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Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ronald Epstein, Dec 12, 2010.
I love John Carter. Terrific fun.
I just wish the costuming had been more authentic to the novel.
That was a 2D-only feature.
I didn't think it was much of a movie, but the writer's claim that it singlehandedly killed 3D is insane.
There must be what, 30 movies a year that run 3D? Yet the author states they're essentially non-existent!
Not to mention... John Carter, released March 2012.
Marvel’s The Avengers... released in 3D in May 2012, has the then-biggest opening of all time.
Life Of Pi... released fall 2012 in 3D, wins Oscar for Best Director.
Gravity... released fall 2013 in 3D, sets record for singlehandedly grosses $1 million from 3D showings at single IMAX flagship location (in addition to wide box office success), wins Oscar for cinematography.
The only thing you can take from John Carter flopping is that people weren’t terribly interested in John Carter.
Yeah, a movie can't turn people off of 3-D when no one saw it.
No one? I wonder what I was watching when I saw it in the theater?
Fair enough. "...when so few people saw it?"
I still use John Carter as one of my demonstration discs, especially the air battles. I was and am mystified by its poor box office.
I think a small part of it was the title. It was dull and unimaginative. I can imagine some people reading it and thinking to themselves that it made the film sound boring.
The trailers also may not have helped. They were not exactly exciting.
The people marketing "John Carter" were planks who had probably never heard of Edgar Rice Burroughs or his characters.
Biggest issue: it just wasn't a very good movie. It's not AWFUL but it feels like corporate filmmaking, as it lacks a personality.
The movie clearly lost money, but it wasn't a total bomb. It made close to $300m WW - well below what it needed to turn a profit but not exactly chump change!
Even if "JC" only made 27 cents, it still didn't kill 3D, which is what makes that author's claim so stupid...
Yes, most blamed the marketing, at least in part, for the failure of JC:
I also think casting Taylor Kitsch in the lead role was not a good choice.
Director Andrew Stanton was also responsible for the change to a more generic title:
On the upside, Michael Giacchino did win a couple of awards for his film score on JC.
Yeah, pretty much a total bomb, at least from the studio's vantage point. Accounts in the trades at the time said the write off was close to $200 million on John Carter. (Negative costs were close to $200 million, and Disney spent close to that on marketing.)
But you're certainly right that its failure didn't kill 3D. Lots of movies then and since have been shown very successfully in 3D.
I believe what Glenn Erickson wrote at the end of 2013 in a DVDSavant column encapsulates what happened with John Carter.
"Well, 2013 slipped away pretty fast, a topic I already covered in my Best-of 2013 Article. But it ended with a real surprise a couple of days ago, when I finally caught up with 2012's John Carter. I realize that this is not much of an endorsement of Savant as a source that always has the best advice on new movies -- I saw Pacific Rim right away last summer and didn't care for it at all. John Carter should be a key sci-fi title, my specialty, and I let it get away.
"But about 18 months ago I remember standing outside Disney's El Capitan Theater in Hollywood during the 2012 TCMfest, saying that I ought to see this in 3D while I can. It was doing no business, yet I hadn't heard or seen anything about it that offended me. I had heard all the reasons why John Carter didn't do well -- no stars, no pre-sold franchise, no "of Mars" in the title -- and walked away. Well, on Blu-ray it's marvelous. Edgar Rice Burroughs' hundred-year-old tale is the blueprint for swashbuckling space opera and the construction of not just a character but an entire alien world. The only reason nobody's made it into a movie until now is that the outlandish character designs were unfilmable before the advent of CGI. Director Andrew Stanton may have muffed the marketing rollout but his movie is every bit as good as Finding Nemo and Wall-E; it makes all the Frank Frazetta- like costuming and space opera court shenanigans fun again, like a smarter, less campy Flash Gordon. The 1880s-era setting works well, as does the fantasy mechanisms that transport Carter to "Barsoom" and plunk him down amid a fun world of four-armed nomads, eight-legged steeds and an agreeably loyal frog-dog that covers ground faster than The Road Runner. Why didn't smarter fans than I clobber me with assurances that "I have to see this one?" Or wasn't I listening?
"What Andrew Stanton's movie gets at, is an evocation of an earlier era's ideas of fantastic delight. I haven't seen many filmmakers do this well ...Walt Disney and Karel Zeman come to mind as exceptions. Burroughs' books transported a zillion young readers to a new world, surely inspiring Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers, 'franchises' that came along much later. And we easily see Burroughs' Barsoom tales in later-generation "create a world" fantasies like Dune, Gor and Star Wars. It's no wonder that several decades' worth of pulp sci-fi/fantasy fiction emulated Burroughs, especially their lurid covers featuring sword-wielding heroes and curvaceous space princesses. Stanton's film is actually an adaptation of the first John Carter book Princess of Mars --- maybe they should have just made the title "John Carter and the Princess of Mars." With a title like that we'd know that it has to be good.
"Stanton said that the original John Carter stories had a weak serialized format in print, and that the really difficult problem was finding a workable 3-act structure for his movie version. For me, the constant flow of entertaining content overcomes my resistance to the story of a cruel warlord forcing a marriage with the feisty princess -- amusing & interesting alien creatures, genuinely witty jokes, refreshingly impressive visuals and novel action scenes. In essence I was charmed, as if watching an eye-dazzling sci-fi fantasy fairy tale. If anything John Carter is too good for today's audience, that seemingly cannot let a story sink in, nor appreciate finesse and real wit in giant action epics. After those Star Wars prequels, this is great stuff: it even has real dialogue.
"So I feel rather ashamed, not having seen and championed John Carter when it was new. I'll be looking for an opportunity to see it in 3D some day. I hereby adopt it as another 'Savant' movie -- the kind of deserving picture unjustly pilloried and dismissed on release, like Joe Versus the Volcano, or Until the End of the World."
I think one of the problems with John Carter has been duplicated several times. Popular characters and themes that have slipped from the public's consciousness don't perform that well.
John Carter - The Shadow - The Phantom - etc. One could argue the films could have been better (I agree) but there were some stinker superman and batman offerings yet they kept making them.
i don’t believe Johns post had anything to do with politics, he was just sticking up for 3D.
I will leave it there though.
Maybe, but here in the US, it's members of one political group who call the WaPo a dishonest rag.
You don't have to follow that tribe to criticize WaPo mistakes, but broad comments about how you "can't believe anything" in the "rag" are political 99% of the time in today's US climate...
...and on to other movies. I double dipped on this because I really liked it, but the 3D wasn't that good, but the 7.1 audio was! Next up will be THOR: THE DARK WORLD.