Valentine’s may be over and the rejection may have worn off for some, but John Carter is not getting a break. Disney execs are scurrying around in panic this afternoon after the results of John Carter’s tracking numbers were leaked to the press. Deadline reported the results as follows:
“2 unaided, 53 aware, 27 definitely interested, 3 first choice….Women of all ages have flat out rejected the film.”
Now the most interesting part of the quote, seems to be the last. John Carter was not the official title of the film. This film initially went by the original title “Princess of Mars” due to the film being based on the first book of Edgar Rice Burroughs Barsom series. When books are being made into film it is custom to keep the title so as to attract the fan base that the book has and add to the fan base. Disney did not seem to go in that direction, which is odd seeing as they’ve made book based films such as: The Chronicles of Narnia, Alice in Wonderland, The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Little Mermaid, and so on.
When asked on the reason for the changed title Writer/Director Andrew Stanton said in an interview:
“Here’s the real truth of it, I’d already changed it from A Princess Of Mars to John Carter Of Mars. I don’t like to get fixated on it, but I changed Princess Of Mars…because not a single boy would go,” he said. “And then the other truth is, no girl would go to see John Carter Of Mars. So I said, ‘I don’t won’t to do anything out of fear, I hate doing things out of fear, but I can’t ignore that truth.”
Stanton and the Disney may be gritting their teeth because this minor mistake in titling could cost them more money than they expected. Due to the tracking study, the film is estimated to gain only $100 million even though the film cost about $250 million to produce. With a loss this great and the film’s release coming up; there really isn’t much to do, but wait and see what the final results are.
John Carter, while being initially appealing last year seems to be losing steam and after taking from it the one thing that made it unique due to gender preference and, from what the company has divulged, is the sloppy seconds of someone else’s project. A representative from Disney was quoted as saying:
“We’re not running away from the movie. Our job is to sell it.”
They will have to come up with a new strategy to sell this film, and that will be a hard thing to do in three weeks. But hey, this is the company of dreamers and the imaginative types so this could work out. John Carter, starring Taylor Kitsch, Bryan Cranston, Lynn Collins, and Mark Strong, hits theaters March 9.