Disney expects to lose $200 million on John Carter – the biggest movie loss ever

Rumors of what it cost to make an market John Carter ran as high as $350 million. Daily Beast said it would have to make $400 million to break even, and so far has only made $180 million worldwide. Still, hardly anyone expected it to be the biggest money loser of all time, with Disney projecting a loss of 200 million Earth dollars.

“In light of the theatrical performance of John Carter ($184 million global box office), we expect the film to generate an operating loss of approximately $200 million during our second fiscal quarter ending March 31. As a result, our current expectation is that the Studio segment will have an operating loss of between $80 and $120 million for the second quarter. As we look forward to the second half of the year, we are excited about the upcoming releases of The Avengers and Brave, which we believe have tremendous potential to drive value for the Studio and the rest of the company.”

Disney’s $200M write down for John Carter appears to be the biggest loss to date for a single film — exceeding the inflation adjusted $147M deficit from Cutthroat Island, the 1995 film that starred Geena Davis and proved to be the last straw for Carolco Pictures which went out of business. [Deadline]

Ouch. It’s a bummer, because while the marketing was amazingly terrible, and focused mostly on the title, which was awful, I thought the movie was actually pretty fun. And in case you were wondering how this would effect Disney, since the health of vaguely evil, multi-national corporations is always of paramount concern, don’t be. Deadline points out the film division accounts for only 7% of its profits, and that Disney shares were only down 1% after the announcement. Still, a $200 million loss is a lot to absorb. At this rate, they might have to have James Cameron pawn one of the yachts he uses to hunt people for sport.