'John Carter' producer: It's nice to be the underdog
February 24th, 2012
10:00 AM ET

'John Carter' producer: It's nice to be the underdog

"John Carter" won't be released until March 9, but some are already predicting its downfall.

As the Daily Beast reported earlier this week, those in the industry are watching closely to see if "John Carter," based on the fantasy novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs, will be able to recoup its $250 million budget. But while the press surrounding the film hasn't been the best, the production team is keeping a positive outlook.

"I think it's kind of nice to be the underdog," said producer Lindsey Collins. "I'm trying to embrace it, to a certain degree, but I think it's one of those things where this is the biggest movie coming out right now."

Admittedly, you might not know it's "the biggest movie coming out" judging from its marketing. But producer Jim Morris says they've been employing a particular strategy to raise awareness.

"First of all, our movie came in on time and on budget," he says. "We have two weeks to raise awareness, and the fact of the matter is, we strategically wanted to wait and kind of load it on at the end so people weren't fatigued by hearing about it, which sometimes happens with movies when you start promoting them so early and everybody just gets a little worn out by it."

And the long history trailing this project doesn't help, either.

"Obviously it has the huge weight of its history behind it, it's been kind of the curse of John Carter for a hundred years," Collins said. "Everybody's been trying to make it. I think that's part of it. People are watching and that's okay. I actually think we're going to deliver, so I'm not worried about it."

Neither is "John Carter's" director Andrew Stanton. "If people really had crystal balls like that, they'd really make a lot of money," Stanton joked. "All I've ever been able to control is what the movie is itself. I came to that conclusion with 'Toy Story' 20 years ago. I don't even pay attention to this outside stuff. Because if I did, I wouldn't have made half the movies I made!"

What do you think - should "John Carter's" production team be more concerned about the movie's box office potential, or do you think the dire predictions have been overblown?

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soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. FinDogg

    Guess some people do have a crystal ball there Mr. Director guy. Oops.

    March 20, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jared

    I can't wait to see the film! Stanton is a great director. The designs and cinematography look beautiful.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Captain Crunch


    February 27, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  4. casey

    Any one who thinks this is a rip off of the Terminator's John Carter has not been introduced to the works of Burroughs.
    I have long awaited this series to be brought to the big screen, I'll be one of the first in line.

    February 26, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  5. KajinPL

    Since when did Gambit have super strength?

    February 25, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  6. Victor

    You know, I remember when everyone was laughing their asses off cause Disney Pictures decided to make a movie based on one of Walt Disney World's not so famous rides.

    We all know how that lilttle venture ended up don't we?

    Hope nothing but the best for John Carter.

    February 24, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Alan Hansen

    Although the marketing for the movie has been terrible, including the trailers, what I read from credible sources seems to suggest that the pre screenings have been very well received. I have read nothing on the internet from anyone who has actually seen the movie in a pre screening or a premier that is negative (critics and joe shmoes alike). All negativity is from people who have yet actually to see the movie.

    February 24, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Kenn

    They actually did make a movie about Pellucidar a long time ago. No special effects in those days. Even the Venus series would make a good movie. I too read these books as a boy and now again many years later. Loved them then and loved them now. Can't wait for the film.

    February 24, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  9. jacquie hayhoe

    this movie will be a great success maybe inspite of any poor marketing that may or may not have happened
    Taylor is a great actor and looks amazing, andrew stanton has proved his talent, see the film then judge

    February 24, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Pliny

    At last.....we get to see Tars Tarkas fight!!!!!

    I'd like to see Disney do a Pellucidar film. That would be cool.

    February 24, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dotar Sojat

    I read all 11 of ERB's Martian Tales novels as a kid and have been waiting more than 30 years to finally see a theatrical release based on those characters. @nbafan: most people don't realize this material was first written in 1912, and was the inspiration for everything from Superman to Star Wars, Avatar and countless others. Without John Carter, there would be no John Conner – whose name is, if anything, an homage to the hundred-year-old Burrough's character – not the other way around as you suggest.

    February 24, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  12. Really?

    @ Prospero,
    diddo, one the first series I ever read as a child and its still one of my favorites. I will be standing right there in line with you.
    @ nbafan
    this series was writen in like 1910, so i think they have dibs on that name...

    February 24, 2012 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Johni

      I'll be there too. Just finished rereading all the books last year.

      February 24, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  13. nbafan

    This movie looks like a real stinker. Plus the name is a complete rip off from the Terminator series. I can't wait to read about how much it's tanking.

    PS- Adele=blimp

    February 24, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Pliny


      It's a ripoff of The Terminator?

      Much like you are a poor copy of 'The Village Idiot'.

      God....I hate the illiterate.

      February 24, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • nick

      What? What? "John Carter is a rip off of Terminator"??? I am blown away by this statement. UNFORTUNATELY, This is apparently not an umcommon misconception. Some even believe the film "john carter" is a prelude to the Terminator. This drive me CRAZY...

      PLEASE READ: "John Carter of Mars" was written generations before "the Terminator" was even dreamed of. John Carter( of the barsoon series) was written before WW1-when my Great-Grandfather was still a child. There is ABSOLUTELY no relation between the two movies. John Connor (not Carter) is the name of the kid in the Terminator series, which I am also a fan of.

      Edgar Rice Burroughs(1875-1950) wrote the books and also wrote the more famous Tarzan and "the Land that Time Forgot"

      March 13, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Prospero

    As a kid, I devoured Burrough's "Barsoom" novels and never understood why no one made them into movies. I'll be first in line.

    February 24, 2012 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |

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