Confirmed: Disney offering free advance screenings of John Carter (and why that’s important)

John Carter News

Stitch Kingdom is reporting that it’s confirmed that Disney is offering free advanced screenings of John Carter at Disney World on March 3 and 4 — a total of 6 advance screenings, all in 3D.  It’s possible there may be screenings at Disneyland as well.  The screenings are open to Disney World pass holders.  For more details you can read about it at Stitch Kingdom.

Why is this significant?

Because it is a sign of confidence — that Disney is confident that the film itself delivers and will generate positive word of mouth. If they were to offer six advance screenings (several thousand people minimum) for a film that’s a stinker, with social media the way it is today, such a decision could end up costing some millions of dollars in revenue by dampening enthusiasm. Conversely, to offer such screenings shows that Disney is confident — based on Neilsen test screenings no doubt (which are different because attendees sign waivers not to say anything disparaging about the movie, which is considered a work in progress at that point). It means that Disney knows what the word of mouth is going to be — and it’s going to be good.

All the word of mouth in the world won’t save a movie for which the promotion is not good. If opening day doesn’t get to a certain level, word of mouth will not save it. But this is a sign that Disney is confident about word of mouth, and secondly, it means that Disney is likely to “go the extra mile” (or in this case, spend the extra $20m) to get the opening day turnout they need, because they know that the asset in question–the film itself–will perform if given a proper launch.

So …smiles all around. This is good news for more than the few thousand who will get to see it.


  • Eminently sensible approach. FYI we’ve sort of got JCWF on the run over there at IMDB. Trolls are getting drowned out….for the moment. 😉

  • Thanks, Mike! That might be a topic I would ask Stanton if I ever see him at a Q&A, or if I ever catch him during one of those Twitter sessions. (I’d have to start using Twitter to begin with.)

    I would pose the idea on the IMDB board, but I’m taking a break from those troll-infested woods until at least after the film is released. Feel free to bring up the idea there if you think it might add to a discussion.

    By the way, thanks for all that you’re doing to encourage the fans and promote the movie!

  • Good point … and one which points out the fact that we should keep an open mind, as you have…….but not everyone is willing or able to do that. Tryu that one out on IMDB and see what sort of mayhem it provokes. 😉 I like it though.

  • It dawned on me the other day that the dead wife and child are actually completely organic to “A Princess of Mars”. Stanton, to some degree, has given Tars Tarkas’ tragic backstory to John Carter. Instead of (or perhaps in addition to) Tars being the one who lost his mate, it’s John Carter who has suffered a loss.

    Since we’ve heard next to nothing about how Stanton is presenting Tars’ backstory in the film, I’m curious to see if things have been kept much the same as they were in the books in regards to Tars, and now he and John Carter will have similar tragedies in their past. That would be a big bonding element for these two characters who are supposed to become the two best friends on the planet.

  • i still don´t uderstand the dead wife and kid in the movie,(don´t tell me that is supossed to make us feel bad about carter imortallity,andrew stanton said in a interview that he is not immortal in the movie)

  • Interesting….National Research Group is actually the leading company doing studio test screenings and for the three movies I’ve made that were test screened by them, there was a simple non-disclosure agreement that was part of what they filled out — only they filled it out on their way in, not out. But I’m glad Neilsen didn’t do that for JC. My larger point was that studio test screenings are not intended to be “buzz generators” ….rather they are feedback mechanisms — and that’s how they are different from the free screenings.

  • Just so you know at the 2 neilsen screenings I’ve been to lately including John Carter, I was never asked to sign anything either real or electronic that says that I wouldnt say anything disparaging about the film. We weren’t even hit w/ a metal detector. All they did was make sure that we had no video recording devices with us. Oh … and maybe the NDA is at the option of the producer? Could be….

Leave a Reply