It’s been 12 days since I’ve seen John Carter at the AVX 3D theater at Metrotown, which I absolutely enjoyed. Before writing about it I wanted to do some research to see why there was so much bad press for a film I thought had a good solid story with a few things you just have to roll with, like any great science fiction film ( A Monolith, Replicants, Kuato, Wookies, ect… anyone?). It’s not a perfect film but a really fun, different and highly miss marketed property starting right with the name. If you like classically shot action, good sci-fi storytelling and immersive effects, this is a movie you and a lot of people should enjoy. I’ve even confirmed this with a few of my close geek friends who I thought might be hard on the film but they said they were all pleasantly surprised by the experience, as was I. Beside a hand full, not very many people I talked to even knew what the movie was all about or even cared. By most part, they thought it was a Disney /Pixar animated film or kids movie, but weren’t convinced by the trailers or adds if they had even seen one. I wasn’t even convinced to go see it because of the marketing, it all seems terrible in some way so I just stayed clear of it completely after the first few trailers; Which is interesting for me to ignore news of a particular film of this scale just out of pure social interest. I had never read the source material which is strange because I do remember very vividly the Frazetta art work from the 70’s, but being unaware of the story helped me not get invested in the fact a film was being made. Once I saw these articles months before it even came out claiming that it was a 300 million dollar disaster and director Andrew Stanton(Finding Nemo, Wall-E) was in deep trouble with his first live action film and Disney execs had been very upset with the first screenings and such, I started to get some what more intrigued to see it. As the scattered bad press continued up till it’s release, reading a bunch of terrible mainstream media reviews for the picture and a bunch of great internet press reviews I started to suspect a pattern. I always go with the internet reviews over paper or mainstream opinions, it seems more and more the regular media has lost track of what is actually good as apposed to just being told what is good with out even seeing something and following that popular opinion. John Carter definitely has a few problem being classified into one particular category but that’s what makes it cool, the fact that it’s different and can’t be defined so easily, it has some hidden complexity for a Disney action/ tent pole for sure, Stanton snuck some great smart stuff in there.
At this point being in the theater for 31 days and taking only $67,973,000 Domestic and $188,000,000 International with a total of $255,973,o00, Worldwide it pretty obvious that John Carter is going to be a huge financial disaster on paper for Disney. I think as a classic sci fi film it’s a big win for director Andrew Stanton and I’m sad we most likely won’t be seeing any more of the John Carter story in this scale anytime soon based on the box office. I’m not sure what Disney could of done to improve the marketing because with a 300 to 400 million dollar advertising budget they had , there sure was a whole lot of people that had no idea or interest to see it.
Which is very unfortunate because it is something I will definitely be buying on Blu-ray and am excited to re watch a couple of times again right away. I will say to those of you who are on the fence with this one I urge you to give it a try and you will most likely be pleasantly surprised by the experience. I can only hope that it does so good on video that Disney looses their mind and decide to do a sequel but that would mean some serious record breaking numbers are needed to even expect that at all, which I don’t; But if you do like classic sci-fi films this is the best one I’ve seen in a while and you won’t regret giving it your time and money. Well worth it.
Till Next Time. Stay Tuned.