From Cellulloid Wonders by J. Kemp
How “John Carter” Bomb Could’ve Been Prevented
Disney’s science fiction epic “John Carter” is now considered one of the biggest bombs of all time, and is being compared with films such as “Ishtar” and “Heaven’s Gate.” It is subject to several media parodies, making fun of the film. It has only gained $66 million as of April 11th 2012, according to boxofficemojo.com (It does have a solid $263 million worldwide, but that’s still not enough). And we can’t forget its awful current 50% onrottentomatoes.com. I have seen “John Carter” twice now and I think it is one of the best science fiction epics of all time. I also think critics would’ve called it this if not for all the bad buzz around it. But people love watching a bomb go off, and “John Carter” was the unlucky film it happened to. Now, here are my opinions on how this could’ve been prevented.
If only Disney…
Didn’t make the white ape scene a key part of marketing: Nearly every ad for the movie included the scene where John Carter fights off two giant white apes in an arena. Truth is, it looks a lot like “Attack Of The Clones,” a movie many people disliked.
Made ads more appealing to families: The ads are very serious and violent, and yes the movie is serious and violent, but it also funny and light at several points. When you see the Disney logo in front of a movie that is very violent, you must be sure to include humorous moments in the marketing. I recommend using Woola the lizard dog.
Paid attention to love story in marketing: What do “Gone With The Wind,” “Titanic” and “Avatar” all have in common? They are some of the biggest movies of all time and they all have epic love stories. “John Carter” does too, but you wouldn’t know that from the advertisements. They clearly gave no appeal to have the population, and they definitely paid the price for it.
Didn’t scratch off the “Of Mars:” After “Mars Needs Moms” bombed last March, Disney immediately changed “John Carter Of Mars” to “John Carter.” Now, audiences were scratching their heads wondering where the heck this movie took place. They do care. Now, people are going to think Mars movies by Disney are “cursed,” which is really not true. “Mars Needs Moms” bombed for different reasons, and “John carter” bombed partially because of “Mars Needs Moms.”