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(LA Times)   Final weekend numbers on Disney's "John Carter" now tallied, making it the third biggest Carter disappointment since Jimmy and Billy   (latimes.com) divider line 83
    More: Followup, Disney, Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Andrew Stanton, DreamWorks Animation, Martians, Edgar Rice Burroughs, disappointments, historical drama  
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2960 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 21 Mar 2012 at 8:54 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-03-21 08:19:25 AM
Billy Carter is not a disappointment
upload.wikimedia.org
 
2012-03-21 08:41:26 AM
When even the slavering juggernaut that is Disney's marketing department can't put a shine on a steaming turd, you know it's bad.

Their best pitch was "Hey! All those action movies you liked? Well, this is the story that they were all stolen from, except the thieves took out the really boring and stupid stuff, but WE didn't!"
 
2012-03-21 08:57:55 AM
I hear the movie was decent, just marketed poorly.

It's rare to see such an expensive movie get such negative buzz even before anyone's even seen it. Disney should fire whoever they had marketing that.
 
2012-03-21 08:59:07 AM
Why did they call it "John Carter," tells you nothing about the movie. It's a generic name.
 
2012-03-21 08:59:08 AM
Apparently the comic adaptations of the books that have sprung from this are rather good though.
 
2012-03-21 09:00:43 AM
I'm still probably going to see it. I have a few free movie passes that are expiring soon, and there isn't shiat else playing that I want to watch.
 
2012-03-21 09:02:18 AM
Saw it yesterday.
Good flick.
I recommend it!
 
2012-03-21 09:03:22 AM
I have some friends with decent taste in movies who saw it and said the it was much better than the trailers would lead you to believe. I still think I'll wait and check it out on cable.
 
2012-03-21 09:05:27 AM
I'm going to catch it tonight--but then again, I'm a big Burroughs fan. Sickness kept me from heading to the theaters for the opening, and I'm disappointed that the sales were lackluster--but that's because I've been waiting for a screen adaptation for a long time.

KAOR!
 
2012-03-21 09:13:57 AM

Gunther: I hear the movie was decent, just marketed poorly.

It's rare to see such an expensive movie get such negative buzz even before anyone's even seen it. Disney should fire whoever they had marketing that.


There was an article here on Fark a few weeks or so back about how the original marketing director quit halfway through the campaign, and what a bad sign that was. Apparently either he thought it was irredeemable, or the studios were interfering too much or something. To just up and walk away like that, risking your entire future career, usually means that someone was pushing far too many buttons to be tolerated for another minute.
But then again, these are the same people who take innocent little girls and turn them into whores, crack addicts, and beasts, and have a "family channel" that goes out of its way to crap on 6,000+ years of traditional family values, not to mention the same company that has spent over five decades ruining classic stories and characters, as well as shiatting all over history.

They are a G-- D------d marketing machine only, the ultimate in corporate whoredom. I'm still amazed that they haven't found a way to assimilate Mal*Wart into their evil schemes.
 
2012-03-21 09:14:43 AM
If you're going to do an adaptation rather than an original film, it should be an adaptation of something people have heard of. The first I heard of this movie was at a Superbowl Party, and when the trailer ended with the name "John Carter," everyone in the room said "Who?"
 
2012-03-21 09:21:43 AM
I'm interested because I am a fan of ERB and especially the Barsoom series, so I'll see it this weekend.

It's fascinating that most people who've seen it say it's good or even great (especially among people familiar with the ERB source material), and audience ratings are high, but critics have panned it and it's doing poorly at the box office. So, I don't know what to expect.

But I will point out that other films have been panned by the critics and done poorly at the box office...like Blade Runner, for example. This is undoubtedly no Blade Runner, but poor reviews and bad box office have nothing to do with whether a movie is good or not.
 
2012-03-21 09:22:28 AM
I saw it and didn't think it was nearly as bad as all of the critics made it out to be. Sure, some of the dialogue was a little stilted and some of the character growth happened way too fast, but special effects were really good and set up a great world in Barsoom. If you haven't seen, forget what the critics have said and check it out for yourself.

As for the title, I don't see why they didn't go with something like "John Carter and the Princess of Mars" ala Indiana Jones. Marketing never made me want to see this, but that fact that it was based on Burrough's work made it worthwhile to see for me.
 
2012-03-21 09:26:32 AM

Crusader: I saw it and didn't think it was nearly as bad as all of the critics made it out to be. Sure, some of the dialogue was a little stilted and some of the character growth happened way too fast, but special effects were really good and set up a great world in Barsoom. If you haven't seen, forget what the critics have said and check it out for yourself. As for the title, I don't see why they didn't go with something like "John Carter and the Princess of Mars" ala Indiana Jones. Marketing never made me want to see this, but that fact that it was based on Burrough's work made it worthwhile to see for me.


They should at least have called it John Carter - Warlord of Barsoom. That might have drummed up curiosity at least.
 
2012-03-21 09:30:30 AM
Third biggest? What about Vince?
 
2012-03-21 09:30:46 AM

NobleHam: If you're going to do an adaptation rather than an original film, it should be an adaptation of something people have heard of. The first I heard of this movie was at a Superbowl Party, and when the trailer ended with the name "John Carter," everyone in the room said "Who?"


IT'S FRIPPIN' JOHN CARTER! WARLORD OF MARS! KAOR! FOR HELIUM! FOR CARTHORIS! FOR THE SONS OF DEJAH THORIS!

Cripes. It's Burroughs. Pure, unadulterated Burroughs. Tarzan. Pellucidar. The Land that Time Forgot. The Mucker. And yeah, John Carter. What the Hells did you kids read instead of Burroughs?
 
2012-03-21 09:33:54 AM

hubiestubert: IT'S FRIPPIN' JOHN CARTER! WARLORD OF MARS! KAOR! FOR HELIUM! FOR CARTHORIS! FOR THE SONS OF DEJAH THORIS! Cripes. It's Burroughs. Pure, unadulterated Burroughs. Tarzan. Pellucidar. The Land that Time Forgot. The Mucker. And yeah, John Carter. What the Hells did you kids read instead of Burroughs?


You assume they read books.
 
2012-03-21 09:35:56 AM

hubiestubert: NobleHam: If you're going to do an adaptation rather than an original film, it should be an adaptation of something people have heard of. The first I heard of this movie was at a Superbowl Party, and when the trailer ended with the name "John Carter," everyone in the room said "Who?"

IT'S FRIPPIN' JOHN CARTER! WARLORD OF MARS! KAOR! FOR HELIUM! FOR CARTHORIS! FOR THE SONS OF DEJAH THORIS!

Cripes. It's Burroughs. Pure, unadulterated Burroughs. Tarzan. Pellucidar. The Land that Time Forgot. The Mucker. And yeah, John Carter. What the Hells did you kids read instead of Burroughs?


Usually books less than a hundred years old. If it hadn't been for a dozen movie and TV adaptations of Tarzan, I probably wouldn't know who he or Burroughs are either.
 
2012-03-21 09:35:58 AM
Why the hell do businesses get tax breaks for making bad decisions? I've never understood that.
 
2012-03-21 09:38:42 AM

canyoneer: They should at least have called it John Carter - Warlord of Barsoom. That might have drummed up curiosity at least.


Exactly. John Carter sounds like a Denzel Washington biopic, not a scifi action movie.

hubiestubert: Cripes. It's Burroughs. Pure, unadulterated Burroughs. Tarzan. Pellucidar. The Land that Time Forgot. The Mucker. And yeah, John Carter. What the Hells did you kids read instead of Burroughs?


Schools don't assign or discuss scifi for reading, and kids mostly read what they're assigned. Burroughs? Shiat, you don't even learn about Heinlein, Farmer, Vonnegot, Wells, etc. In fact, the only names brought up are generally Bradbury and Verne(Bradbury much more than Verne). I chose William Gibson for a book report and the teacher said "Who?"
 
2012-03-21 09:38:43 AM

canyoneer: You assume they can read books.

 
2012-03-21 09:39:32 AM

NobleHam: Usually books less than a hundred years old. If it hadn't been for a dozen movie and TV adaptations of Tarzan, I probably wouldn't know who he or Burroughs are either.


I weep for your father for not sharing Burroughs with you. It's sacrilege. It's like not putting Mark Twain in your kid's library...
 
2012-03-21 09:42:48 AM

TravisBickle62: Why did they call it "John Carter," tells you nothing about the movie. It's a generic name.


Are you asking that because you have no idea who John Carter was, or are you asking that because you're wondering why Disney named it that instead of something more in line with what the movie is about? Your answer will determine the level of snark involved...

Sadly I think that Disney screwed up with the naming myself. As a society we're just too far removed from ERB (& reading in general for that matter) for the name John Carter to mean much to the average person. It is heartening to see all those in the thread however who knew who he was, there is some slim hope for the future.

/will probably wait a while to see it, but plan to eventually
 
2012-03-21 09:47:06 AM

NobleHam: Usually books less than a hundred years old.


www.booksshouldbefree.com

www.epubbooks.com

img2.imagesbn.com

You've got a lot of catching up to do.
 
2012-03-21 09:52:01 AM
And for good measure "the first modern novel"

www.nostalgiastore.co.uk
 
2012-03-21 09:53:35 AM
My favorite part was when John Carter farked his best friend's alien girlfriend two days after his best friend had been paralyzed in a tragic Martian Gladiator Fight accident.
 
2012-03-21 09:53:44 AM
It's hard to get excited about another in a looong line of 'white guy saves the day' movies.
 
2012-03-21 09:54:35 AM
If you like Burroughs, you'll probably love the movie. It's very Burroughsian.

The problem is that he's iconic -- everyone who copied him got to the movie screen first, so to the uninitiated it seems trite. No, in 2012, it IS trite. I think they should have steampunked it up, just to modernize it somehow. And made that woman -- the princess -- a real person, if that was at all possible.

/read Tarzan years ago, when stuck in a beach house without other books. Better than nothing.
 
2012-03-21 09:55:09 AM
I started reading this comic as a kid

images.wikia.com

and it hooked me in enough to end up reading all the Burroughs books. They needed promotional material with John Carter in a small font and WARLORD OF MARS in a huge font vaguely reminiscent of WoW. That's targeted marketing.
 
2012-03-21 09:57:56 AM

Recoil Therapy: Sadly I think that Disney screwed up with the naming myself. As a society we're just too far removed from ERB (& reading in general for that matter) for the name John Carter to mean much to the average person. It is heartening to see all those in the thread however who knew who he was, there is some slim hope for the future.


This is such a load of crap and I hear it all the time. Science fiction and fantasy are currently undergoing a renaissance from mostly American and Canadian authors. The only thing pissing you off is that the kids of today choose to read today's youth fiction, which is also doing extremely well. The reason Burroughs isn't as well known as you'd like is because there are better stories and better authors out there(new and old) and Burroughs impact on our culture is minimal now. Burroughs is no Twain nor is he Heinlein, and John Carter is no Michael Valentine Smith(nor is Tarzan relevant).
 
2012-03-21 10:03:48 AM
I thought it was a very enjoyable movie. Worth my money for the IMAX 3D version.
 
2012-03-21 10:07:05 AM
I think the male lead in this movie is just down right terrible. I get that they were trying to lock in what they percieve as an "up and comming star" (or to manufacture one) but you don't front a 350 million dollar movie with a nobody male lead and you certainly don't do it with a director that has never filmed before.

I think the last person to pull that off soething close to this was James Cameron when he did Avatar. Simple ass story, lame male lead, but movie made 2.7 billion dollars because, well... James Cameron actually knows how to make a movie .

Ultimately that's probably the biggest problem. The director and the executives at the studio didn't know what the fark they were doing and crapped out a 350 million dollar turd. I wonder if anyone has gotten (or will get) shiat canned over it from Disney?
 
2012-03-21 10:09:37 AM

thespindrifter:
But then again, these are the same people who take innocent little girls and turn them into whores, crack addicts, and beasts, and have a "family channel" that goes out of its way to crap on 6,000+ years of traditional family values, not to mention the same company that has spent over five decades ruining classic stories and characters, as well as shiatting all over history.
They are a G-- D------d marketing machine only, the ultimate in corporate whoredom. I'm still amazed that they haven't found a way to assimilate Mal*Wart into their evil schemes.


Recent pic of thespindrifter:

blogs.lasvegascitylife.com
 
2012-03-21 10:11:12 AM

TravisBickle62: Why did they call it "John Carter," tells you nothing about the movie. It's a generic name.


From what I heard, they didn't want to call it "A Princess of Mars" because the word "princess" alienates boys. So the original plan was to call it "John Carter of Mars". But then "Mars Needs Moms" tanked, and Disney thought the public didn't like to see the word "Mars", so they took it out. Hence, "John Carter".

/Stupid
 
2012-03-21 10:12:12 AM

bhcompy: Recoil Therapy: Sadly I think that Disney screwed up with the naming myself. As a society we're just too far removed from ERB (& reading in general for that matter) for the name John Carter to mean much to the average person. It is heartening to see all those in the thread however who knew who he was, there is some slim hope for the future.

This is such a load of crap and I hear it all the time. Science fiction and fantasy are currently undergoing a renaissance from mostly American and Canadian authors. The only thing pissing you off is that the kids of today choose to read today's youth fiction, which is also doing extremely well. The reason Burroughs isn't as well known as you'd like is because there are better stories and better authors out there(new and old) and Burroughs impact on our culture is minimal now. Burroughs is no Twain nor is he Heinlein, and John Carter is no Michael Valentine Smith(nor is Tarzan relevant).


I'm not sure what's the most trolly statement here, but I reckon it's got to be putting Heinlein and Twain in the same category.
 
2012-03-21 10:14:46 AM

Arxane: TravisBickle62: Why did they call it "John Carter," tells you nothing about the movie. It's a generic name.

From what I heard, they didn't want to call it "A Princess of Mars" because the word "princess" alienates boys. So the original plan was to call it "John Carter of Mars". But then "Mars Needs Moms" tanked, and Disney thought the public didn't like to see the word "Mars", so they took it out. Hence, "John Carter".

/Stupid


I'm not sure I believe this that much. It seems pretty irrational, even by hollywood standards.

It's probably more likely that they were thinking to themselves that they needed to brand the movie with the character for the happy meal tie-in's and future merchandising angles. Some marketing guy probably thought it would sell more action figures or something, rather than thinking it would have an impact on the movie itself.
 
2012-03-21 10:14:46 AM
Went in with low expectations, and really enjoyed the movie. Should have been called "The Princess of Mars", probobaly would have gotten some more interest than just "John Carter".
 
2012-03-21 10:15:12 AM
"Wait, we spent over $250 million making this thing and weren't able to turn a profit?!"

Shocked! Shocked I say!
 
2012-03-21 10:22:30 AM
I just found the advertising for the movie to be very generic and ambiguous.

What is this movie called? "John Carter" -- Ok, is this a political movie?
What is this movie about and why should I care? -- I have no idea, and there's nothing I saw in the trailers to entice me
Does this movie look like it's worth my time? -- No, it looks like a bad version of the star wars prequels with swords instead of blasters.

All it takes is a good trailer or ad campaign and people will get talking about your movie. Prometheus seems to be doing some brilliant viral marketing and should do well without any ties to the first Alien movie, John Carter could have done so much better.

/film wasn't that bad and probably should have done better
 
2012-03-21 10:23:33 AM
For those who are ERB fans, I always recommend Philip José Farmer (new window)

Some of his stuff is sort of ERB with a more modern edge...like ERB with anthropology and sex.

For example:

www.pjfarmer.com

4.bp.blogspot.com

(Bonus Roy Krenkel illustrations)

www.pandora.ca
 
2012-03-21 10:23:53 AM
John Carter isn't a bad movie, in fact I really liked the movie. But there's a few key elements that really hurt it.

For one, I think it generally changes too much about the story itself, so now the purists are pissed because it's not exactly like the book. Personally I think that's a good thing, because some parts of the book (wishing himself to Mars in particular) would've been hard to swallow for most viewers. But the biggest mistake they made was turning Carter from cliche good guy into reluctant good guy. Reluctant good guy has been done so much recently it's now more cliche than cliche good guy... why do you think Captain America worked so well?

Secondly, there's literally no one in the film you can plaster their name on the trailers to sell tickets. You take Pirates of the Carribean, remove Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom from the equation, and it would've bombed. $220 million and the best guys you could come up with are Mark Strong and Willem DaFoe's voice? Doesn't even have to be A+ list... Adrien Brody, James McAvoy, Jake Gyllenhaal... hell Zachary Quinto probably would've been enough.
 
2012-03-21 10:28:29 AM

Gunther: It's rare to see such an expensive movie get such negative buzz even before anyone's even seen it. Disney should fire whoever they had marketing that.


They moved it from a summer release to March, which means a lot of people at Disney thought it was a turkey.
 
2012-03-21 10:30:30 AM

420_Yo: Went in with low expectations, and really enjoyed the movie. Should have been called "The Princess of Mars", probobaly would have gotten some more interest than just "John Carter".


John Carter and the Princess of Mars. Bam, Tells you everything you need to know. There's a dude named John, who is a human and a Princess and they're on Mars.
 
2012-03-21 10:32:38 AM

TravisBickle62: Why did they call it "John Carter," tells you nothing about the movie. It's a generic name.


this. I saw the movie, enjoyed it quite a bit, and then forgot the name of it 2 hours later when someone asked me what I did that day.

/i'm also an idiot.
 
2012-03-21 10:36:32 AM
The film is fantastic. It didn't take itself too seriously (a huge plus when the subject matter is this silly) and Willem Defoe as Tars Tarkus completely stole the show. I'm absolutely impressed that they made a 100 year old Sword and Planet sci-fi epic feel fresh and new, at least by today's movie standards. However, I'm glad it won't get a sequel, because though there is a long narrative to tell with the whole book series, one thing I noticed about ERB's books is that each series starts out strong but then later books seem end up being boring rehashes of earlier material. However, since I've only read a small portion of his books, I could be wrong in this.
 
2012-03-21 10:41:05 AM
The critics are dead wrong. The movie was entertaining and much better than is widely understood. It is surprising that Taylor doesn't have his own group of fangirls like pattinson and lautner have.
 
2012-03-21 10:42:26 AM

quiotu: Secondly, there's literally no one in the film you can plaster their name on the trailers to sell tickets. You take Pirates of the Carribean, remove Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom from the equation, and it would've bombed. $220 million and the best guys you could come up with are Mark Strong and Willem DaFoe's voice? Doesn't even have to be A+ list... Adrien Brody, James McAvoy, Jake Gyllenhaal... hell Zachary Quinto probably would've been enough.


Has any one here read "Writing Movies for Fun and Profit" by Tom Lennon and Robert Ben Garant? (from "The State," Reno 911" - writers of a buttload of [mostly bad] movies)?

It's a humorous and fascinatingly insightful look into the movie industry, IMHO.

There's a whole chapter essentially how a successful (money making) movie really needs at least one "Movie Star" to cash in at the box office. They basically state that these people are movie stars for a reason, and the reason why they make so much money is because they drive enough people to the box office to justify it. It's boggling that disney would invest $300mil into this movie and not fork out for an actual "movie star."

I mean, I like Tim Riggins, but he's not a "movie star."
 
2012-03-21 11:07:06 AM
I guess on the bright side, with it doing poorly maybe it will come to Netflix sooner.
 
2012-03-21 11:22:28 AM

canyoneer: NobleHam: Usually books less than a hundred years old.

[www.booksshouldbefree.com image 285x460]

[www.epubbooks.com image 283x475]

[img2.imagesbn.com image 300x400]

You've got a lot of catching up to do.


You must understand: Schools don't give ANY books like that now-a-days.

I went back and thought at what I did during high school. The best I can recall, ignoring religious classes, 3 books I can clearly remember reading cover-to-cover in class time that we worked on as a group: Ethan Frome, To Kill a Mockingbird, Thier Eyes Were Watching God. Is it any shock a lot of young people get turned off reading? I mean, Mockingbird is a fantastic story, but it's not very engaging. Ethan Frome is one of the most boring stories ever written. And Thier Eyes were watching God is probably the closest thing to relatable... unless, like me, you're a white male who has never been a poor abused black girl.

Now I read a ton, and a lot of different things (last day of school I was castigated by some jocks for reading "School books" - I was reading Machiavelli's "The Prince". He's flipping burgers and I have a Master's degree. HA.) but one of my biggest craws is how tiny they treat school children re: book selection.
 
2012-03-21 11:30:34 AM
It took me a while to get the hang of science fiction conventions, but once I realized that I read stories and just about everyone else there only watched scifi, they started making sense. I must admit, although I started reading in 1956, I've never read any of Burroughs' works.

Having watched a trailer for the movie, I won't be seeing the movie either. I don't expect trailers to make any sense, but this one looked like they used a random number generator to pick frames out of the buffer.
 
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