John Carter movie a massive flop

2012-03-20 15:16

Los Angeles - John Carter is now officially a flop of galactic proportions.

The Walt Disney Co said on Monday that it expects to book a loss of $200m on the movie in the quarter through March.

Directed by Pixar's Andrew Stanton, the 3D effects-laden movie about a Civil War veteran transplanted to Mars was already headed to the "Red Ink Planet," according to Cowen & Co analyst Doug Creutz. Yet he expected a write-down of about half that size.

John Carter has brought in about $184m in ticket sales worldwide, Disney said. But ticket sales are split roughly in half with theatre owners. The movie's production budget is estimated to be about $250m with about $100m more spent on marketing.

Dirty laundry

That'll cause the movie studio to post a loss of $80m to $120m for the quarter, Disney said.

Miller Tabak analyst David Joyce said the studio's projected loss is more than double what he had expected, and will cause him to trim his estimate of earnings. The hefty spending on production and marketing is causing the Burbank, California, company to book the loss sooner than might be the case for a smaller-budget film.

"It's good that Disney's airing their dirty laundry now," he said.

Disney shares fell 34 cents to $43.10 in extended trading on Monday. The stock closed regular trading up 25 cents at $43.44.