So a week ago, the Nikkster plants her standard snark-tipped harpoon in the side of Disney's March 9th release:
‘John Carter’ Tracking Shockingly Soft: “Could Be Biggest Writeoff Of All Time”
Hollywood is in a tizzy over the early tracking which just came online this morning for Walt Disney Studios‘ John Carter opening March 9th. “Not good. 2 unaided, 53 aware, 27 definitely interested, 3 first choice,” a senior exec at a rival studio emails me. ...
And the narrative is set: "The picture's a bomb!" ... "Rich Ross is going down!" (etc.) And in lemming-like fashion, a spate of unflattering articles appear.
Around Hollywood, Disney’s quarter-billion-dollar 3-D epic John Carter holds a dubious renown: it’s the film with Avatar-size ambitions that’s being greeted sight unseen as the next Ishtar.
... [H]eads have already started to roll right out of the Team Disney building and onto Dopey Drive in Burbank. In January, Disney Studios worldwide marketing chief MT Carney, who arrived with much fanfare in 2010 from the New York advertising world, was out after a string of failures ... Meanwhile, at studio commissaries around town, the long steak knives are already out for Disney Studios chairman Rich Ross, who’s managed to make more than a few enemies ...
'John Carter': Disney Scrambles to Save its $250 Million Gamble
... Observers also have taken aim at the studio's decision to drop "of Mars" from the title, arguing that the property loses definition and scope without it. Insiders say the title change was hotly debated a year ago when the word "Mars" was verboten in the wake of Disney's March 2011 bomb Mars Needs Moms. ...
But then, the picture gets its L.A. premiere.
... "We made a f---ing great movie in John Carter," said star Taylor Kitsch. "It's such wasted energy if I worry about what a million people I don't know are going to think. I'm excited for people to enjoy the journey."
... During the afterparty, producer Jim Jacks ... approached Disney production chief Sean Bailey to say how much he was taken with the movie. "Taylor makes a great John Carter," Jacks told Bailey, adding that he also liked how Stanton solved a tricky ending with something he thought was "better than the book."
Reaction on Twitter has been positive: "John Carter is much better than you're expecting it to be. A lot not shown in the advertising," wrote Peter Sciretta of Slash Film soon after the premiere. "Lynn and Taylor were great. You'll love Woola and will leave hoping they'll make a sequel." ...
Although no reviews have (yet) cropped up on Rotten Tomatoes, some unauthorized -- and positive -- critiques have materialized on the web.
... [U]nlike Avatar, there is some real meat to this story. A Princess of Mars (the book it was based upon) really invented the action-adventure genre, and you can definitely see it here. I had a great longing to return back to the world that John Carter was transported too, much more than I did in Avatar. While both movies have an impeccably rich world surrounding the story, I felt much more invested in what was going on. The movie is fairly long (2h 15m or so) but the story moved everything along at a brisk pace. They also spend a surprisingly decent amount of time on Earth in the beginning, which was definitely nice to see ...
On the other hand, an anonymous poster down below weighs in with this:
Saw the film the other night. Boy-- it's really bad. Indistinguishable from every other overproduced fx bore out in the last few years -- except this one is also very amateurishly made. It really is hard to keep track of all the characters that look alike, but after a few minutes I just stopped caring. The fight scenes, in particular, are poorly staged. But it's the writing and acting that drag it down. Only saving grace is that I got free tickets.
I haven't the foggiest idea how the epic will perform. Judging from the clips, the picture owns some scope and energy, but whether people will like the desert landscapes, and whether enough of the world's population will turn out to make Carter a money spinner is really anybody's guess.
I won't gift you with mine, because it's probably wrong.
The only prediction I'll make is, John Carter will earn more at the world box office than the last Mars feature that Disney released. You know, the one about Moms?