When a studio spends over 200 million dollars on a motion picture and it seems as if it will struggle to break even, fingers start pointing to find out what went wrong. As of this writing, John Carter has earned only $62,000,000 domestically, not exactly the return on investment Disney had hoped to achieve.
Here are some other possible reasons why it underperformed:
3D backlash - I still firmly believe that the 3D trend is still more of a hindrance to box-office success than a benefit.
Antiquated story - Just because it was a groundbreaking novel from 1912 doesn't mean it necessarily makes for a good contemporary science fiction movie epic today.
Special effects extravaganza burnout - I think audiences are craving a more gritty, less CGI feel to the films they see. Eye candy isn't enough.
Bad casting - Sometimes you don't need an A-list cast for a blockbuster, but in this case I think Disney should have invested in some bigger names for the male and female leads. They obviously "couldn't open" this movie.
Bad script - Putting nostalgia aside, was the story really good enough for our times? They changed some things that shouldn't have been changed and didn't change other things that should have been.
If John Carter really is as good as the apologists claim, history will prove the box-office results wrong and the critics short-sighted. But sometimes denial has to be put aside and the excuses have to stop and everyone just has to admit that even great marketing can't always save a poor/mediocre story.
Am I right or am I wrong?