JOHN CARTER Finally Earns Back Production Costs

Due to terrible domestic box office receipts, JOHN CARTER became of the worst business decisions for Disney in some time. The film was also responsible for a quarterly loss for the Disney company as well, but the $250 million film finally made back it’s production costs thanks largely to better international box office receipts than in the U.S. As one example, Russian audiences loved the film and flocked to see it. Further, Disney released a home 3D Bluray version of the film this past Tuesday, which should help domestic receipts for the film as well. To date, the film now has brought back more than $282 million dollars, which is far better than the $160 million dollar red ink loss the film appeared to be showing up until only recently.

The frightening roller coaster business story for JOHN CARTER has certainly got to concern other Hollywood executives who might be pondering that next multi-million dollar film production. JOHN CARTER cost a quarter of a billion dollars to produce, yet looked for the longest time as if it would lose major league money by the bucket loads for Disney. A story like this only encourages other film companies to look at possibly scaling back big projects and doing smaller budget films that can more easily be profitable with much smaller box office gross receipts. For example, THE THREE STOOGES was a cost effective production costing around $30 million to produce, and was able to quickly earn back over $42 million to cover it’s costs. From that standpoint, it was a good business decision. This probably points the direction for Hollywood to consider. Don’t go low budget. But, don’t break the either. Remember that making films is foremost a business, where you have to be able to earn a profit.

In this recession prone age, Hollywood needs to weigh the art of filmmaking against the reality that many films can easily lose money. The reality needs to be that the art of filmmaking must also accommodate the business reality of the need to earn a profit to pay the bills.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
  • I REALLY liked John Carter – but I think their marketing of the movie was a flippin’ disaster.

    “Let’s see – we won’t mention ‘Of Mars’ because another movie that had ‘Mars’ in the title didn’t do well.” – so they justify removing the historical link between this movie and the Burroughs’ novels that have been read and loved for generations, leaving a generic title.

    “John Carter”

    Really speaks of action and adventure, and who wouldn’t connect that to the novels?


    Worked well, didn’t it?

    • Hello JL. Indeed this became one of the worst business decisions ever made by Disney…..a decision that just barely returned it’s production costs. Thank god the film did well in Russia and a few overseas spots to pull this film into bare profitability..
      Some in Hollywood don’t seem to understand that the movie business needs to be run as a business, where spending $250 million on a poorly marketed film hardly makes financial sense whatsoever. Disney shareholders must be tickled at business decisions this weak. It’s nonstarter business leadership like this drove MGM into bankruptcy and the search for someone with some money to buy out the company in order to complete long delayed projects such as the latest James Bond film.