‘Lorax’ Repeats, ‘John Carter’ in Trouble at Box Office

Debuts: Big Budget Sci-Fi Flick Bombs at 2nd, 'Silent House' at 5th, 'A Thousand Words' at 6th

March 12, 2012 by

John Carter launched
Disney-budgeted to the max
But still couldn’t beat
Reigning champ The Lorax

And it wasn’t even close. After crushing all expectations last weekend, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax easily spoiled the debut of John Carter last weekend at the domestic box office. The 3D computer animated tale, which was a sight to behold (3.5 out of 5 stars), raked in another $39 million and has already passed The Vow to become the top grossing film of the year.

John Carter‘s $30 million opening would have been impressive if not for its titanic $250 million budget. Despite an additional boost from 3D, the sci-fi adventure couldn’t even beat POS Prince of Persia‘s attendance numbers or even bigger POS 10,000 BC‘s opening from four years ago, much less more modest March blockbusters like Watchmen and Battle: LA.

Industry experts, which actually expected John Carter to open to slightly weaker numbers, have long been pointing fingers at Disney’s questionable marketing of the film it hoped to succeed on the level of Tron: Legacy or franchise giant Pirates of the Caribbean. Personally, I thought the initial teaser trailer for John Carter was decent, but the full-length trailer lost me. However, it did gain enough interest from other MediaStinger staff to sneak onto our list of most anticipated movies, and it was highly praised in our review.

The other two new releases, horror thriller Silent House and Eddie Murphy comedy A Thousand Words, might not even crack the top 5 once final tallies are in.

Here were the top five in the domestic box office last weekend via BOM:

  1. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax — Weekend Gross: $38.8 million — Total Gross: $121.7 million (#1 last week)
  2. John Carter— Weekend Gross: $30.2 million — Total Gross: $30.2 million (new)
  3. Project X — Weekend Gross: $11.1 million — Total Gross: $39.7 million (#2 last week)
  4. Act of Valor — Weekend Gross: $7.0 million — Total Gross: $56.1 million (#3 last week)
  5. Silent House — Weekend Gross: $6.7 million — Total Gross: $6.7 million (new)