There’s a nice piece in the Globe and Mail which puts the John Carter “flop” status in something approaching reasonable perspective.
Here’s the article:
John Carter’s a flop, but we’ve seen floppier
There’s nothing more entertaining than imagining you could do a better job of managing things than the rich and powerful. That’s why Disney’s announcement last Monday sent such an ecstatic ripple of schadenfreude through the entertainment world – the movie John Carter is not just a disappointment but a $200-million writeoff, making it the biggest movie flop of all time.
As a failure it surpasses Cutthroat Island, Howard the Duck, Ishtar,Heaven’s Gate and Pluto Nash.Every pittance-earning movie blogger claimed to be able to see the problems clearly: Director Andrew Stanton had only done animation before; the source material was too old; and the Disney branding machine had forgotten how to tell stories.
Piling on is fun, but John Carterseems distinctly overrated as flops go. With a Metacritic rating of about 51, it actually earned better reviews than current hits such as Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax and The Vow, or even last summer’s billion-dollar successes,Transformers: Dark of the Moon andPirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. As well, the CinemaScore polls of audiences gaveJohn Carter a decent B-plus rating.
Nor was there any poetic justice meted out here. There is no tongue-wagging Liz-and-Dick scandal (Cleopatra), no egocentric director (Michael Cimino, Heaven’s Gate; M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender), no movie star-producer’s vanity project (John Travolta’sBattlefield Earth; Kevin Costner’sThe Postman; Warren Beatty’s Ishtar and Town and Country).