John Carter is a 2012 American science fiction-fantasy film directed by Andrew Stanton and produced by Walt Disney Pictures. It is based on A Princess of Mars, the first book in the Barsoom series of novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs. The film chronicles the first interplanetary adventure of John Carter, portrayed by actor Taylor Kitsch. The film marks the centennial of the character's first appearance. The film is the live-action debut for writer and director Stanton; his previous directorial work includes the Pixar animated films Finding Nemo (2003) and WALL-E (2008). Co-written by Stanton, Mark Andrews and Michael Chabon, it was produced by Jim Morris, Colin Wilson, and Lindsey Collins. The score was composed by Michael Giacchino and released by Walt Disney Records on March 6, 2012. The ensemble cast also features Lynn Collins, Samantha Morton, Mark Strong, Ciarán Hinds, Thomas Haden Church, Dominic West, James Purefoy, and Willem Dafoe.
Filming began in November 2009 with principal photography underway in January 2010, wrapping seven months later in July 2010. John Carter explores extraterrestrial life, science fiction and civil war. Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures released John Carter in the United States on March 9, 2012; the film was shown in regular 2D and in the Disney Digital 3D as well as IMAX 3D formats.
Upon release, John Carter received a mixed critical reception and performed poorly at the domestic box office, although it did show strength overseas, particularly in Russia where it set box office records. Disney attributed the $160 million swing from profit to loss in its Studio Entertainment division in the second 2012 fiscal quarter "primarily" to the performance of John Carter. The film is considered a box office bomb, taking a $200 million writedown after the film only grossed $284 million against total production and marketing costs of $350 million. Paul Dergarabedian, president of Hollywood.com noted, "John Carter’s bloated budget would have required it to generate worldwide tickets sales of more than $600 million to break even...a height reached by only 63 films in the history of moviemaking".
After the sudden death of John Carter (Taylor Kitsch), a former American Civil War Confederate Army captain, Carter's nephew, Edgar Rice Burroughs (Daryl Sabara), attends the funeral. Per Carter's instructions, the body is put in a tomb that can be unlocked only from the inside. His attorney hands Burroughs Carter's journal, which Burroughs reads in the hope of finding clues to Carter's cause of death.