John Carter Bombs Big Time While The Lorax Stays Strong – Biff Bam Pop’s Box Office Wrap-Up Report, Weekend of March 9th, 2012

Anybody around the world with the name John Carter is currently cursing the new release from Disney, as its arrival in theatres this week came with a gigantic thud. What may turn out to be one of the biggest bombs of 2012 could only muster second place, while last week’s number one managed to stay strong. Here’s how the weekend turned out:

It was a strong showing for Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax in it’s second weekend in theatres. The film grossed $39 million, down only 44% from its opening number. The Lorax has already made $121 million, and I’m guessing we’re going to see it cross the $200 million mark before it leaves theatres.

Debuting in number two is John Carter. The would be sci-fi’s epic has seen it’s numbers fluctuate over the weekend, with the studio currently reporting a weekend gross of $30 million. Anyway you spin it, this just not a good showing, as the budget for John Carter was $250 million. There has been lots of discussion as to why this film has failed so spectacularly, but I believe that Deadline Hollywood’s Nikki Fink sums it up better than anybody:

To summarize: this flop is the result of a studio trying to indulge Pixar… Of an arrogant director who ignored everybody’s warnings that he was making a film too faithful to Edgar Rice Burroughs’s first novel in the Barsoom series “A Princess of Mars”… Of the failure of Dick Cook, and Rich Ross, and Bob Iger to rein in Stanton’s excessive ego or pull the plug on the movie’s bloated budget … Of really rotten marketing that failed to explain the significant or scope of the film’s Civil War-to-Mars story and character arcs and instead made the 3D movie look way as generic as its eventual title… Disagree all you want, but Hollywood is telling me that competent marketing could have drawn in women with the love story, or attracted younger males who weren’t fanboys of the source material. Instead the campaign was as rigid and confusing as the movie itself, not to mention that ’Before Star Wars, Before Avatar‘ tag line should have come at the start and not at the finish. But even more I think John Carter is a product of mogul wuss-ism as much as it is misplaced talent worship.

Opening in fourth place is the horror film Silent House, which I thought would do far better than its $7 million gross. However, it was trashed by audiences who did go check it out. Horror fans will be better served checking out the original.

As for the rest of the top five, Project X dropped one spot to number three with $11.5 million, while Act of Valor rounded this out with $7 million. As for the Eddie Murphy film, A Thousand Words, it bombed (as expected), landing at number six with a paltry $6.3 million.

So, to recap, here were our predictions:

1) Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax – $40 million
2) John Carter – $25.5 million
3) Silent House – $15 million
4) Project X – $12 million
5) Act of Valor – $10 million

And here’s how the weekend turned out:

1) Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax – $39 million
2) John Carter – $30 million
3) Project X – $11.5 million
4) Silent House – $7.01 million
5) Act of Valor – $7 million

Next week sees the release of the Channing Tatum/Jonah Hill comedy remake of 21 Jump Street. Be sure to check back on Friday for our predictions!

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