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Weekend Box Office (3/9 - 3/11): Taylor Kitsch's Career Is Over Before It Started

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Weekend Box Office (3/9 - 3/11): Taylor Kitsch's Career Is Over Before It Started

Old 03-13-12, 08:48 AM
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Re: Weekend Box Office (3/9 - 3/11): Taylor Kitsch's Career Is Over Before It Started

Poor Disney, I guess they can go cry into their multimillions of dollars of profits they make from ABC, ESPN, Marvel, Pixar movies/games/toys, Disney movies/games/toys, Radio Disney, Amusement Parks, and whatever the fuck else they make money off of.
Old 03-13-12, 08:59 AM
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Re: Weekend Box Office (3/9 - 3/11): Taylor Kitsch's Career Is Over Before It Started

Originally Posted by DonnachaOne
Typically when movies tank, the studios know in advance, thanks to test screenings, tracking and plain ol' watching the flick. When you're stuck with a dog, you don't want to lose any more cash than you have to. You downplay the marketing, release the film as counter-programming to a film expected to do well, spin the results, and release news about future big movies to help quell the discussion of the current trouble and get people talking about the good stuff to come.

When a film is as immense as John Carter, both in investment and expectation, you can't use the same money-saving strategy. A film like this needs a huge marketing campaign and tie-ins to help cover the investment. So you splash on the advertising, preparation and market penetration, hoping that if you can get enough people talking about the film, and convince them that the film is a must-see event, that people will ignore reviews of friends or critics.

The curious thing with John Carter is that Disney really didn't do that.

John Carter's failure - and make no mistake, it is a disappointment - has nothing to do with Taylor Kitsch, or the quality of the animation, or 3D prices. It has everything to do with what people expected of it. The influential John Carter series of books, loved as they may be by Burroughs fans, are not nearly as famous or culturally significant as they once were. When people saw the first trailers, reaction was not awful, but they had a very important question - "who is John carter and why does he matter?"

Disney never answered this.

Instead, the obtuse and mystifying ads for the film continued. Unless they were looking the character up, no-one knew anything about the character or story, or why any of it mattered. Moviegoers who were already bemused tuned the film out. Those who may have been off the fence wrote it off as an Avatar or Star Wars rip-off (and who could blame them, when no-one was telling them any different?). Even those that might have been interested from the beginning began to wonder just why the advertising was presented in such broad strokes. Were Disney trying to hide the bad parts of the film?

The trailer problem carried over to the print campaign. The first teaser - a b&w image of Kitch with a red, stylized "JCM" overlaid - did nothing to hint at what sort of movie people could expect. The final one-sheet, with Kitsch in barbarian attire in front of an obscured red landscape and sky, did little more to guide the crowds. The most prominent aspect of any poster, even the character posters (a misguided notion, since Disney had failed to make any of the characters seem interesting or important at this point), was the name JOHN CARTER in big yellow letters, looking both imposing and bland at once.

Even the name of the film was kept as disinteresting as possible, a failed attempt at creating mystique. A Princess of Mars became just John carter of Mars, then John Carter. Some have posited that Disney dropped " - of Mars" to try and avoid the stigma of movies involving Mars; Mars Needs Moms failing so hard last year, and Mission to Mars failing on just about every level a decade ago, likely gave them little confidence (though one can safely assume they should have know Mars was intrinsic when they greenlit the project years ago). If so, it may have been the damning move. By removing "Mars" from the title and thrust of the campaign, Disney removed any anchor for the film. Now it was just another guy with a boring name on some alien world.

Late in the campaign, Disney started to release videos of director Andrew Stanton talking about how much the old stories meant to him, how much they influenced modern fantasy lit and films, and how much people would love John Carter. It was too little, too late.

So, why are people talking about John Carter's failure? It's not purely out of spite toward the film; a lot of people really enjoy it. It's because the film's failure is an interesting story of one folly after another. Other studios are looking at it as what not to do in future. Film analysts are calling Disney on their mishandling and underestimation of the audience. Awful moviegoers who made their mind up that the film was terrible without giving it a chance in the first place revel in their "vindication". Fans bemoan that they may never get followups.
Fantastic post.
Old 03-13-12, 09:06 AM
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Re: Weekend Box Office (3/9 - 3/11): Taylor Kitsch's Career Is Over Before It Started

Originally Posted by TimeandTide
Fantastic post.
Agree. I knew what this was about when I saw the first teaser, but that's only because I'm genre geek and am familiar with the origin of the story and character. Whoever sold this movie did NOTHING to familiarize the potential audience with what was going on and who was involved. If I hadn't known what it was going in, I would have thought it Prince of Persia in Space, which is definitely not a strong selling point.
Old 03-13-12, 10:11 AM
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Re: Weekend Box Office (3/9 - 3/11): Taylor Kitsch's Career Is Over Before It Started

Originally Posted by AVP77
Apparently Disney executives gave Stanton the power to overrule the marketing department on the whole marketing campaign: http://www.vulture.com/2012/03/john-...t-trailer.html
If I were the marketing execs, I would have told Stanton to hit the bricks instead of treating him like a sacred cow that could not be overruled. At the very least, I would have tried my best to convince him he was shooting himself in the foot with his approach to the campaign. Perhaps they were afraid of him using his Pixar clout to get them all fired.

I remember last fall when Stanton and company had a press day to generate buzz on the film. He made a point of mentioning that the initial (terrible) teaser was something he made them recut over and over to achieve the right tone for the film. This was the same trailer that made it look like some dreadful period romance set in the desert with barely a hint that it took place on a world inhabited by alien life.
Old 03-13-12, 10:14 AM
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Re: Weekend Box Office (3/9 - 3/11): Taylor Kitsch's Career Is Over Before It Started

This really needs to become a meme template:

<img src=http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2012/03/12/business/carterjump1color/carterjump1color-articleInline.jpg alt=ross
Old 03-13-12, 10:50 AM
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Re: Weekend Box Office (3/9 - 3/11): Taylor Kitsch's Career Is Over Before It Started

Originally Posted by TimeandTide
Fantastic post.



Originally Posted by AVP77
Apparently Disney executives gave Stanton the power to overrule the marketing department on the whole marketing campaign: http://www.vulture.com/2012/03/john-...t-trailer.html
I know everyone holds Pixar, and everyone associated within, in high regard, but who thought this was a good idea? That's the guy that should be held accountable. Marketing is a whole other creative ball of wax something Stanton does not do for a living.
Old 03-13-12, 03:37 PM
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Re: Weekend Box Office (3/9 - 3/11): Taylor Kitsch's Career Is Over Before It Started

Interesting that Disney gave so much power over all aspects of a $250 million epic to a guy most kids know as the individual below.

http://images.search.yahoo.com/image...j1vhp&fr=moz35
Old 03-13-12, 03:43 PM
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Re: Weekend Box Office (3/9 - 3/11): Taylor Kitsch's Career Is Over Before It Started

John Carter will return in "John Carter versus the World Crime League". Can't wait!
Old 03-13-12, 04:43 PM
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Re: Weekend Box Office (3/9 - 3/11): Taylor Kitsch's Career Is Over Before It Started

Thanks guys.

I'm surprised to hear that about Stanton. It doesn't seem like Disney to back away from the marketing so, however, especially with a film as large as this with investors to please. Perhaps Stanton's influence on the marketing is being exaggerated to pass the buck?

Originally Posted by Shannon Nutt
John Carter will return in "John Carter versus the World Crime League". Can't wait!


I'd watch Jeff Goldblum in that. He could be a real cowboy!
Old 03-13-12, 06:10 PM
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Re: Weekend Box Office (3/9 - 3/11): Taylor Kitsch's Career Is Over Before It Started

Originally Posted by Shannon Nutt
John Carter will return in "John Carter versus the World Crime League". Can't wait!
If we had gotten a credit sequence using the music below and the cast (aliens included) walking to the same beat, I would have bumped my rating up a star for that alone! Of course Carter's name would be on the wall.
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/8MqJ3iGBdOo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Old 03-13-12, 06:56 PM
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Re: Weekend Box Office (3/9 - 3/11): Taylor Kitsch's Career Is Over Before It Started

Originally Posted by KillerCannibal
This really needs to become a meme template:

<img src=http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2012/03/12/business/carterjump1color/carterjump1color-articleInline.jpg alt=ross
That's some serious Mad Hatter channeling going on right there...
Old 03-13-12, 07:25 PM
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Re: Weekend Box Office (3/9 - 3/11): Taylor Kitsch's Career Is Over Before It Started

Originally Posted by PenguinJoe
Poor Disney, I guess they can go cry into their multimillions of dollars of profits they make from ABC, ESPN, Marvel, Pixar movies/games/toys, Disney movies/games/toys, Radio Disney, Amusement Parks, and whatever the fuck else they make money off of.
Karl Marx is that you?

So just because a company is successful, it can't be disappointed when one of their products bombs? Is there a limit of how many times a company can succeed?

That's like saying that Albert Pujols shouldn't be disappointed if he strikes out in the bottom of the 9th with the bases loaded and down by 2 runs because he had already hit 3 bombs earlier in the game.

Nobody goes into a situation thinking its ok to fail just because they were already successful in the past.
Old 03-13-12, 07:30 PM
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Re: Weekend Box Office (3/9 - 3/11): Taylor Kitsch's Career Is Over Before It Started

Originally Posted by whoopdido
Karl Marx is that you?

So just because a company is successful, it can't be disappointed when one of their products bombs? Is there a limit of how many times a company can succeed?

That's like saying that Albert Pujols shouldn't be disappointed if he strikes out in the bottom of the 9th with the bases loaded and down by 2 runs because he had already hit 3 bombs earlier in the game.

Nobody goes into a situation thinking its ok to fail just because they were already successful in the past.
I detect a possible thread derailment.
Old 03-13-12, 07:33 PM
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Re: Weekend Box Office (3/9 - 3/11): Taylor Kitsch's Career Is Over Before It Started

Kids today don't know from Encyclopedia Brown
Old 03-14-12, 10:51 AM
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Re: Weekend Box Office (3/9 - 3/11): Taylor Kitsch's Career Is Over Before It Started

Originally Posted by Hokeyboy
Kids today don't know from Encyclopedia Brown
Didn't ya hear the latest? He's going out of print and will be found on-line only.

http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.co...tannica&st=cse
Old 03-14-12, 11:11 AM
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Re: Weekend Box Office (3/9 - 3/11): Taylor Kitsch's Career Is Over Before It Started

Originally Posted by Hokeyboy
Kids today don't know from Encyclopedia Brown
They should bring him back as "Wikipedia Brown".
Old 03-14-12, 11:30 AM
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Re: Weekend Box Office (3/9 - 3/11): Taylor Kitsch's Career Is Over Before It Started

Originally Posted by Patman
They should bring him back as "Wikipedia Brown".
And he never is able to solve any case.
Old 03-14-12, 12:28 PM
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Re: Weekend Box Office (3/9 - 3/11): Taylor Kitsch's Career Is Over Before It Started

Originally Posted by joe_b
If I were the marketing execs, I would have told Stanton to hit the bricks instead of treating him like a sacred cow that could not be overruled. At the very least, I would have tried my best to convince him he was shooting himself in the foot with his approach to the campaign. Perhaps they were afraid of him using his Pixar clout to get them all fired.

I remember last fall when Stanton and company had a press day to generate buzz on the film. He made a point of mentioning that the initial (terrible) teaser was something he made them recut over and over to achieve the right tone for the film. This was the same trailer that made it look like some dreadful period romance set in the desert with barely a hint that it took place on a world inhabited by alien life.
There are directors who have had a strong hand in the marketing of their films before (Kubrick and A Clockwork Orange come to mind). It was probably something Stanton had written into his contract. And after directing Finding Nemo and Wall-E, who was going to tell him no?
Old 03-14-12, 12:41 PM
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Re: Weekend Box Office (3/9 - 3/11): Taylor Kitsch's Career Is Over Before It Started

Originally Posted by KillerCannibal
This really needs to become a meme template:


If you want to try your own caption:
http://www.quickmeme.com/make/captio...6&name=Awesome

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