Walt Disney will incur a $200m writedown on John Carter, the action film based on the Edgar Rice Burroughs novel which has failed at the box office despite a $300m production budget and an extensive global marketing campaign.
The company said its “current expectation” is that its movie studio division will incur an operating loss of between $80m and $120m for the quarter following the release of the move.
The writedown deals a blow to Rich Ross, the chairman of Walt Disney Studios, who has been trying to improve returns at the division following a restructuring and a focus on films made under the Disney, Pixar and Marvel brands.However, the abject failure of John Carter is not likely to be forgotten in an industry where a single flop can wipe out a studio’s annual profits.
Let's tell the truth here, shall we?
Disney hasn't made a decent movie since old Walt died. No, I'm not making concessions for The Lion King or Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid and Finding Nemo and Wall-E, because those were kiddie films, and little kids don't recognize bad writing and worse music — they just want to see colorful cartoon characters bouncing around the screen.
Disney's major failing for the last 45 years has been their unabashed reliance on OLD FORMULAS that were successful in the 40s, 50s and 60s. I mean, FORGET ORIGINALITY should be the Disney motto.
Beyond a complete absence of originality in plot lines and dialogue, Disney has displayed a thorough INABILITY to handle dramatic science fiction and adventure fantasy. They should've just closed the studio down in 1977, after Lucas released Star Wars and after Spielberg and Lucas collaborated on the first Indiana Jones movie in 1980, okay, because George Lucas and Stephen Spielberg completely redefined fantasy to a level OUT OF REACH for the obsolete Disney Corp.
And, beyond their failure in the movie business — yeah, Disney is a failure in spite of their antiquated marketing ploy of promoting EVERY Disney film as "The Number One Movie in America!" and "The Funniest Movie of the Year!" — Disney also happens to be a mean-spirited business corporation.
And I mean VERY mean-spirited.
I don't know how many of you are acquainted with Disney's history of hostile takeovers in the last 40 years, but I can tell you that the company is HOSTILE.
In the typical Disney takeover scenario (one of which my wife witnessed in Chicago in the 1980s), Disney personnel literally STORM the premises carrying military-grade assault weapons and place the newly-acquired company on lockdown, pending a hostile debriefing of the employees.
Thereafter, the employees are informed in the most belligerent manner that their new careers will be "making money for the Disney grandchildren." If the employees don't appreciate this sort of manhandling, the Disney stormtroopers tell them to evacuate the property in 5 minutes.
That's why I STOPPED watching Disney films and purchasing Disney-related products some 35 years ago. Yes, I research every movie and every product to determine its relationship to Disney — whether by Touchstone or Buena Vista or Pixar or Marvel or Sony or McDonald's or a dozen other of their affiliates — and I staunchly REFUSE to contribute to the Disney money machine.
It's very sad that what was once a good and wholesome company (under Walt) has turned into the money-grubbing and bad-tempered Ebenezer Scrooge of the entertainment world. Serves them right when they take a major financial loss such as John Carter.