Disney’s long time coming epic is finally opening in theaters today in the wake of The Lorax‘s incredible success, so competition is definitely there. Either way one thing is certain, come Sunday night, either The Lorax or John Carter will finish first.
Directed by Andrew Stanton of Pixar fame (he was behind two of my favorites, Wall-E and Finding Nemo), John Carter is probably the most expensive Disney live-action undertaking outside of their extremely popular Pirates series. Now that puts a lot of pressure in all the wrong places for this one, I mean you don’t see a $250 million movie every day. Also changing the name from John Carter of Mars (name of the famous book on which it is based) to John Carter probably didn’t do the film any favors.
Another disservice to the movie was its abysmal marketing campaign, making it look like Avatar in the desert or a poor man’s Star Wars when actually John Carter of Mars has inspired both of those. Between a shirtless Taylor Kitsch and the desert setting, John Carter also gave a strong Prince of Persia vibe, another badly marketed Disney adventure based on a popular property. Ultimately John Carter is very much a wildcard this weekend but I don’t see this going over The Lorax. Right now I will say 2nd place and $32 million, flat-out bombing unfortunately. Hopefully on Monday when the actual numbers come in I shall be proven wrong.
After a $70.2 million opening last week The Lorax is set to repeat in first place with about $40 million. That would mean over $122 million in 10 days for the little orange hero, which is $4 million ahead of Despicable Me‘s $118 million in 10 days.
Silent House, an interesting looking R-rated horror, is the 2nd new wide release of the weekend and it should end up 3rd or so with $10 to 12 million.
Project X and Act of Valor go after 4th and 5th place with $10 and 8 million respectively while the 3rd and last new wide release of the weekend, A Thousand Words (whopping 0% so far on Rotten Tomatoes after 22 counted reviews) starring Eddie Murphy, is not looking good at all. Opening in 1890 theaters, this long delayed comedy won’t gross more than $5 million for 6th place or lower.
Next week the only new wide release is 21 Jump Street, taking the old 80’s TV series and bringing it to the big screen. Bonus points for the supposed Johnny Deep uncredited cameo.