3. John Carter (2012)
Based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ novel, A Princess of Mars, John Carter is a Walt Disney Productions, with Taylor Kitsch as its main actor. The story is centered on its eponymous character. After the apparent death of John Carter, his nephew discovers his diary and his secret – he was once teleported to a planet called Barsoom. There he fought the tyrants, became a hero and won the princess’ heart and hand in marriage. Though, his happiness did not last long as he was banished back to Earth.
What Were They Thinking?
Disney is usually reckless with its investments, but they are usually intelligent ones and bring a lot of profit. But with John Carter, they were more than reckless and lost almost all the $263.7 millions due to the incomprehensible plot. This might work with the over repetitive TV series about that one special girl and her tomboyish dumber best friend, but not in the cruel cinematographic world. Therefore, the movie is so irrelevant that the producers gave up the idea of making sequels… for now.
Disney’s Cheesiness Can Be Good
Swimming in a sea of hate, you can find people who actually liked John Carter, whether of its charming and fun cast and fantastic visual effects – where did you think all the money went? – which brought it an International Film Music Critics Association Awards for Film Music Composition of the Year. Also, A. O. Scott from The New York Times pointed out “John Carter tries to evoke, to reanimate, a fondly recalled universe of B-movies, pulp novels and boys’ adventure magazines.”
2. Mars Needs Moms (2011)
Another Walt Disney Pictures film, Mars Needs Moms is a computer animated comedy focused on Milo, a young boy who, like all 9 year olds, wants to have fun and not help his mother. After a heated argument, his mother gets abducted by aliens. Of course, it is only up to Milo to get his mother back, with the help of Supervisor, Gribble and Two-Cat. The voice over for Milo and his mom was done by Seth Green and Joan Cusack.
Just when you thought Disney could not get any worse, they came up with this movie. Not only it was criticized for the lack of imagination, but it is also ridiculous from head to toe. And unlike John Carter, the magical digital world was not praised, but heavily criticized, viewers complaining about the unnatural facial features and the poor storyline. And what is worse – the budget of $150 million was not covered, as the box office barely reached $39 million. Of course, Disney got its money back from all the Frozen mania and learnt that when it comes to space and especially Mars, they have to let it go.
At Least it Had a Point
Being a Disney baby, Mars Needs Moms’ purpose was to teach children a moral, while entertaining them. Therefore, kids taught how to respect and cherish their mothers, while having a good laugh and some adults really appreciated the importance of the female role model and female presence in general as it was presented in this animation.
1. 47 Ronin (2013)
This American fantasy action movie illustrating a group of samurai from the 18th century Japan, called the forty-seven Ronin, who, after the murder of their master, seek revenge and justice, in order to recover their stolen honor. The main role belongs to Keanu Reeves who portrays a half Japanese, half English outcast, who was adopted and brought up in the family of Lord Asano. Kai’s role is to help the samurai team and to lead them to success.
47 Bombs In One
What was supposed to be a reminiscence of action films from the beginning of the third millennium, failed big time. Dull, generic and very predictable, with one dimensional characters, it seemed to be the bone thrown at critics, who did not hesitate butchering it. Also, the fact that in the story were added witches and giants, did no good to the said “historical” context. So, from the budget of $175 million – $225 million if you count the money wasted on marketing and advertisement – 47 Ronin barely managed to recover $151 million from the original sum.
The Light At the End of the Tunnel
The reason why 47 Ronin did manage to make some millions was because, obviously, some people did like it and recommended to others. Some found the story compelling and the special effects great and even better, they were used enough to make a point and not to cover up the entire film.
Also, it is to be appreciated that the filming was done first in Japanese and then in English, due to the majority of the cast being Japanese. Also, the costumes were customized for each character, to fit its background, fact which led to nominations at the 40th Saturn Awards for Best Costume and Best Production Design.