The numbers are in: So how did John Carter do at the box office?

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Dec 17, 2012

What a long, strange journey it's been. The process of bringing John Carter to the screen was decades in the making, and all the hype (or lack thereof) finally came to a head this weekend. So how'd it go?

As most predicted, John Carter had a fairly soft opening weekend, bringing in just $30.6 million in the U.S. and a total of $101 million worldwide. Not catastrophic, but not good enough considering the film's rumored $250 million budget (plus around $100 million for marketing). Disney's big gamble came in second overall behind Dr. Seuss' The Lorax, which opened last week and rode a tide of surprise buzz among kiddies to a repeat win.

The New York Times says John Carter likely has to make at least $600 million globally to break even, and as you can probably imagine, that's tough to do with a slow start, adding that the "result is so poor that analysts estimate that Disney will be forced to take a quarterly write-down of $100 million to $165 million."

The marketing campaign was hit and miss in the months leading up to the release, as an 11th-hour name change (Disney feared the original title John Carter of Mars might turn people off) and confusing trailers failed to get audiences excited for the sci-fi tentpole.

A lack of critical praise didn't help matters, and the film is currently sitting at just below .500 on Rotten Tomatoes.

But, you have to give Disney credit—they're taking their lumps on this one and not trying to pass the buck.

"Moviemaking does not come without risk. It's still an art, not a science, and there is no proven formula for success," Walt Disney Studios Chairman Rick Ross said. "[Director] Andrew Stanton is an incredibly talented and successful filmmaker who with his team put their hard work and vision into the making of John Carter. Unfortunately, it failed to connect with audiences as much as we had all hoped."

Sound off: Did you catch John Carter this weekend? What'd you think?

(via The New York Times)