You could have made 13 Chronicles for the bucks John Carter lost

Contributed by
Dec 16, 2012

Disney has officially announced how much money it will lose on John Carter, and the final figure isn't pretty.

Following a lousy second weekend at the box office for the film, which opened soft with a little over $30 million upon its arrival and plummeted to just $13 million this past weekend, the studio issued this remarkable statement (bolding by Blastr):

In light of the theatrical performance of John Carter ($184 million global box office), we expect the film to generate an operating loss of approximately $200 million during our second fiscal quarter ending March 31. As a result, our current expectation is that the Studio segment will have an operating loss of between $80 and $120 million for the second quarter. As we look forward to the second half of the year, we are excited about the upcoming releases of The Avengers and Brave, which we believe have tremendous potential to drive value for the Studio and the rest of the company.

Wow. $200 million. That's even worse than the $150 million figure first thrown around when it looked like the movie—which cost $250 million to make and another $100 million to market—was not going to become the blockbuster it needed to be to even have a chance of recouping the studio's investment (Disney needed to make at least $600 million on the picture worldwide to break even after theater owners took their cut).

Or to put it another way: Remember Chronicle, the found-footage film about three teens who accidentally gain superpowers, which opened in February to critical acclaim and solid box office? That cost $15 million to make, which means you could produce 13 films of that size and still have $5 million left over with the money that John Carter is bleeding (Chronicle made $116 million worldwide, easily recouping its costs and turning a nice profit).

Even if you compare something like the original Star Wars, the loss is still staggering. George Lucas' movie cost $11 million to make in 1977, which comes out to $43.5 million in 2012 dollars. If he made A New Hope the exact same way he made it back then, Lucas could still make almost five of them for the amount that Disney is writing off this quarter.

We think it's safe to say that you won't be seeing John Carter: The Gods of Mars coming to a multiplex near you anytime in the next few decades.

(via The Playlist)