John Carter Movie Poster

John Carter

March 9, 2012
2hr 12min
Status: released

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  • John Carter is an American science fiction action-adventure film directed by Andrew Stanton, written by Stanton, Mark Andrews, and Michael Chabon, and based on A Princess of Mars, the first book in the Barsoom series of novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
  • Several attempts to adapt the Barsoom series had been made since the 1930s by various major studios and producers. Most of these efforts ultimately stalled in development hell.
  • In the late-2000s, Walt Disney Pictures began a concerted effort to adapt Burroughs’ works to film, after an abandoned venture in the 1980s. The project was driven by Stanton, who had pressed Disney to renew the screen rights from the Burroughs estate.
  • Andrew Stanton became the new film’s director in 2009. It was his live-action debut, after his directorial work for Disney on the Pixar animated films Finding Nemo and WALL-E.
  • Filming began in November 2009, with principal photography underway in January 2010, wrapping seven months later in July.
  • Michael Giacchino, who scored many Pixar films, composed the music. Like Pixar’s Brave that same year, the film is dedicated to the memory of Steve Jobs.
  • John Carter was released theatrically in the United States by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. The original film release date was June 8, 2012. In January 2011, Disney moved the release date up three months to March 9 of that year. A teaser trailer for the film premiered on July 14 and was shown in 3D and 2D with showings of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2; the official trailer premiered on November 30. On February 5, 2012, an extended commercial promoting the movie aired during the Super Bowl, and the day before the game, Stanton, a Massachusetts native, held a special screening of the film for both the team members and families of the New England Patriots and New York Giants, the competing teams.
  • It failed at the North American box office, but set an opening-day record in Russia. It grossed $284 million at the worldwide box office, resulting in a $200 million writedown for Disney, becoming one of the biggest box office bombs in history.
  • With a total cost of $350 million, including an estimated production budget of $263 million, it is one of the most expensive films ever made. Due to its poor performance, Disney canceled plans for Gods of Mars and Warlord of Mars, the rest of the trilogy Stanton had planned.
  • John Carter’s failure has been attributed to its promotion, which has been called “one of the worst marketing campaigns in movie history”.
  • Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment released John Carter on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital download on June 5, 2012. The home media release was made available in three different physical packages: a four-disc combo pack (1 disc Blu-ray 3D, 1-disc Blu-ray, 1 DVD, and 1-disc digital copy), a two-disc combo pack (1 disc Blu-ray, 1 disc DVD), and one-disc DVD. John Carter was also made available in 3D High Definition, High Definition, and Standard Definition Digital. Additionally, the home media edition was available in an On-Demand format. The Blu-ray bonus features include Disney Second Screen functionality, “360 Degrees of John Carter”, deleted scenes, and “Barsoom Bloopers”. The DVD bonus features included “100 Years in the Making”, and audio commentary with filmmakers. The High Definition Digital and Standard Definition Digital versions both include Disney Second Screen, “Barsoom Bloopers”, and deleted scenes. The Digital 3D High Definition Digital copy does not include bonus features. In mid-June, the movie topped sales on both the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert sales chart, which tracks overall disc sales, and Nielsen’s dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart, with the DVD release selling almost a million copies making $17 million and Blu-ray and 3-D releases selling almost as many copies making $19.2 million, for a combined total of $36.3 million in its first week alone.