John Carter

The Lorax’ Tops Box Office As ‘John Carter’ Struggles

With all three new releases putting up lackluster opening weekends, “The Lorax” once again cleaned up with family audiences, pushing it back to the top of the charts with a studio estimated $39 million. Even with a strong marketing push and the promise of big-budget action, “John Carter” managed just $30 million over the weekend and looks to be a significant disappointment for Disney. Also hitting theaters this weekend, comedy “A Thousand Words” and horror film “Silent House” both finished well below $4,000 per venue and look to be in line for very brief theatrical runs.

Though a $30 million opening weekend in March is normally a substantial total, “John Carter” came with expectations of turning into a franchise and had an enormous $250 million production budget, which is more than three times the cost of “The Lorax.” With a per theater average of less than $10,000, there doesn’t seem to be much of a domestic audience interested and “John Carter” will have to pull in plenty of foreign revenue to ensure that it’s not a complete bust.

The good news for “John Carter” is that it has already hauled in $70 million outside of the U.S., pushing its worldwide total past $100 million for its first weekend in theaters. “John Carter” won’t have too much competition next weekend, but it should still see a sizeable drop in domestic revenue and end up with a very disappointing 10-day total in the $50 to $55 million range. If “John Carter” can’t come close to $100 million domestically by the time it’s out of theaters, Disney will likely have a hard time getting a sequel into production.

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John Carter In Theaters March 9

John Carter, starring Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Bryan Cranston, Mark Strong and Willem Dafoe, opens in theaters Friday, March 9. The sci-fi adventure film, based on a classic novel by Edgar Rick Burroughs, follows a Civil War veteran as he is transported to Mars where he becomes involved in a war between the planet’s inhabitants.