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Kim Voynar

By Kim Voynar Voynar@moviecitynews.com

Disney Out $200 Million on John Carter? Zing.

Here’s the story over on Reuters.

$184 MILLION box office and still $200 MILLION in the red. That is fucking insane, people. I liked John Carter, a lot, and completely disagree that it was hard to follow. My eight-year-old followed it just fine and he’s certainly not familiar with the source material. The marketing was ambiguous at best. The title was boring. Leaving the title as “Princess of Mars” probably would have made it seem inherently more interesting, although Disney would probably have drawn the ire of smart-ass, overly sensitive women like myself for calling it “Princess of Mars” — even if that was the original title — when it’s really about a man saving a woman. But whatever. “Princess of Mars” sounds like it has stuff happening. A princess in peril, a civilization — nay, a world! — in dire need of an unlikely hero! Whereas “John Carter” sounds like your boring, closeted gay uncle who likes to talk about his insect collection and has tufts of hair growing out his ears and fidgets with his change in his pants pockets incessantly.

But the reported $250 million budget boggles the mind, does it not? I get that it’s all relative, and so long as you make a profit and not a $200 million loss no one really cares. But man. You could make a lot of indie films, if you had that much money to put into a trust fund, and dole out a few films at a time. Yowza.

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“A shot is a story. A shot on its own should be a piece of a story. Which is why I talk a lot about watching films, even the films we’re working on, with the sound off. Just to analyze how the film works, because a film should work for an audience without any sound. The biggest problem I see is that someone may have a superficial understanding of what a shot is propositionally, but they don’t have an understanding of how all of these shots are part of a family that needs to connect, and so you’ll get something that’s like a sentence arranged poorly with six nouns in a row. That surprises me, because I think that’s something that can be learned. Some things can’t be, but that can. It’s a grammar. In a classroom I could walk somebody through the difference between a sequence in which the filmmaker has a deep understanding of how images connect, and someone who doesn’t. It’s not really an intellectual process. Some people are just born with it and are just sort of savants at that deep mathematical understanding of shot construction.  I’m better than I used to be, but there are some people I’m just never going to catch. Spielberg. His staging ability. I’m never going to catch him. But when you’re trying to figure out how to get better—I’m not competitive in the sense of looking around at other filmmakers and comparing myself to them. What I do have to think about in trying to navigate myself through a career is: what can I get better at, and what do I have that I can enhance that somebody else doesn’t have?”
~ Steven Soderbergh

“It’s not going to be huge. He and I had been corresponding for a while. When I finally met him, he said, ‘We should collaborate.’ When John Ashbery says that to you, you don’t say when, you just say yes. It has not been easy to conjure this out of nothing. Sean Price Williams and I spent time with him, and it will appear on FilmStruck before the year is out…. I have figured out how to streamline things. I still have dreams of making movies with bigger budgets, and they might be considered to have more of a voice in pop culture. I don’t want to let go of that. I also realize that you grow up a lot of your life with wishful thinking and waiting. I have figured out ways to avoid doing that. I am working on a bigger movie about Nikola Tesla, set in the past, so it is not an easy film to make. I am also working on an adaptation of Don DeLillo’s ‘White Noise.’ That seems more likely to catch fire.”
Michael Almereyda Steps It Up