Although already labelled as a flop in the US with a less than stellar run, Andrew Stanton's take on Edgar Rice Burrough's science fiction adventurer topped the UK charts in its opening week. The £2 million take in the first week would cover somewhere in the region of one percent of the film's overall budget.
This isn't really important to us and anyone who heard Andrew Stanton on Five Live's Simon Mayo/Mark Kermode show will know that it doesn't mean anything to the director either. This is all to the good, but anyone who bankrolls a $250 million movie would be a little worried that the director doesn't care whether it makes its money back.
It looks like JOHN CARTER (the 'OF MARS' being dropped not to put off non science fiction fans apparently - and if that isn't a commercial decision then we don't know what is) is destined to join a list of expensive science fiction flops (remember WATERWORLD? No, us neither) and that is worrying because it's a genre that is traditionally thought of as expensive and high profile failures does us no favours.