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‘John Carter’ a Non-Starter at Box Office

Despite a budget nearly four-times smaller, The Lorax handily defeated Disney’s ambitious adaptation of John Carter, which had to settle for second.

Repeating in first after its stunning No. 1 debut last weekend, The Lorax held up well and easily repeated over a modest frame. Dipping by just under 45 percent, the animated Dr. Seuss offering collected another $38.8 million, which brings its impressive two-week cume to $121.7 million. With no new kid-centric fare on the horizon, expect the movie to hold up well in the coming weeks and soar past the $200-million domestic mark.

After months of speculation about the box-office prospects of John Carter, the adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' famed sci-fi novel from over a century ago, Disney should be relieved that it debuted to the upper-tier of expectations. Unfortunately for The Mouse House, those projections topped out at around $30 million, which is precisely what happened with its $30.2-million weekend gross.

A confusing marketing campaign and a ballooning budget (which reportedly exceeded $250 million), many feel John Carter had been a doomed effort for some time. The opening weekend is actually respectable for the genre, and a Friday-to-Saturday uptick meant that families were interested, but for what Disney spent, there is little to celebrate. Overseas, things were a bit brighter, as John Carter rocketed away with $70.6 million bringing its early international cume to $100.8 million.


The Top 10

1. The Lorax - $38.8M (weekend)…$121.7M (cume)
2. John Carter - $30.2M…$30.2M
3. Project X - $11.1M…$39.7M
4. Act of Valor - $6.9M…$56.1M
5. Silent House - $6.7M…$6.7M
6. A Thousand Words - $6.2M…$6.2M
7. Safe House - $4.8M…$115.6M
8. The Vow - $3.8M…$117.5M
9. This Means War - $3.8M…$46.9M
10. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island - $3.6M…$90.6M


Debuting to lower-than-expected results in fifth was one-take horror feature Silent House with Elizabeth Olsen. With no other horror offerings having hit theaters since The Woman in Black, this result is a bit disappointing. Having received a horrid “F” CinemaScore due to its less-than-beloved ending, bad buzz seems to have hindered breakout potential for the flick, though it cost just $1 million to produce.

Close behind in sixth was the long-delayed (it was shot in 2008) Eddie Murphy comedy A Thousand Words which barely made a peep with $6.2 million. This is a slight improvement over his recent flops Meet Dave and Imagine That, but it's clear that audiences no longer have the patience to weather a Murphy film of this caliber.

Debuting well in 13th with $2 million in a platform release of 369 theaters, Friends with Kids (starring Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolf, John Hamm, Megan Fox and written, directed and starring Jennifer Westfeldt) rode decent reviews and a unique premise. “Kids” will expand into roughly 600 theaters next weekend.

A single wide offering hits multiplexes next weekend and two indies will sport more limited starts. The Jonah Hill/Channing Tatum-starrer 21 Jump Street will hop into 3,000 houses, Will Ferrell’s experimental, foreign language western/comedy Casa De Mi Padre will gallop into 350 and Jeff, Who Lives at Home starring Jason Segel will land in 250.


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