It seemed a bit odd to me that even after a better than expected opening, many were still projecting Disney to take a $100-150 million hit on the Andrew Stanton-directed blockbuster John Carter. This would imply that they anticipated slight over performances on both the domestic and foreign levels as it was pretty clear that the movie cost $375 million at the time to make and market. Sure, the film’s mostly a hit overseas, but that is still cash money when it is all said and done. That is why today’s news of one analyst projecting a far smaller loss should not come as a shock to many.
The analyst I am referring to is Janney’s Tony Wible, and he made it plenty clear what lead him to project a $53 million loss should the movie prove to have an average performance in terms of retention and non-box office sales. In the best case scenario, the analyst believes the movie could actually earn a small profit for Disney. How did he get there? He extrapolated out the weekend’s gross to $318 million worldwide which would net the studio $132 million in box office revenue alone. Wible then suggested a 0.45 multiple for calculated DVD sales–a ratio less than the studio’s 0.55 average. Adding $48 million in TV revenue, John Carter could gross $322 million in total for Disney.
Now, seeing word of mouth’s positive effect on this movie despite the media’s labeling of it as a bomb suggests to me that the DVD multiple could be higher and the domestic revenue which Wible calculates to be $95 million could very well end up edging beyond the 9-figure mark. Naturally, we will have to see the drop off numbers for this weekend to see whether the legs will give way without the aid of John Carter’s marketing engine to derive a more accurate domestic haul, but ultimately the take away remains the same: John Carter is not the financial disaster the media portrays it to be.