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Disney to lose ¤151m over 3D space flop

John Carter is now officially a flop of galactic proportions.

The Walt Disney Co said yesterday that it expects to lose $200m (?151m) on the movie in the quarter through March. That's among Hollywood's biggest money-losers ever.

Directed by Pixar's Andrew Stanton, the 3D effects-laden movie about a Civil War veteran transplanted to Mars was already headed to the Red Ink Planet, according to Cowen & Co analyst Doug Creutz. Yet he expected a write-down of about half that size.

Disney said John Carter has brought in about $184m (c138m) in ticket sales worldwide so far. But ticket sales are split roughly in half with theatre owners. The movie's production budget is estimated to be about $250m (b188m) with about $100m (375.5m) more spent on marketing.

The movie was based on a series of books written by the late Edgar Rice Burroughs, starting with A Princess Of Mars in 1912 and ending with John Carter Of Mars, published posthumously in 1964.

There was plenty of material for sequels and prequels but they seem highly unlikely now.

With a 51pc "Tomatometer" rating on movie site Rotten Tomatoes, the film got average reviews, though movie critic Christy Lemire called it "deadly dull".