Saturday, March 10, 2012

John Carter flopped Walt Disney Studios could lose $100 million

Wall Street media analysts are predicting that Walt Disney Studios could lose $100 million to $165 million on 'John Carter,' its big-budget Martian adventure film that opened Friday.

Walt Disney Studios' Martian adventure film "John Carter" appears to be heading, in the words of one financial analyst, "to the red ink planet."

Wall Street media analysts said the studio could lose $100 million to $165 million on its big-budget epic, which opened Friday in theaters worldwide.

"We normally would not be changing estimates prior to a movie opening," Alan Gould, senior media and entertainment analyst at Evercore Partners, wrote in an investor note published Friday. "But given the tracking reports, reviews and high profile of this picture, we feel there is little risk in adjusting our estimate early."

Gould more than doubled his earlier estimates of the studio's loss on the film, to $165 million. An entertainment analyst at Cowen & Co. also projected a write-down of $100 million or more, citing the apparent lack of moviegoer interest in seeing the film about a Civil War hero who is magically transported to Mars.

The debut of "John Carter," a film based on a century-old series by Tarzan creator Edgar Rice Burroughs, looked Friday as if it would be eclipsed by the second weekend numbers for the 3-D animated movie "Dr. Seuss' the Lorax." The family film, from Disney rival Universal Studios, opened at $70.2 million last weekend and could bring in an additional $40 million this weekend.

Based on East Coast screenings and pre-release surveys of would-be moviegoers, "John Carter" could bring in $26 to $28 million worth of ticket sales over the weekend, according to a competing distributor. That figure, while precipitously low for a movie that cost $250 million, marks an improvement over earlier projections.

source: Los Angeles Times


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