Entertainment Weekly: Box office update: ‘John Carter’ is No. 1 with $9.8 mil on Friday, but ‘The Lorax’ should win weekend

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From Entertainment Weekly: There’s some good news and some bad news for Disney this morning. Good news: The studio’s John Carter led the box office on Friday with an estimated $9.8 million (including $500,000 from midnight showings), giving the $250 million sci-fi epic at least one moment at the top.

The bad news: It won’t last very long. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax was right behind with $9.6 million, and that movie should soar today and Sunday thanks to family audiences — last week, the animated fable jumped 79 percent from Friday to Saturday. John Carter, on the other hand, was likely front-loaded with sci-fi fans. End result: The Lorax will win the weekend with around $40 million, while John Carter will have to settle for second with about $29 million.

John Carter, which was helmed by the Oscar-winning Pixar director Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo, WALL-E), was pegged as a potential flop months ago. Only until the very last moment did Disney’s marketing campaign get around to actually revealing the film’s story: Former Confederate captain gets teleported to Mars, where he can leap great distances due to the planet’s lesser gravity. A generic title (which was shortened from John Carter of Mars) and mixed reviews didn’t help matters either.

John Carter received a good-but-not-great “B+” rating from CinemaScore audiences, but it’s the market research firm’s demographic info that’s the most interesting. The film’s audience was 65 percent male, indicating that the picture turned off women. John Carter also skewed older, with 69 percent of the audience at least 25 years old. By comparison, only 48 percent of The Lorax‘s audience was 25 and up. Naturally, as a PG-13 film, John Carter should play older than The Lorax, but not that much older. And when asked whether the “actor in the lead role” was a “reason for attending this movie,” only 8 percent of the audience said yes, suggesting that star Taylor Kitsch wasn’t responsible for selling many tickets.

Read the rest at Entertainment Weekly


  • They hired a pretty boy for the ladies to swoon after, just like they did with Prince of Persia. They didn’t know how to market THAT one either. Between the horrible marketing and the leading actor looking like he should be in 21 Jump Street, I’m really not shocked to see this movie tank. (And yes, a <$30M opening for a $250+M movie is tanking. Losing to a P.O.S. children's movie that everyone seemed to hate last week, on it's 2nd weekend IS TANKING.)

    Disney doesn't know how to market to boys. Even Pirates was targeting the ladies in most of it's marketing, and just happened to be strong enough to find a large male audience as well. Disney does Princesses. They should have kept the original name and pushed Dejah Thoris more in the marketing. By the time the ladies knew it was a guy film, the boyfriends/husbands they dragged to it would've already been hooked.

  • It’s already been proven that EW hates this film so I really don’t care one iota what they have to say about it. If it were up to them JC could just die a horrible death. My EW subscription ended yesterday due to their uncalled bad review (owned by Warner Bros explains that, and these heavily leaning negative comments). So DOWN with EW and UP with Barsoom!!!

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