Where would we be if the world didn’t have The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure? Probably with plenty of lunar colonies. Even though Oogieloves came out in August, it retroactively set mankind back decades. The brainchild of a marketing genius who decided to give the world a movie where 1 year olds could interact with the screen while their parents paid attention to their iPhones, the concept failed to catch on as any child older than 3 instantly got bored, and all children younger got bored after 30 minutes or so. It flopped hard, making just $445,000 in its opening weekend. Oogieloves beat out Delgo as the record setting worst box office performance for a film opening in over 2000 theaters. Oogieloves finished with just over $1 million gross, costing $20 million and spending $40 on marketing.
2012 saw the unfortunate trend of more right wing documentary propaganda at the theater, with 2016: Obama’s America tearing up the box office and a plethora of bandwagon documentaries and awful 1/3rd novel adaptations following in the footsteps: Occupy Unmasked, Atlas Shrugged Part 2, Hating Breitbart, and Runaway Slave. We detailed this mess with it’s own post filled with all the horrible details
Reprehensible garbage Won’t Back Down was pure anti-teacher union propaganda from Walden Media and Philip Anschutz, and thankfully crashed and burned. It had the worst opening for a film released at 2,500+ theaters with $2.6 million, and barely made double that by the end of its run.
Nickelodeon’s odd tween flick Fun Size became a trick and not a treat when it crashed at the box office, the third worst opening for a film with 3000+ theaters in history. The $4.1 million is still shockingly high for a film that couldn’t deicde if it was a kids movie or an adults movie.
Chasing Mavericks is another 2012 flick with a terrible opening. I knew it would bomb from the increasingly desperate invites to free screenings I was getting. It finished 11th worst for 2000+ theaters, with $2.6 million. Gerald Butler almost died making this film. Just think about what his legacy would have been.
Now let’s go to the lowest of the lows. The Ghastly Love of Johnny X earned just $117 during it’s one week run, making it the lowest grossing movie of the year. Of course, the press declared Playback starring Christian Slater the lowest grossing film of the year, but it make a whole $264. But The Ghastly Love of Johnny X has no former big names to rag on in the press, and spending ten seconds checking facts is hard, so the Playback story got copy/pasted on movies sites throughout the web. Thanks for showing just why web movie reporting is awful, guys!
What about John Carter? That legendary bomb that cost Disney $200 million still made a respectable $73 million in the US and $209 million more worldwide, which in any other world would be a hit. Think about how much money it would have made had it been advertised at all and still called John Carter of Mars (dammit!)
The TV movie homefront saw Home Alone 5 and Lindsay Lohan as Elizabeth Taylor in Lifetime’s Liz & Dick.
Probably the worst thing that appeared in 2012 was the animation abomination Foodfight!, which got a European DVD release and soon was on YouTube giving Americans an aversion to food. After 11 years (and a do-over after a hero stole the original film!) the best they could come up with was one of the worst things ever made.
Will 2013 continue 2012′s proud tradition of shattering records? We shall see…we shall see..
Disney head honcho Bob Iger declares that no one is to point figures over John Carter.
Reading between the lines here, Bob Iger was trying to help John Lasseter’s very good friend Andrew Stanton save face. So Stanton’s initial attempt at making a live-action feature film had misfired. Big deal. The Walt Disney Company still considered Stanton to be a very valuable creative asset. Which — given that the two animated features that Andrew had directed for Pixar Animation Studios, 2003′s “Finding Nemo” and 2008′s “WALL-E” had a combined worldwide box office total of $1.388 billion (Not to mention the hundreds of million of dollars more that the Company has made off of plush, toys, ice shows and theme park attractions with direct ties to these Pixar characters) — was perfectly understandable.
Which was why the Company was doing everything within its power to spare Stanton any unnecessary embarrassment.
Things seemed good and Rich Ross was playing ball, but it looks like his team didn’t get the memo:
Well, Rich’s loyal staffers may have been looking to distance their boss from “John Carter” disappointing box office number. But Bob Iger and his team on the sixth floor of the Team Disney – Burbank Building – supposedly saw this situation entirely differently. They felt that Ross placing his own need to protect & preserve his professional reputation ahead of the Company’s needs, potentially damaging the Studio’s working relationship with Pixar senior management was an extremely poor choice. Which is why a decision was made at that time to speed exit Rich’s exit from The Walt Disney Company.
So Ross’s team might be the reason he got the axe. Which actually sort of sucks, but it also shows how valuable they see Stanton. If Stanton gives Disney another gigantic animated film or two, he might have enough clout to make another John Carter flick…if studio politics haven’t changed by then.
I’m sure it’s totally not suspicious that he’s resigning just days before The Avengers makes Disney a gazillion dollars. You know, a film that was actually marketed and not renamed “Steve Rogers”
Ross’s resignation letter:
For the last 15 years, I have had the opportunity to work with incredibly talented people on behalf of the world’s best loved brand. During that time, we’ve told some amazing stories around the world, created successful TV programming, movies, and franchises that generated new opportunities for the company in the process.
I’ve always said our success is created and driven by our people – whom I consider to be the absolute best in the business. But, the best people need to be in the right jobs, in roles they are passionate about, doing work that leverages the full range of their abilities. It’s one of the leadership lessons I’ve learned during my career, and it’s something I’ve been giving a great deal of thought to as I look at the challenges and opportunities ahead.
I believe in this extraordinary Walt Disney Studios team, and I believe in our strong slate of films and our ability to make and market them better than anyone else. But, I no longer believe the Chairman role is the right professional fit for me. For that reason, I have made the very difficult decision to step down as Chairman of The Walt Disney Studios, effective today.
It has been my honor to work with such incredible teams – at Disney Channels Worldwide and The Walt Disney Studios and the many other Disney businesses I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with. I know I leave the Studios in good hands and, even on separate paths, I am confident we are all destined for continued success.
Picture ganked from here
Disney said “John Carter” has brought in about $184 million in ticket sales worldwide so far. But ticket sales are split roughly in half with theater owners. The movie’s production budget is estimated to be about $250 million with about $100 million more spent on marketing.
The only way to make the money back is to make a sequel and spend $400 million to make it! It’s just crazy enough to work…
Here’s the last John Carter (of Mars, dammit!) trailer, and it looks like they went from explaining nothing and looking boring to explaining nothing and having mindless violence. So. Yeah. Still no mention of “Directed by the guy who did Wall-E” or “From the writer who brought you Tarzan”. It’s a damn shame that people on the internet have done a way better job promoting John Carter than Disney, and we have absolutely nothing riding on this except the cost of our movie ticket. At least my old copies of the Barsoom books will still be there (though mine are in storage atm with most of my other pulp novels!)
Jimmy Carter of Mars via