Archive for March, 2012

John Carter: failure of Mars

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Disney’s recent big-budget action film John Carter opened with a disappointing $30 million weekend, and data just released and verified show that revenue has fallen sharply from there. Over its third weekend, Carter grossed only $5 million, and $4.8 million of that appears to be tickets purchased because The Hunger Games was sold out and The Lorax wasn’t violent enough.

Although we tried to reach them while writing this article, both director Andrew Stanton (Toy Story, Finding Nemo) and author the late Edgar Rice Burroughs (Tarzan, The Land that Time Forgot, various séances) were unavailable for comment.

Disney’s estimated $200,000,000 loss on this film will have repercussions far beyond the company’s film production and distribution business. The theme park division, for example, has made the following announcements:

  • Development of the new Mission to Mars: 1868 attraction has been canceled.
  • Tomorrowland bathrooms will not be relabeled “Tomorrowland Barsooms.”
  • The Magic Kingdom will not go forward with plans to dress the Hall of Presidents’ Jimmy Carter in “Martian warrior” garb as a tribute to his fictional ancestor.
  • Production of souvenir “Thark arm” hats has been suspended.
  • For the next 200,000 lucky guests, Disneyland admission will cost $1,000

Dejah Thoris will, however, remain an official Disney princess.

One Less Disney Disappointment

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

Just a quick note to admit our disappointment in last night’s One Less Disney Hour event at Disneyland. This event was a followup to the immensely successful One More Disney Day event, in which Disneyland stayed open on leap day for 23 hours, 56 minutes (it was closed for four minutes just after midnight for routine maintenance).

For those who somehow managed to miss the rush of publicity, last night Disneyland celebrated Daylight Saving Time by being closed for one less hour than usual between 2 o’clock and 3 o’clock. All rides and restaurants were closed, and the first 2,000 guests who didn’t show up for the event were given special, limited-edition Mickey Mouse hats.

The big problem — aside from low attendance, which was expected — was that many annual passholders felt that Disney had, in a sense, robbed them of an hour that they had already paid for. In a press release this morning, Disneyland management promised to rectify the situation by keeping the park closed for an extra hour in November, just in time for the busy holiday season.