Taylor Kitsch is probably feeling pretty crumby right about now, having starred in two of this year’s biggest flops and some of the biggest financial bombs on record. He first starred in the Disney production John Carter, which was directed by Andrew Stanton.
John Carter is not without its flaws, but after repeat viewings I can safely say that it’s a grand spectacle of a film that I have no problem enjoying and finding plenty of things that the film does really well. Not only is it not deserving of its poor box office intake, but I also think it doesn’t deserve all of the critical backlash either.
It’s a good film that almost reaches greatness, but still ends up being an entertaining science fiction adventure from someone with creative passion.
Kitsch was also in Peter Berg‘s equally disappointing (financially) Battleship, based on the popular Hasbro board game. Now Battleship is tracking a bit lower than Disney’s John Carter, yet not one single report or scoop has been reported about how Universal is pissed at Berg for such a gigantic flop.
Battleship actually DESERVES all of this negative hate too, because it’s a shitty movie with barely any redeeming qualities. Even going easy on Battleship leaves you with a poorly made film and yet the industry has been pretty quiet about the whole thing.
LA Times points out how comparable the two films really are:
Their overall numbers aren’t all that different. Disney’s “John Carter” did a paltry $72 million in the United States and an additional $210 million overseas; “Universal’s “Battleship” is on track to do even less in America than “John Carter” while so far making $232 million overseas. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Universal could lose $150 million on “Battleship,” while Disney took a $200-million write-down on “John Carter.”
I find it particularly troubling knowing that studios are being run by people that punish creative talent like Stanton. People that actually take a risk and make something unique get punished and beaten, while Hollywood hacks that take whatever and do as their told get rewarded with a surplus of money and future opportunities.
I bet Peter Berg won’t have any problems securing a $150+ million dollar budget for his next picture, yet Andrew Stanton will either have to revert back to animated or make something for far less money. Stanton will no doubtingly have to sacrifice something big on his next production or else it probably won’t get made.
How does all of this make you feel? I know it’s nothing new knowing how Hollywood (or any big industry) works, but doesn’t it at least get you mad? I know I’ll be buying John Carter this Tuesday on Blu-ray to support Andrew Stanton and his bold step at making something that HE wanted to make, without studios telling him to change this or cut that. I wish him (and all creative talent) the best in trying to make the films that they want to make.