Budget: $250 million
Domestic gross: $73 million
Worldwide gross: $284 million
Loss (inflation adjusted): $224 million
“John Carter” is considered the biggest box office bomb of all time. The director, Andrew Stanton, pitched it as an “Indiana Jones” on Mars movie. Stanton had written and directed “Finding Nemo” and “Wall-E,” two mega-blockbusters. Disney gave him carte blanche, but Stanton wasn’t used to live-action films, which lead to lengthy reshoots.
According to theNew York Times, the film was woefully mismanaged and Stanton’s creative control over marketing didn’t help — by the time the film hit theaters it was mocked almost into meme territory online.
The title was strange— who is John Carter and who cares? — and Disney made the bewildering decision to remove “Mars” from the title of the book it was based on, “John Carter of Mars” because itmight alienate women. Genius.
One guy evenmade a website andwrote a book about the movie’s titanic failure.
By the time “John Carter” finished its theatrical run, Disney expected awrite-down of $200 million.