Is John Carter set for downfall?
Director Andrew Stanton has been talking about how he would like to make John Carter into a trilogy, however there's going to be a stumbling block in the way, Disney, or rather their accounting department, because according to Stanton the only way we'll get to see another one is if this first film returns well at the box office.
Did I say well? I think I meant to say incredibly well. In fact it has to return more than number forty-six in the top box office grossing films of all time, and that's a fair bit.
How much is required? Well according to Andrew Stanton himself around US $700 million.
However when you look at the film at the forty-fifth position on that list, around where one would presume Disney would say okay to the sequel, you see Transformers (Filmstalker review), and I don't think it's inconceivable for the film to get to that point.
Mind you, John Carter may be a better story than Transformers, but the two characters have different audiences out there. Transformers is known by a much larger audience out there and when the first film came along there would have been a much larger desire for the film. With John Carter it's a little different, not so many people will know the character and the story off the bat and I don't think there will be such a big audience racing to see the film on day one.
John Carter will take more marketing than Transformers to get in the same amount of figures, but in the same breath I think it's a safe bet to say that John Carter could well be a better film.
There's a better story to John Carter, even if it is just in the source material, it's an Edgar Rice Burroughs novel, it's adapted and made by Andrew Stanton and Disney, and there's the strong cast - Taylor Kitsch, Mark Strong, Bryan Cranston, Willem Dafoe, James Purefoy, Ciarán Hinds, Thomas Haden Church, Lynn Collins, Polly Walker, Samantha Morton, and more.
There are a lot of positives for the film, so there's nothing stacked against it, apart from the requirement that it makes an absolute bomb, and that comes from Stanton himself who talks to New York Magazine through Blastr.
There is also talk that an eighteen day reshoot was unusually large and might have helped that budget grow, but everything reshoots, and while eighteen days may seem large this is a complex film that has spent many more days filming and adding effects for the bulk of the film. Not to mention the fact that it is in 3D which will add to the budget no end.
I think the film could reach that mark, as long as it gets the cinema saturation it deserves alongside films like Transformers, for that really is one of the keys these days, not so much how good the film is but how many screens in how many cinemas its being shown and how often they're repeating them.