Why They Should Make a John Carter Sequel


If there is an infamous movie to talk about from 2012 so far, it would have to be “John Carter.” The reviews seemed extremely opposite ended. If you read some of the critics’ reviews, you will find in some cases a curiously cruel animosity by some. Conversely, there is a marveled appreciation for it by others.

If you read the forums and Twitter comments accompanied by the hashtag #JohnCarter, you will discover a great deal of the comments are mostly praise. If you read the reviews from people who bought the movie at Amazon, the majority enjoyed it thoroughly and don’t understand why the hate by others.

Then, there is the supposed loss of hundreds of millions of dollars by Disney. I’m wondering when someone is going to stop repeating those old totals, and find updated numbers that actually reflect “John Carter’s” financial run. Well, since no one else is doing it, here are some estimates I found online.

According to Box Office Mojo, the film’s budget was $250 million (although other sites claim it cost even more to make). Also, some other sites insist Disney spent $100 million promoting the movie, which I highly doubt. But let’s image this is true. At this point, the movie needed to make at least $350 million to break even.

Did “John Carter” break even?

According to Box Office Mojo, “John Carter” made $73,078,100 domestically, and $209,700,000 at foreign markets, for a total of $282,778,100 worldwide. That’s not bad for a movie that isn’t a franchise, had a relatively unknown actor for its leading man, and was poorly, very poorly promoted in my opinion.

So, $282 million subtracted from $350 million leaves us with a $68 million dollar deficit. But the profits don’t end here. There are also home media sales (DVD, Blu-ray, digital downloads) to consider.

How much has “John Carter” made so far in those markets?

OK, the movie has been out on sale for three weeks, and it was the No. 1 video sold its first week, moving 526,928 units and making a fantastic $8,952,507 total. It made another $3,409,025 in its second week and $1,650,942 for its third week. That’s a total of more than $14 million.

But that is not taking Blu-ray into account, which has already made well over $22,171,862 in three weeks. That is almost $40 million more to add to the total earnings.

And because I don’t want to make this article endless, let’s just say it made plenty more in digital downloads (iTunes, Amazon) as well as in movie rentals, which I hear is still going strong despite Disney’s wishes to wait 28 days from it’s DVD release before it is available for renting.

I would have to say that all those articles I read in March calling “John Carter” the biggest flop in history were shortsighted. According to the numbers, the movie has, at the very least, broken even, and it is by no means the biggest flop in history.

There seems to be an actual interest in the film and folks are now getting there hands on it, digitally or on video. Maybe it was word of mouth, or maybe it is just the regular cycle of the industry, but it has done very well in these markets.

So, why not take advantage of a legitimate fanbase that has brought a movie that had a weak start financially to an even break, and give us the sequel it deserves? The books are already written and waiting to be made into movies.

Read our review of “John Carter” HERE.

So, what do you think? There are already some fanbase groups working towards convincing Disney or another company to bring the sequel to life. Would you watch it?

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8 Comments Add Yours ↓

  1. 1

    This is a fantastic article and I love the facts and figures you present here. Most people get stuck in time, as it were, just parroting all of the stuff they heard months ago and elaborating on it without the facts. It’s hard to get the facts out there to people and every well-written article helps. This is one of the best! I’ll be sure to share it far and wide! Oh, and I “Liked” your FB page, too! -@JohnCarter2Fans

  2. 2

    Thank you for this article! I loved John Carter (of Mars). You’re right, there IS a fan base for this movie, and it’s growing every day. I’m glad it’s finally getting the recognition it deserves now that people are discovering it on home video. Give us a sequel – we want to go back to Barsoom!

  3. O.R. #

    Box Office is not the amount of money a movie makes for the studio. It’s the amount of money it makes.. well – at the box office. Movie Theaters gotta make some money too, so they keep somewhere in the area of 35-50% of what the movie makes at the box office.

    Thusly a movie that cost the studio 350 mill in production and marketing will need to bring in north of 500 mill at the box office before it breaks even.

    It’s pretty much the same story with dvd’s and blu-rays – it doesn’t all go to the movie studio – the retailers keep around the same percentage of the sales (as the movie theaters) – and also the studio must cover the cost of producing the discs.

  4. Frank #

    Thanks for this. John Carter was a great movie that was severely under marketed. To be kind. And where were all the toys and happy meals that would have brought in more coin. (We are all waiting for our plush Woola’s). I told a coworker about the movie and she watched four times. In one weekend. (And I only saw it 9 times). Why the folks in the movie business can’t see the potential in this as a franchise is beyond me.

  5. JC Fan 4 Life #

    Yeah, if Disney just crunches the numbers they should be able to see what a potential gold mine they have on their hands with a JOHN CARTER franchise. Just look how much money JOHN CARTER made and is still making DESPITE the uphill battle it had to climb against Disney’s own stupidity/negligence and a MASSIVE and VILE internet smear campaign by the so-called entertainment press. It would be horrible business to throw away all of the hard work Stanton’s crew put into building the world of Barsoom. Honestly, parts 2 and 3 could be done together and much much cheaper. Most of the “heavy lifting” is already done. You’re telling me we get 5 Resident Evil films and only one JOHN CARTER film? Say it isn’t so! If Disney doesn’t have the balls to admit their mistakes,they should give up the license and let a company with some big ones take over this franchise – one that is the FOUNDATION of ALL action/adventure/sci-fi/fantasy films. JOHN CARTER STILL LIVES!

  6. Katie #

    I loved reading this article. Thanks for not just repeating the old numbers. John Carter was a great movie that has a very solid and expanding fan base. It has done well despite the lack of marketing and the negative reviews. John Carter definitely needs to get its sequels. Take us back to Barsoom!

  7. silver #

    Box Office Mojo estimates the movie, which is heavy on special effects, cost $250 million to make. The special effects were supposed to drive the film’s success, according to actor Taylor Kitsch, who plays John Carter.

  8. Mulvey #

    I’d be first in line!

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