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March 12, 2012


Regarding desert environments and poor performance: didn't the Mad Max franchise do OK? Even though it wasn't in "another planet", but here on Earth (I was pretty young at the time, so the memory's sketchy)

Implying that Dune failed because it was set on a desert planet

I've never heard of this movie, and would have no idea what it was about if I had. Maybe I'm not the target audience, but is it possible poor publicity is a factor?

The movie is based on an Edgar Rice Burroughs novel called Princess of Mars. That title wouldn't do for the suits at Disney, who feared that people would think the movie was a chick flick and that the all-important young male demographic would stay away.

"Takes place on a desert planet. Movies on desert planets always do poorly unless they are a Star Wars sequel."

Stargate grossed $200 million on a $55 million budget.

The book was called "John Carter of Mars". If you call it "John Carter" it isn't obvious what it is about. The original writer and publisher probably understood what title to give it so people would pick it up and buy it.

From the reviews it sounds badly written. I was watching "Boardwalk Empire". Great stuff. Made with journeyman TV actors and directors. (The guy from "Unhappily Ever After" is really good.) What makes it good is the *writing*. Yes, the *writing* which people who make feature films treat as an afterthought.

It's a flop because the trailers looked cartoonish, didn't establish why the film was important to any audience, and had that overenthusiastic saturation that especially sci-fi fans have found means the movie is going to suck.

For what it's worth, I thought that Star Wars III (Revenge of the Sith) was every bit as good as the original series. It's hard to compare movies you first saw as a kid vs. ones you first saw as an adult.

Planet of the Apes took place in a harsh, deserted wasteland for the most part. When I was at Masada in Israel, I thought, "Wow, this scenery looks just like all of those harsh red canyons in Planet of the Apes!"

I agree with Bluto. As for the Star Wars films I'd rate them as follows;

1. Empire Strikes Back

2. Revenge of the Sith

3. A New Hope.

The rest are filler.

The total failure can be attributed to the PR campaign and the marketing team.

It would have been significantly better if they chose the title "Mars" and spent more on a decent trailer. It didn't have a single recognizable name nor face... looked like a B rated sci-fi film with computer graphics. Where did the money go?

Hopefully Hollywood studios will learn from the record shattering success of Rise of the Dark Knight.

HS, you know nothing about the movie industry, and it shows.

The whole industry works on raising money from sucker investors (aka random doctors from Beverly Hills), and then producing the movie, and pushing all the profits in the costs of producing the movie. When a movie is "profitable" it means something went very very wrong.

The Cantor exchange tried to add a secondary market by offering futures on box office gross. A market like this would have made investors bet directly on the box office numbers, investors who would have avoided being duped by Hollywood. Guess what happened? Hollywood lobbied congress to pass a law that makes it illegal to offer box office futures... funny, no? The whole industry is dirty, and there are many small investors that are stupid enough to invest in movies.

Now, coming back to John Carter... in only means they expected to do much better, because they have to push the costs of production before the release... that's it. Don't you worry. The movie made money for the right people :)

Holy freaking God, this pisses me off. I don't disagree that that in the financial sense, the movie is going to be a big bomb, but I saw it this weekend, and the movie was fantastic!

This was truly a great movie, but Disney badly mishandled the promotion. If I wasn't already aware of the subject matter and what the movie was about, I would still have had no idea from the trailers and the title (John Carter? Generic name -tells me nothing).

I wrote a review of it: http://wp.me/p2bT9W-eo

So consider that word of mouth if you like, since apparently that's the only type of good promotion this movie is going to get.

***1. Empire Strikes Back

2. Revenge of the Sith

3. A New Hope.***

Personally, I preferred Attack of the Clones to Revenge of the Sith. Christopher Lee gave it gravitas, his fight with Yoda was excellent and he should have had a larger role in RotS.

I haven't seen it yet, but I am still confident it is much better than Avatar.

Prequel trilogy fans? On my Half Sigma? Unsubscribing.

Go watch some RedLetterMedia FFS

I agree about Christopher Lee. The same goes for Darth Maul. Both characters died off too soon. The latter's death had very little payoff to the plot despite his hype/build. Unfortunate.

RedLetterMedia's reviews were....amazing. Really captured everything wrong with the prequels. I still think ROTS is good mostly due to the evil characters/factions in the SW universe being vastly more interesting. If I could redo the prequels Attack of the Clones would have been episode I, Revenge of the Sith episode II, and something else episode III. The prequels would still have "that crappy one" like ROTJ is to the originals but overall the prequel legacy would still be positive.

I don't count post-apocalyptic as off-planet SF. So, no "Apes" or "Mad Max" (or "Resident Evil" or whatever).

Maybe "Total Recall" doesn't count either because it all took place inside. Water wasn't the plot device; air was.

The first "Star Wars" needs a partial mention. Maybe "Spaceballs" too. The offworld planet in "Galaxy Quest" was desert.

"Stargate" *has* been mentioned. Another profitable desert-SF enterprise is "Pitch Black": 39m in US, 53m total; on a budget of 23m.

So, that's two.

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