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Disney’s science fiction epic, John Carter, is being left for dead by many industry insiders already, despite not opening until Friday. Many have criticized Disney’s marketing, and the mediocre reviews it has received certainly did not help. It has already gotten off to a rocky start, earning just $500,000 from midnight screenings.
The Hollywood Reporter confirmed the soft opening, noting that it is roughly the same amount of money made by Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, which also failed to be a big hit. That 2010 film made around $30 million on its opening weekend, before finishing with around $90 million by the end of its theatrical run.
Entertainment Weekly notes that last week’s comedy, Project X, made $1.2 million at midnight screenings, but ended up making $21.1 million by the end of the weekend. Disney has to hope that John Carter does as well as 2011’s Immortals, which was the last big action fantasy to hit theaters. That film made $1.4 million at midnight though, on its way to a $32.2 million weekend.
Industry projections show that John Carter might not even be able to be the top grosser this weekend, with Universal’s The Lorax possibly making around $40 million this weekend.
However, Disney can at least say that John Carter is successful somewhere. According to Deadline, the film had the biggest opening day ever in Russia with $6.5 million. So far, it has already made $13 million there.
John Carter cost Disney an estimated $250 million to make and was directed by WALL-E’s Andrew Stanton. Sources for Deadline said that, as a last-ditch effort to entice young males, Disney will attach the trailer for The Avengers to the film.