Rolling the dice on John Carter

The “buzz” on movies isn’t always accurate, and some films were weighed down with heavy predictions of doom before they finally hit theaters and did extremely well.

Titanic and the first X-Men movie come to mind here. True, John Carter doesn’t have deadly buzz, but there’s definitely concern and arm chair quarterbacking as to how the first live action Pixar film will do when it’s released on March 9.

As we’ve previously discussed, the film’s budget is very high, reportedly $250 million, and will have to make a sh*theap of money back to generate a profit, about $700 million world-wide according to The New Yorker.

Fortunately, the film has reportedly recieved 75% “good” and “excellent” scores in test screenings, which Hollywood usually takes as gospel.

Nevertheless, Hollywood Reporter just ran a story about the primary risk associated with John Carter and 47 Ronin: both are being helmed by first time directors.

Ronin is especially risky for Universal, whose budget has reportedly gone well past its $175 million (initial) limit. 

Of course, Pixar’s Andrew Stanton has directed animation with Finding Nemo and WALL-E, but again, this is his first time he’s directing live action. (The Reporter states the film’s budget “is widely rumored to have ballooned to $300 million.”)

Then again, Hollywood Reporter writer Kim Masters also points out that another great Pixar alumni, Brad Bird, delivered with his first big live action film, the fourth Mission: Impossible. 

And as we mentioned earlier, there’ve been plenty of movies that have overcome bad buzz, although 75% positive in test screenings isn’t bad at all. And as one Disney source told Masters, “Remember: Finding Nemo was supposed to be the first Pixar flop.”