Was John Carter the Victim of 'Perpetual Sneak Preview Culture?'

John Carter FlopWas Disney's John Carter the victim of our increasing cultural overstimulation? IndieWire's Matt Singer considers the tentpole's reception — and suggests parallels with Kenneth Lonergan's troubled production-cum-critical darling, Margaret: "[As] perpetual sneak preview culture becomes normalized, audiences are being conditioned to weigh in on a movie before it even comes out. They're trained not only to trust their expectations, but to express them constantly. 'I knew this movie was going to be bad from the first trailer,' is a commonly expressed opinion online. At a certain point, it begins to feel like people want a movie to fail, if only to prove their expectations right." [IndieWire]


  • Point Taken says:

    It was critics who wanted this movie to fail not the audience
    and with their giddy negative press succeeded in killing
    a good movie and now critics are passing off blame.

    • Jake says:

      The critics were just enjoying a little schadenfreude, which is lame, but understandable. Critics love a big bomb and this was one of the biggest. But that is not why the film failed. The reason this film failed was the marketing. I was shocked and pleased when I finally saw the film that there was more than just Taylor Kitsch jumping around in the desert and fighting giant Star Wars-esque monsters in an arena. The film was very well made and featured a love story, an interesting flashback, and a little creative storytelling, along with the jumping around.

      In the end, the right people lost their jobs after this debacle. Those who removed all references to Mars, love, plot and character in the marketing. The Disney studio heads.

      • Point Taken says:

        The critics took early missteps and blew them out of all proportion
        and created the narrative this was a turkey from the beginning
        and wrote their reviews later as if to prove they were right.

  • Woolagain says:

    'John Carter' is a great, well written, well acted, well executed movie with a big heart. The special effects serve the story rather than the other way around. It's a terrific romantic adventure with a depth that rewards repeated viewings, and almost by definition the critics may not figure that out on the first pass. The Blu-ray & DVD release will likely make that clear.

  • Trace Murray says:

    What doomed John Carter to failure was A) the fact that it was an incompetant piece of garbage, B) that it was an incompetant piece of garbage in the way almost all of Disney's live action movies have been since National Treasure 2, and C) the trailer made it look like an incompetant piece of garbage in the way that all Disney movies were since National Treasure 2. Anyone with taste could smell it from a mile away, especially after Tron

    • John Berggren says:

      Wrong on all counts. Tron was fantastic. John Carter was a lot of fun.
      Your Ace Ventura routine is garbage.

  • max says:

    John Carter didn't fail because of "bad marketing", so stop trotting out that tired excuse. And it wasn't because people wanted it to fail due to the sky-high budget. John Carter wasn't a very good movie. The Blu-ray & DVD release will only make that clearer.

  • cst says:

    This movie was WILLED to fail- by executives at Disney itself. The most obvious evidence? NO MERCHANDISING. Disney has NEVER released a film of this size without a major merchandising push- and this was actually the MOST merchandising-friendly film they've released in YEARS. (Seriously, aliens and monsters and flying machines- these are the things Lucas built his billions on).
    This was a behind the scenes power-play to MAKE the film bomb- questions of it's quality or lack of same are naive and irrelevant; at least HALF of the big blockbusters out there are, by any rational standard, bad movies. BUT THE STUDIOS GIVE THEM A PROPER PUSH ANYWAY, because they know they can still be profitably sold.

    • max says:

      John Carter was certainly no Star Wars. Nope, a lack of toys didn't kill this movie either. Next excuse?

  • glen says:

    The movie is an was great, i had to see it again on tv in 3D , i wish to have it on DVD also