Sunday, May 20, 2012

Timing question

Disney's "John Carter," which was an entertaining if not quite perfect movie made by some very talented people, can pretty be called a box office bomb.  Disney exec resigned over it, etc.  I'm sure it will make its money back over time, but it's not going to lose its reputation any time soon.

I've read that Disney's marketing campaign was pretty bad, but I don't have TV so I don't know what that was.  I didn't care for Taylor Kitsch's zero-charisma performance, but Lynn Collins' Dejah Thoris was a home run.  Bottom line, if I were a kid again and still went to movies at the same rate, I would have eaten this up multiple times.  Maybe not at a "Star Wars" pace, but I remember taking the bus to the old Southtown Cinema every Saturday for some weeks to see "Logan's Run."  It probably would have been like that.

I will say that I think the name of the film is a complete miss, a boring non-descriptive, non-exciting title that reflects nothing of the space opera/space romance title of "A Princess of Mars."  "John Carter," "Joe Smith," "Bill Jones"--none of these would make effective titles.

Anyway, here's my question:  with the runaway success of "The Avengers," how would "John Carter" do at the box office if it were released in a week or two, sort of in "The Avengers" afterglow?  See, I'm convinced it's a good movie:  exciting, entertaining, and fun to watch.  And really, Lynn Collins nailed Dejah Thoris.  Give it a title that gives it a shot and release it now, when an adventure movie is setting new records every week, and I'm thinking the piggyback effect would be huge.

The real shame of it is that the failure at the box office will taint the movie for a long time, if not forever.  "Blade Runner" was a bomb but turned into an entity with legs.  "John Carter" may do the same.  We'll have to see, but in the meantime, I'll be buying the DVD and I'll watch it any number of times in the future.  As will my kids.  But man, I don't think I should be holding my breath for a sequel.  I think that's disappointing.

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