Bryan Cranston Reflects on the Unfair Failure of a Beloved Box Office Disaster


through Disney

It’s been 10 whole years since Andrew Stanton John Carter landed with a disastrous thump to become one of the biggest box office bombs in history, but the sprawling sci-fi epic is arguably more popular than it’s ever been.

If it would have been better for the public to show up and pay for a ticket while the mega-budget blockbuster was in theaters to avoid such catastrophic financial loss, we’ll have to settle for the fact that he has earned a reputation as an underrated and unfairly overlooked cult favorite a long time ago.

Stanton’s plans for a trilogy went up in smoke when John Carter wound up $200 million in the red, nixing the sequels from the start. Disney doesn’t even have the rights to the source material anymore, but that didn’t stop star Bryan Cranston from looking wistfully at his contributions to the film in an interview with Collider.

“I love André. He’s a great guy and a really great director. I had a great time on John Carter. You know what? It would be a good study. When you look at all the blockbuster movies, they say, “Oh, yeah, look at all those wonderful movies that did incredibly well.” Go back and look at the movies that didn’t do well at the box office and say, “Why? What was missing? Where did he miss? Is it the story, is it the marketing, is it? It gets that tag and then you can’t shake it.

I will tell you one more thing that frustrates me. When I was young, there were very good film critics who went on the news and told you, artistically, what they answered, what they recommended you go see. A very small arthouse film or a big budget film, it doesn’t matter, and somewhere in between. They gave you their artistic impression in all relativity and then you made your decision. Now they’ve fired all those people and what they have instead are the newsreaders, the anchors, reading the weekend box office hits. As if it were top five box office numbers, it is a recommendation to go see this movie because it made so much money.

John Carter
through Disney

It looks like Cranston is staying a little sour than John Carter didn’t take off with reviews or paying customers, which is fair enough when a whole bunch of people feel exactly the same. The world-building was phenomenal, the visuals were lavish, but a bland marketing campaign did the intergalactic epic a disservice, even though it remains a perennial favorite.


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