"John Carter," which Disney hoped would kick off a franchise based on the classic Edgar Rice Burroughs stories that inspired generations of sci-fi, opened with $30.6 million. In an article bearing the headline " 'Ishtar' on Mars," the New York Times reported that "John Carter" cost about $350 million to market and produce. Even with its $71 million overseas total, "Carter" is a long way from an estimated break-even point of $600 million. "Ishtar" is a 1987 film famous for how hard it flopped despite the presence of two A-list stars (Warren Beatty, Dustin Hoffman) and huge marketing.
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