lights.

That said, I'm really glad I have a Cineworld membership card and managed to catch it in 2D so didn't have to hand over real money for the experience. Bad experience.I don't like those kind of sci-fi CGI movies anyway, and it looked really bad from the trailer, so agreed on the bad marketing. I didn't know anything about the story, as did none of my friends. The earth bits were okay, some of the Mars bits were so cringeworthy I had to watch through my fingers.

For me, it would've been so much better to start with the earth-based story and introduce us to the peeps on Mars later....when that opening shot and the narration..'Mars'...kicked off...I just turned to my mate and laughed...bad from that moment on...and she paid cash.

But I did manage to get Taylor's autograph at the London premier. It's not his fault!!

24 Monkey1970
Posted on Friday March 23, 2012, 21:36
I'm afraid I must fly the flag for 'John Carter'. I went to see the movie last week with a friend and, I must say, we loved it. Admittedly, it wasn't perfect, but then again, what is?
After paying a hefty £11.50 for tickets (it's crazy what movies cost these days-thank goodness we enjoyed it) we settled down to 'John Carter' and were immediately thrown into the action as we caught our first glimpse of Mars. I've always been a sucker for films set on the red planet... I've even suffered through 'Mission to Mars' on several occasions to be back there was a joy.
There is a somewhat complex backstory to 'John Carter' and following it, innitially, was a little tricky but we soon got into the swing of things... Just in time to shoot back to Earth and meet the titular hero and witness several humorous attempts by him to evade capture.... Until he winds up on Mars via a teleportation device he finds in a cave....
The adventure begins, and that at its red heart is what 'John Carter' is... A romantic adventure. The story of a man, lost both physically and emotionally, who finds something new that is worth fighting for.... Well, that and a lot of really cool creatures and jumping!
You may not know who either of the lead actors are but you may have seen them both in Xmen origins: Wolverine. Both are just right here. Taylor Kitsch has a little bit of 'Star Wars' era Harrison Ford about him and Lynn Collins, as the feisty Princess of Mars, is beguiling. I couldn't stop looking at her... Gorgeous and captivating.
The supporting players were all as entertaining and reliable as you might expect, with Mark Strong and especially having a whale of a time as the villains. A special mention too for a mo-cap Willem Defoe as the leader of the green skinned, 4 armed Tharks... All memory of Jar Jar Binks swiftly banished, thank goodness!
It saddens me somewhat that this film is going to be vilified.
Andrew Stanton and Edgar Rice Burrows deserve so much more.
Long live the red planet!

25 sifter132
Posted on Friday March 23, 2012, 22:16
Actually I think there's one other factor that wasn't mentioned: director choice. Andrew Stanton has a fine CV, but as jontysidgwick said, Disney means kids films to a lot of people. And then you cast a director who has made his name with animated films? Bit dangerous I would have thought. So while Disney and Stanton on their own are respected to most people, their combination possibly turned people away, particularly the sci-fi loving section of the market.

I almost saw this, mainly because I generally like high budget stuff and it stood out on the calendar and seemed less cheesy than 'teeny' than the Hunger Games. The marketing at least made me look up John Carter, I was not familiar with the history of it. But nothing I saw when I looked it up really grabbed me. I love Friday Night Lights, but wasn't super excited about Kitsch, and no one else in the cast was interesting. The story sounded like Avatar. Basically I would have been happy to see it, and probably would have enjoyed it if someone else had asked me to go, but I was too lazy to go myself for something I wasn't excited about.

And while I've done it, comparisons with Avatar are a bit unfair. Avatar was ahead of the curve, so much so they had to wait to release it while the world caught up to their technology. John Carter is on the curve, and I'm afraid it didn't have anything that hadn't been seen before. In that case you need a hook, and John Carter just didn't have one. That's why I mentioned directors, as other people have mentioned stars. If Ridley Scott or David Fincher directs this, I think it's a hit (maybe even Bryan Singer or Michael Bay level guys too). I just think either your director or lead needs some cred in the genre you're doing, and John Carter has neither.

Might do well on DVD though, with people like me who at least had it on the radar happy to give it a look on DVD.

26 Gilbo123
Posted on Friday March 23, 2012, 22:58
As you can see if you read the posts there is clearly a pattern emerging... Most people who actually went to see the movie really enjoyed it! I suggest that people stop listening to negative reviews by people who have A: Not seen the film, or B: Were determined for the movie to fail before it even hit the big screen.

As for the film itself. Taylor Kitscha nd Lynn Collins although not particularly well known, are perfectly cast as the two leads. The villain is villainous. The monsters are well realized and the landscapes are as scorched as you'd expect the red planet to be.

From a story perspective, I thought that it was a perfect example of classic story telling and I can see why Disney decided to give it a go.

PLEASE... I beg of everyone who hasn't seen this film, to make the effort while it is still on the big screen, and take a chance on this sweeping epic... And then once you've seen it head over to facebook and join the "Take me back to Barsoom. I want a John Carter Sequel!" fan page.

27 litespell
Posted on Friday March 23, 2012, 23:27
2 mains reasons why I did not bother;
1) I read and heard many comparisons to Avatar being made, this was going to be the next big thing. I thought Avatar was a dull, derivative story (great CGI is not enough )
2) 3-D

28 Darth Marenghi
Posted on Saturday March 24, 2012, 01:20
@pecman2000: DiCaprio was still a star name when he did Titanic and was in no way unknown.

29 Dave25
Posted on Saturday March 24, 2012, 07:28
I saw this film and actually liked it and found it to be much more entertaining than Avatar, will definetly pick it up on Bluray. My old man also went to see it and he also enyoyed it although he thought the concept of it might have been a bit too 'cerebral' for some audiences. Its a real shame it bombed as its much much better than most of the generic, formulaic crap that has been coming out for the last few years, hope its finds the success it deserves on dvd and bluray.

30 laurel2348
Posted on Saturday March 24, 2012, 08:14
1.) The dailogue in the trailer was quite possibly the most inane I'd ever heard
2.) Lynn Collins; didnt she play a barmaid in True Blood? Bit old to be a Disney princess, surely?
3.) Looks an awful lot like Prince of Persia.

31 sephiroth7
Posted on Saturday March 24, 2012, 08:48
The lead was a charisma vacuum, the script was a joyless mess and everyone was acted off the screen by a CGI alien dog. Director should stick to non human character movies.

32 satchwannad
Posted on Saturday March 24, 2012, 09:01
Its may hve been the very first si fi book telling of the saviour story,but its the last to be made...been there seen that left very bored.

33 Mort Grimm
Posted on Saturday March 24, 2012, 10:22
Me and my wife seen it, both loved it. I'm a real movie buff, so I'm usually critical. I didn't want to see the movie at first- in my view it was very poor judgement that led them to release that one clip of him fighting in the arena with all it's Attack of the Clones echoes. It was also maybe a mistake to cast a relative unknown in such an unmarketable movie, although I must say I actually enjoyed his performance. I actually think he was well cast in many ways. He's not terribly charismatic but I believed him as John Carter. The movie was a great piece of old fashioned escapist cinema. What finally interested me was knowing it was based on this 100 year old book that inspired Star Wars etc...

34 baron85
Posted on Saturday March 24, 2012, 12:55
Actually, the marketing posters were quite cool, although the trailers left me cold.

As a bit of a sci-fi buff, I was already aware of John Carter, but not a fan and I had never read any of the novels. The film just came across as the typical bland epic that has proliferated in the last 12 years. I had no real knowledge of the franchise. The effects and style looked interesting, but I had no interest or attraction to the plot or characters which was poorly communicated in the advertising, leaving it appear as generic.The film was named after John Carter, but until now I have no idea what kind of character he is (is he noble? naive? is he cruel?). That was a mistake of the marketing - although my impression is that he comes across as bland in the film.

35 K0rrupt
Posted on Saturday March 24, 2012, 13:04
I have not seen the film but I would like to put foward my own thought which is that the film hasn't fared as well as it could because of 3D.

It's not that the 3D is bad, it's that cinemas in my local area are showing it exclusively in 3D. If you're tired of the format you're less likely to see the film and its less probable that you'll travel far (in my case hopping on two trains) to watch a film in 2D.

And let's be frank here, it's not as if the film has left theatres alltogether. It's still out there in cinemas.

36 Miss Redheart
Posted on Saturday March 24, 2012, 13:21
I remember I saw the poster a few weeks ago, didn't recognise the name John Carter or associated anything with it, and passed it by. Frankly, it didn't appeal to me because I had no idea who the hero was, or what the film was supposed to be about.

37 edjones95
Posted on Saturday March 24, 2012, 14:02
To be honest in all of the coverage I saw through Empire etc. the film looked pretty terrible, just another Avatar style rip-off, of which one was enough, I didn't much care for Avatar either...

38 rich
Posted on Saturday March 24, 2012, 14:10
Marketing is the biggest problem. Say that a movie is amazing enough times and the masses will start to agree regardless if it has no big stars in central roles and looks in no way unique or original. Avatar managed to be a giant success with these same "problems" people are citing as reasons John Carter isn't selling. Make a mess of your trailers and then have studio brass tell people it's a flop and people will think it's an absolute fact that the film isn't worth seeing.

39 darkhart
Posted on Saturday March 24, 2012, 17:40
This is the sort of film I would enjoy.. or think I would enjoy.. and there-in lies the problem with John Carter, "the marketing".. it was never clear what it was we were going to see and who it was aimed at!?

Also I'd like to add that I can't stand movies in 3D. It's just another gimmick to make more money. I find the 3D and the glasses distracting me from enjoying a movie... please, please, STOP MAKING FILMS IN 3D!!!!!!!!!!

40 Wormie
Posted on Saturday March 24, 2012, 18:00
It seems that most of the comments are either" I wasn't interested in seeing in so I didn't", or "I saw it and liked it". I'm amazed that Disney spent a ridiculous amount of money on it and then put out a half-hearted marketing campaign. Did they see the film and think it was a stinker (which it patently is not)? Star Wars is the most successful franchise in the history of cinema (if you say Harry Potter, I say inflation) and Avatar is the highest-grossing (non-inflation-adjusted) film ever, so it's odd that a good film in the same genre has not been a big success (although as many have said, it unfortunately looks derivative of both). I do think the lack of 2D screenings is a problem. Only one of my local cinemas has shown JCM in 2D, and there were only one or two screenings a day.

41 The Hooded Man
Posted on Saturday March 24, 2012, 18:07
The Taylor Kitsch bashing is curious, everyone's got their own opinion, but he's proved in Friday Night Lights he can handle playing a complicated, nuanced walking contradiction of a man, he's proven he's got the chops. I don't think he was particularly stunning in John Carter but I liked the everyman approach he took rather than a complete cliche action figure spouting out platitudes. My wife went with me to see it but she had no idea what it was about until a few minutes into it, that has to be the fault of the marketing department - not my wife's ignorance but the fact that the non geek audience had no idea about this film.

42 drico
Posted on Saturday March 24, 2012, 18:50
Everything you say is right....but it isn't.

1. The star- Sam Worthington vs Taylor Kitsch. both unknown at the time. Ive seen friday night lights and what kitsch is capable off. the hero good guy is simply not his casting bracket despite he has the looks for them. he's better off playing a drunken selfish lump of meat. Worthington has an unusaula look. he's andsome but also looks like rooney. It was interesting to see this guys face on the poster for avatar. Also, worthington completley held his own in the biggest film ever made. he has that crazy confidence only few are born with. his performance in avatar was genuine. as a character going to a new planet and becoming an alien is true for worthington and what was happening in his real life. he was transported to hollywood and that i feel came through in his performance and the audience rode the same wave as him.

2. Blue Aliens vs green? The trailer for avatar wasn't good. it looked like a video game without the 3d effect. I heard cinemagoers utter that they wouldnt be arsed with some blue shite. Yet I believe it was the word of mouth that really got avatar going. and yes you are correct. the sandy earthyness of john carter just doesn't appeal to the eye like an electric blue planet.

3. and yes, the loyalty to the origin story. sometimes you have to face the reality when mars just isn't a believable area for life to exist anymore. you can google mars and see what it looks like on ground level. not a damn chance there is big green four legged willem dafoes. pandora is the smart choice. an exoplanet (yes they exist) that earthlings are looking to ravage for the salvation of their own race.

all in all, thats why i didnt watch it.

43 veej
Posted on Saturday March 24, 2012, 19:17
I saw this with my local Film Club and we thoroughly enjoyed it...because we guffawed throughout (there's really no other word for it).
Unfortunately it was a campy parody of itself; with the source material having been plundered by every sci-fi medium going, the only way to make John Carter an unparalleled success is by having an incredible character-driven story.

Well, I think even those of us that enjoyed the escapism and boys-own feel of the film would agree that the screenplay was less than inspiring. Lost amongst the cacophony of CGI and 3D was also possibly the weakest leading man I have seen on the big screen. I'm sure he's a nice bloke (nice to look at too!), but lack of charisma is pretty dire.

Anyway, great alien-dog (Woola) - anyone know where I can get me one of those?? And hopefully this may strike the death-knell for 3D.

44 justlovepopcorn
Posted on Saturday March 24, 2012, 22:17
The trailer evoked feelings of The Phantom Menace and that was enough to put me off.

45 farahchaudry79
Posted on Saturday March 24, 2012, 23:54
Really enjoyed John Carter. As far as I am concerned, it was a great film for those who love old school sci-fi, but was poorly marketed and far far too much money was spent on what is essentially a scifi b-movie. But as one twitter comment said " silly it was charming". I couldnt agree more.

46 Toursiveu
Posted on Sunday March 25, 2012, 02:58
They should have cast Josh Holloway as John Carter. While I was watching the film, I couldn't help but notice the physical similarities between Holloway and Kitsch... except for the charisma and badass / devil-may-care attitude. The hero was too vanilla : they gave us Luke, we wanted Han Solo, the film needed Han Solo! I don't think Kitsch is to blame... but I've seen the film about three weeks ago and I don't remember much about the main character. He should have been given more iconic moments, not just be there and be the hero.

Also you can sense that a longer version or a director's cut exists somewhere : there are way too many ellipses in this film! And that hurt the film.

Otherwise, it was an OK film with wonderful SFX, some great moments. It is by no means a bad film worthy of Razzie Awards, it is enjoyable good fun. Its main problem though, is that it isn't MEMORABLE enough. From the man who gave us Wall-E and Finding Nemo, that was surprising.

And of course, if you spend 350 million on a film, you'd better be sure the advertising is good. It wasn't. An argument that I don't agree with is that "THE BRAND WAS NOT ENOUGH WELL-KNOWN"... I find it sad that audiences today only go for movies with a "brand". The fact that it's an epic and that I don't know much about it... Well to me it's a good thing and the reason why I'm going to go and see it! Do people realy want to go see movies they already know? What sad times we live in... Avatar wasn't a "brand"... and everybody went. But I guess in that case Cameron was the brand...

47 J_BUltimatum
Posted on Sunday March 25, 2012, 05:17
you only need one reason for this film bombing... it was awful!!! awful acting, script, directing, marketing. just plain awful!!!

48 kittybinks
Posted on Sunday March 25, 2012, 08:26
I saw this movie, determined to make my own mind up. The early buzz wasn't complimentry the reviews mixed and a little known star apart from a baffling appearance on Wolverine.
Overall it isn't a bad effort but it tried too hard! elements could have been left out too many baddies on all sides. This made it hard to follow and care for caracters and the cause they were fighting for. The arena scene shouldn't have been included, far too close to AOTC to avoid comparison/derision. This should have been smaller scale split into 2 or 3 movies allowing a possible franchise to grow. Unfortunately, this is now stillborn

49 BlackbirdMovie
Posted on Sunday March 25, 2012, 10:30
The film did not appeal to me. First of all because it is science fiction. But if the film seems cool enough I even watch SF, John Carter just didn't seem that cool. To be honest it looked like an expensive B movie.
I really feared another: "epic film-unknown star-more SFX than plot-kind of film." You know, those bad things we have had TOO MUCH of the past years.
Hollywood, will you be introducing cool plots into your big productions anytime soon?

50 stuxmusic
Posted on Sunday March 25, 2012, 10:52
I didn't go see it because I don't tend to see films when they open, especially not big films. I have to travel for an hour on a bus there and back to go to the local Cineworld. I'm Damn sure I'm not walking 10 minutes to the odean, the prices are off the charts and they don't have the unlimited card. I also have a bus pass for work so I don't lose any money there either. what I'm saying is most of the time I don't see a film in the cinema in its open week. Im also working a 50 hour week. you try poaching yourself up for a 2 hour bus journey to see a film that could suck. I'm all for keeping my mind open but its hard when the films are to big to cram in. Another reason is that they dropped the wild west segment of the film from the trailers. it would have explained why this character had no idea what was going on for the rest of the 3 minutes. last year there was a film called cowboys vs aliens, and people probably thought showing the wild west bit would compare their film unfavourably to that.

another reason for me, and this ones a biggie, is the music. I couldnt tell you a note of the music from that trailer. but I could recite the music from the superman, Indiana Jones, spiderman and iron man trailers without having seen the films. I didn't remember it after I watched it at all. you need some kind of signature price which captures the heart of the cinema going public.

51 stuxmusic
Posted on Sunday March 25, 2012, 11:13
I should also mention, the first trailer made me want to see this film. And then the usual barrage of cack trailers which never ever ever turn out well turned me off from the film. The one with the arcade fire cover? Brilliant. Having went and watched it on youtube I almost want to leave the house to go see it.

52 vinayaka_moviegeek
Posted on Sunday March 25, 2012, 12:23
I didn't catch John Carter at the cinemas because my budget didn't allow me to. If I could, I totally would have gone. The film I last saw in a cinema was Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol. And that was because Brad Bird directed it.

And, honestly, I don't give a rat's ass about who the star in the film is. All I give a damn about is the story. And it's Andrew Freakin' Stanton who's directing! I would guess it's humanly impossible for somebody from Pixar to tell a bad story.

I haven't seen in yet. I'll probably download it. But, I am pretty sure it's going to be awesome!

But, for me, none of the reasons you listed, gave me no reason to not see the film. The only reason I wanted to see it was because Andrew Stanton directed it. And that is reason enough. I mean, look at what the dude's done. His work speaks for himself - Finding Nemo and WALL-E! What more could a film buff ask for!

Although I guess, that's again because of a recognizable person working on the project. The general audiences go to the movies because they recognize somebody in a film. And for them, that would normally be a big star. But, for me, I guess that would be the director. So, I think I am trying to say the the star for me is the director. Damn. How did I get here?

53 dmcc73
Posted on Sunday March 25, 2012, 15:52
There was a lot of things going against it, but I'll mention the big 3.

1. MARKETING...This is the biggest problem with the movie. They made no attempt to bank on Edgar Rice Burrough's source material, to explain it influences countless popular novels and movies, etc. And the trailers were confused and not that engaging at all (why they felt the need to play Kashmir in most of the U.S. trailers is beyond me).

2. Backlash...Months before this movie came out there was a HUGE backlash of people on the internet screaming for its demise. Never quite figured it out, but I suppose it was from the fact that the trailers were either too confused (or more likely) younger viewers completely unfamiliar with the books immediately thought it was another rip-off of Avatar, Star Wars..(enter your favorite sci-fi film here).

3. The story....I don't feel it was too close to the source material at all. Well, to be honest yes and no. It stayed with the general structure and canabalized a lot from the first 2 novels. However, they left out important elements for character arc that would have better served the film. The "damaged" portrayal of John Carter was unneeded and took away from what my the books so great. And lastly some parts out right dragged, while others were too fast. Cases in point. The desert exodus scenes were WAY too long and I was actually bored. Then at the end when John Carter proposed and Dejah excepts, they get married, bl ah blah. It was too rushed. So a little better editing and a little better job on the reshoots would have served the movie better I think.

I say this both as a fan of the books and the movie. They movie was enjoyable. The effects seemed almost flawless, very impressive. The story wasn't the greatest and I wouldn't say its the best movie I've ever seen. But it was entertaining and worth a shot. I find it interesting though, that a lot of the naysayers clearly state they've never seen the movie before.

54 corvicula
Posted on Sunday March 25, 2012, 17:31
I went to see John Carter and was left very indifferent. It's as if someone had taken a list of the 5 most common things in a sci-fi movie and made it into a film. A special ability (jumping), a different planet (mars), an ancient war between two people, some "magic" and a girl to fight over...

55 nsix
Posted on Sunday March 25, 2012, 20:14
Trying to sell us an action sci-fi movie? Sign me up!

Disney is behind it? Oh never mind.

Not really into a watered down censored action flick. IMO Disney needs to create a second studio for their more adult movies where they would feel no shame in including blood, skin, language and other adult film traits.

56 WheelsOnMeals
Posted on Sunday March 25, 2012, 20:31
This movie really isn't that bad and does not deserve to be the next Waterworld. Although I think John Carter should never have been greenlit to be made in the first place as it's 30 years too late!

The story having been written before Star Wars has ALL the best parts taken and rehashed by so many Hollywood sci-fi movies that it feels un-original.

The things that really damaged it's chances of success were:
1. The Trailer was piss poor. It was like - every scene had reminded me of another movie. Prince of Persia, Cowboys & Aliens, Star Wars etc etc...

2. The Disney logo on all the John Carter movie posters were a huge NO NO because by association this is a kids movie and not a sci-fi movie.

Shame really. Loved the alien pet dog and was looking forward to a sequel.

57 TamsinL
Posted on Sunday March 25, 2012, 20:34
I was never interested in the books having been put off by Robert A Heinlein droning on about them in his later (weaker) novels. but to be totally honest the trailer didnt work for me, the publicity around it didnt work, no 'attractive' actors (Thor was a must after finding out that the actor who played Kirks dad was playing Thor) Im shallow enough to demand an attractive leading man is key for me to take a chance on an unknown franchise.

58 susanjw
Posted on Monday March 26, 2012, 03:05
The trailers made me think of SW:The Phantom Menace - "Look what we can do with CGI!!" Never felt like a story or characters to care about

59 Silvio Mugabe
Posted on Monday March 26, 2012, 09:42
Why I didn't go and see it?

I think one of the first things that must be acknowledged is the rescession. People are a lot more selective on what they spend money on (especially since the cinema is so expensive now). The public don't want to take a gamble on a property that is poorly advertised and leaves the audience confused. Why go and see something if the company are too lazy to advertise it properly?

I also think the release date had something to do with it. People feel more 'flush' at the start and the end of the month (depending on when you get paid) and therefore feel more secure in making choices - people don't have the money to see every release(especially something that is released mid-month). I actually wanted to see the film but I had to assess my finances and decided I'd rather save my money.

The star? I think that is unfair! Avatar's leads were not widely known at the time and look how much business that did!

I believe it was down to the release date and poor advertising. To reiterate, if something is so poorly advertised and leaves you frustrated rather than enlightened about the product then the public will not bother with it. Such laziness is only accepted with franchise movies where people know the characters

60 deniseeliz
Posted on Monday March 26, 2012, 10:39
We went to see it by accident (cinema listed the times for The Raven incorrectly) and thoroughly enjoyed it. Think we enjoyed it more as we went in with no preconceptions, having not read any reviews. It was funny and that is what suprised us and appealed to us. We were pleased we saw that and not The Raven!
I do think marketing was the major problem. The trailer didn't quite portray the movie. It could have been presented so much better.

61 AxlReznor
Posted on Monday March 26, 2012, 11:27
I didn't see it entirely because I don't have money to go to the cinema as often as I like at the moment, and I'm saving up for The Avengers. I WANT to see the film, but at the moment it looks like I'm going to have to wait until it's available for rental.

62 The Tingler
Posted on Monday March 26, 2012, 11:29
I'm with Maxthom - it was 3-D, that simple. My whole family were ready and looking forward to seeing John Carter, then they heard we could only see a 3D showing and they all ducked out. It's not worth the extra expense or the headaches that we ALL got after seeing Tintin.

Still nearly went, just me and my wife, but the last straw for me was Odeon charging for the f***ing 3D glasses on top of the ridiculously high ticket prices. We said no. Disney and the cinemas lost 5 ticket sales just because of their refusal to screen the film in 2D in Oxford cinemas. I know they weren't the only sales they lost.

63 Dustcatcher
Posted on Monday March 26, 2012, 13:05
Well, I liked it. It's a boy's own adventure, it has no pretensions to being anything else (unlike Dances With Viperwolves), and it cleaves to the spirit if not the details of Edgar Rice Burroughs. Followed it up with a plate of chips with bacon and cheese, a couple of pints, and went home happy.

64 stilli666
Posted on Monday March 26, 2012, 13:24
A friend of mine is blind in one eye, so he won't see it while it is out in 3-D (he has no depth perception anyway) and is waiting for a 2-D version to appear anytime soon. I'm not a lover of 3-D, frankly I think it is a gimmick, but I'm prepared to cast aside any dislike for the technology in order to see a film that COULD be great. Usually though I end up being frustrated that I've spent an extra £2 to see a film where the USP is the technology. I think people are beginning to get tired of 3-D and even more so if it costs an extra bob or two.
I haven't seen it yet, but I would like to. Not to poke fun at it, but to see if it is any good.

65 Jasper_29
Posted on Monday March 26, 2012, 13:29
It was a bad idea to make the lead character look like a Chippendale. Parents are probably reluctant to take their kids to a movie where the hero is showing off his pumped up body and manly nipples for two hours.

The rock/metal tune accompanying the fight scenes ftom the trailer made it feel more violent than it really was, but the PG rating means there's not gonna be any real violence in the movie.

But then the CG creatures made it look like a tacky Star Wars Episode 1 kind of cartoon.

Cartoon. Rock music. Man nipples.

No thanks.

66 Roderich
Posted on Monday March 26, 2012, 15:19
They fumbled with that first trailer and by that angered the SF/Internet-Community. Nobody wanted to see another version if the Episode 2 Geonosis arena-battle (with a soundtrack heard a 1000 times before! Do they believe all viewers are dorks?).

They made that as some kind of central piece and major selling point of the movie, showing a "Mars" which was not even really red.

Now the arena-battle is a small piece in a - IMHO quite good - SF/fantasy movie, but was as old news as much as that soundtrack when they presented it as a first glimpse. This not only confuses people, but ANGERS fans, who fell they are getting served old ideas with unoriginal methods.

And initial anger keeps you critical to all what comes afterwards, so it was a lost cause somewhat from then on.

Whoever made that first trailer should be fired (or fined the lost 200 million).

Another point someone else already made:

Many do not want to shell out 12,50 € for a 3D-Experience when they are unsure if they would like the movie. My wife f.e., while interested didn't join me to watch the movie as she doesn't like 3 D anyway and had read that this movie was not even shot with 3D in mind. Had it also been shown in 2D in our town she would have given it a try.

That phenomenon will happen with other "questionable" movies "in 3D" in the future too, i'm sure.

67 Nighteyes
Posted on Monday March 26, 2012, 16:21
Actually, I wanted to see this, but I don't like watching 3D - gives me a headache. But where I live, no cinemas were showing it in 2D, so I couldn't watch it. Just have to wait till it comes out on DVD.

68 Dirtyfunkymonkey
Posted on Monday March 26, 2012, 18:15
Most of you criticising have not actually seen it! Says it all...

69 sweetladybrick
Posted on Monday March 26, 2012, 19:58
I haven't seen it, and actually quite liked the idea of it when I first heard about it (Burroughs evokes pulp, and the whole 'John Carter of Mars' made me think of sci-fi serials and space operas)...

...But I wasn't interested in a film that had Taylor Kitsch as the star. His previous work doesn't exactly highlight what a tremendous actor he is.

I dare say I'll watch it one day, but I just didn't fancy paying to watch Kitsch again.

70 d threadgold
Posted on Monday March 26, 2012, 21:18
I DID see it, and it was for two reasons that the marketing, for bizarre reasons, failed to mention. 1) It was the director of Wall-E, one of the most astounding pieces of cinema - let alone animation - in recent years and 2) Michael Chabon, the Pulitzer Prize winning author of 'The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay' (one of the best books I've ever read), was one of the co-writers.

However, after seeing the film I cannot believe it came from creators of such calibre. It is, without doubt, an absolute turkey. It had an awful script, which did little to warm us to Carter, or even get to know him in any depth at all, and the various narrative beats were clumsily done, coming off rushed, and, consequently, I just didn't care about anyone in the movie.

It felt like Stanton was never sure what he wanted us to feel in relation to Barsoom and its inhabitants. Scenes whizzed by with little impact, never sure of whether we should be laughing, crying, caught up in the action or on the edge of our seat - they just... happened. Meaninglessly.This lack of direction meant that audiences never bought into the fantasy. The worlds of Avatar, Star Wars and Lord of the Rings are just as far out there, but we suspend our disbelief and buy into the characters/world because there's a consistent direction to everything, and, more importantly, we're encouraged to care about it al.

Oh, and it looked ridiculous. The production design, the make up, costumes - all of it. I mean, nothing has looked that outrageous since The Fifth Element, and at least that was being hipster ironic.

Finally, the action scenes were dull and forgettable, lacking any dynamism, and it seemed like Stanton FORGOT that he could use the camera to punctuate specific action beats/moments in order to add to the excitement. Like the cliched landscape of Barsoom itself, it was all so very... flat.

Put simply: this movie is awful and deserved to flop.

71 DeadCell79
Posted on Tuesday March 27, 2012, 00:49
me and my girlfiend SAW IT TWICE. we loved it. it was fun had good action and the acting wasnt to bad either, YES there was holes in the movie but i feel they can be easly forgiven,

where i feel the movie flopped was becouse it wasnt advertised enough with a clear indecation of what the movie was and who it was aimed at. not having a big name is also not the reason why it crashed, Look at Avatar that sisnt have anyone big in there bar Sigourney Weaver. and she wasnt the lead. in conclution im gutted it done so poor as i really want to see how the story of John Carter goes on. as it is/was considered to be a trilogy.

PS: most of the SciFi movies used john Carter as for its influince and pretty much used its content in some degree


72 WilSpeaking
Posted on Tuesday March 27, 2012, 07:26
When I first heard about the John Carter of Mars film I got excited as I have been reading SF from Third grade back in the ‘60s and this was giving me flashbacks. Disney dropping the “of Mars” part of the title which I think was imbecilic and lost much name recognition and situational placement (i.e. it is SF and takes place on Mars!) I watched the trailers and thought they were not bad, read the reviews and remembered most critics are that way because they can’t create. Then watched the move (in 2D) and enjoyed it! Lynn Collins as Dejah Thoris was like a Frank Frazetta cover leaped into life with a sword in hand ready to swashbuckle as well or better than anyone else. I thought Taylor Kitsch did a good job as John Carter and didn’t get in my way of placing myself within the story as most people who read books do.
To paraphrase somebody else, this movie seemed like so many others is because this one started the whole trend.

73 pecman2000
Posted on Tuesday March 27, 2012, 14:04
@darthmarenghi......I wasnt suggesting that Leo was an unknown, more that there were question marks on his ability to bag the main role in a 200 million dollar blockbuster, in the same way that most of the above blogs put that same question mark about Taylor Kitsch.
Yes, Leo had done romeo and Juliet, a reasonable success, and a small role in Quick and the Dead, plaudits for Basketball Diaries, etc, but lead a major blockbuster.....hence the ?.
The main point being that its not about the actor that means success, its the film as a package....John Carter is not a good package.
Anyway, why is nobody mentioning how ace the super fast dog was?!

74 JohnnyCasanova
Posted on Tuesday March 27, 2012, 17:05
I went to see this film for two main (shallow) reasons. 1 - I have a Cineworld Unlimited card so didn't have to spend £10 on it. 2 - The lead actor was fit and topless. I thought the trailers looked OK but not good enough that I'd have spent money on it and seeing the Disney logo on the trailer definitely put me off as I automatically assumed it would be dull, kiddie friendly rubbish. If I didn't have the cinema card chances are I'd have waited to hire it on DVD.
Adding my comments to the unknown leading man discussion - I didn't know who Sam Worthington was before Avatar but I knew Sigourney Weaver was in it which gave me more confidence in the casting. Mark Strong and Willam Defoe were both pretty much unrecognisable in the trailer, they should have sold them more.

75 gemsev
Posted on Tuesday March 27, 2012, 21:58
The marketing and the hype completely passed me by. I was never made to feel like I had to see this film. In fact I kept thinking it had already been through the cinema.

Marketing is a very powerful and I can't figure out where the $100 million went.

76 Middenway
Posted on Tuesday March 27, 2012, 23:21
All those things were problems. Another was the script, which was an utter mess. It has THREE beginnings, in the end sequence John Carter led the Tharks to the wrong battle with little to no consequence and no tension, the relationship between John Carter and Deja Thoris happened largely in montage... This was true of many of the relationships in the film, like there was a little on/off switch with no intermittent stages.

The main character is trust into an alien world and not until halfway through the film does he make any effort to interact with it... by which point he is separated from any of the characters with which he could have more meaningful conversations with. No one cared about the Mars because John Carter didn't care about Mars. He had no awe, no wonder, no sense of discovery, no curiosity.

For much of the film he's completely reactionary, barely a protagonist at all. Even in captivity, a character can still be pro-active, but John Carter was not written that way. It is the character of John Carter that is the film's biggest flaw.

77 Middenway
Posted on Tuesday March 27, 2012, 23:24
trust = thrust
"No one cared about the Mars" = "No one cared about Mars"

78 Sue Scott
Posted on Wednesday March 28, 2012, 11:40
The reason I didn't see John Carter is because I couldn't. It was available only in 3D at my local cinemas and I can't see 3D. So they really shot themselves in the foot!

79 JayBee
Posted on Wednesday March 28, 2012, 13:48
Went to see this movie on Saturday night and thought it was great. The cinema was pretty empty which was a shame. The reason I think this movie failed is two reasons....

Advertising: I did not see this advertised anywhere except on a couple of websites and on the sides of buses. Didnt see any TV adverts. When I showed my dad the trailer, he said it looked great but had never heard of it, Most of my friends said they had never heard of it either (they are not massive movie fans). Don't understand how the advertising cost $100m

Title: John Carter (sounds like a boring docudrama). John Carter of Mars (still not a great title) does sound more interesting.

80 joe (mavrick) horton
Posted on Wednesday March 28, 2012, 15:53
i didnt see the film because it looked as tho as it was confused as to what it wanted to be. i honestly thought it was a kids film, and then mostly adults went to see it.

it also just looked like a bad film, the trailer didnt really tell be much a bout the story. and story must always come FIRST!

im also a big fan of the director wall-e is my fave pixar film, but the CGI in this film looked frankly awful.

these 3 reasons were the reasons i didnt see the film

81 theseabadger
Posted on Wednesday March 28, 2012, 18:39
fair eniough the CGI was a bit shite and the first ten minutes were crap but overall I thoroughly enjoyed this film at the cinema and quite frankly it's a damn shame that it's doing so badly!!!!!!! Especially compared to films like Chronicle which got awesome reviews but was the biggest pile of sh*t I have seen at the cinema since my brother made me watch Drive angry!!!!!

Personally, I hadn't heard of John Carter before (other than what I had read in Empire) and I don't think that this has encouraged people to go and watch it. That and the fact that the trailer made the film look excruitatingly dull!!!!!

82 TimRiggins
Posted on Friday March 30, 2012, 19:50
No just made me spurt my tea out laughing. Happily, I avoided Chronicle and Drive Angry. Sweet.

83 Haveityourwaybaybeee
Posted on Thursday April 5, 2012, 14:28
I've not seen it, so I can't comment on whether or not I think it's any good.
Well, I could, but I would be an absolute anus if I did.

Anyhoo, some reasons I didn't see it:

1. Poor trailer
2. Uninspiring cast (not that I have a particular issue with any of them)
3. Silly theme. (I know its sci-fi and the genre requires us lot to suspend some disbelief, but sci-fi and fantasy films, at their best, surely must have at least some small sense of the real to anchor the film as a whole)
4. Not a reason I didn't see it but - £250,000,000? On a character 99% of people have never heard of? Starring an actor the same percentage of humans is unfamiliar with? Never a good idea is it.

There are more reasons, but I'm supposed to be working and my co-pilot's clearing his throat...

84 Cynric
Posted on Saturday April 7, 2012, 20:16
I really enjoyed John Carter. It wasn't perfect, but then I never asked it to be. It was engaging, the action was well done without being needlessly drawn out, and the cast was solid.

I esspecially liked the Tharks, who as an alien species and civilisation are far more engaging and fasinating than the smug, bland and preach Navi.

85 Psykoduck
Posted on Tuesday March 4, 2014, 18:56
You are a moron. I had to register an account just to make this comment, but to claim John Carter was "too loyal to its original source" tells me you didn't read much of the original source. This movie was a total piece of crap. They took plots from about 4 of the Barsoom books, blended them together with no attempt to make sense, then shat out the results. It was confusing because it was a collage of plotlines that didn't actually connect in the books. I've read about 7 Barsoom books and I was confused watching this movie, because they didn't follow any one book accurately. If they had just done a decent, loyal version of Princess of Mars and given it a decent title (John Carter of Mars was better than just JC), it would have worked. I saw this film with several people who love the books and they all hated it.

86 selena81
Posted on Monday March 17, 2014, 19:27
initially i wasn't planning to go see this movie, mostly because of the bad buzz.

but when i eventually watched it i liked it (more than i liked f.e. avatar).
with all those 'dark superhero' movies out there it is refreshing to see something more lighthearted and fun (without being a 'kids movie').
and thankfully no big 'origin story' to fill up half the movie, just some hand-waving about how he got on mars.
the money was spend on special effects and not on 'name actors' that i wouldn't recognize anyway, as i'm not american and don't care about celebrities.

it probably helps that i've always liked the science fantasy genre (in addition to liking science fiction and fantasy). the hint of steampunk didn't hurt either.

87 my5p
Posted on Sunday December 28, 2014, 21:08
The trailer gave me the feeling that this would be something of a 6+ family movie. And a guy on an elephant (or something like it) would be acceptable for a poster of a fantasy movie from the 80s. And in that case it should have been Arnold Schwarzenegger sitting on the elephant. Not some John Dough.

Also I think this Taylor Kitsch guy would be better suited to play a villain. His smile has something of a grimace, looks like he just ate an unpealed lemon. Just no superhero material, even with the abs.

In reference to the article, point 1-5 and 8 pretty much cover it for me.

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