The big shock this weekend was that the $150 plus budget ‘Mars Needs Moms’ Disney movie bombed horribly making it in the Top Ten biggest opening movie failures, yet Disney is scratching their head and blaming everything besides the fact that it wasn’t that good.
‘Mars Needs Moms‘ was put in 3,117 (4,400 screens) theaters and 3-D (where most studios are putting even crappy 3D movies knowing that the higher ticket prices will generate more box office), but the Disney film made only $6.8 million. It was in 2,440 3D venues that accounted for over two thirds of business and still did this badly which hopefully shows the studios that 3-D fatigue has set in, and movie goers have wised up to these Hollywood tricks. It’s reported that ‘Mars Needs Moms’ had a $150 million budget, but that doesn’t include advertising and marketing which is another $40-$50 million and upwards. ‘Tron’ didn’t live up to expectations last December, and this is the biggest hit Disney has ever taken.
Interestingly enough, when Disney heads screened ‘Mars Needs Moms’ last year they moved pretty quick to shut down Robert Zemeckis’ Imagemovers Digital, which also produced the blockbuster Disney’s A Christmas Carol. This arms also produced ‘Mars Needs Moms’ under Dick Cook. That just shows us that even then, they knew what they had, but now they want to scratch their heads and find every other excuse of why this bombed so badly. People have tried saying that it’d due to the glut of animated films out now, but that doesn’t hold since ‘Tangled‘ pulled in major box office at the end of last year with a big old glut of family films stuffing theaters for Christmas. If they even try to blame online piracy, that’s really pushing it.
I just hope that having to face up to a bomb like ‘Mars Needs Moms’, Hollywood will think just a tiny bit more before trying to push out yet another crappy 3-D movie only because it’s gets a higher ticket price than a really great movie in a regular theater. Rather than keep bringing in people who have no sense of creativity to run a studio, bring in a really good creative team with a business sense who can strike a good balance to make people want to get out to the theaters again. The theater owners who contacted me after another story we ran have all said the same thing. They know they’re getting the short of the stick with so much crap getting pushed out, and then with the oncoming Same Day & Date, they pretty much figure their days are numbered unless better movies start surfacing again. I’ve had to review so many back to back bad movies this past year, it’s actually starts to piss you off wondering what’s happened to the good filmmakers.
So I’m sure we’ll have many takes on this Disney disaster, but I can assure you, no one will be saying, maybe it wasn’t a very good movie.