Week in review: Hollywood gears up for two weekend disappointments
It's been a good year at the movies -- until now. Between the debuts of "John Carter" and Eddie Murphy's latest "A Thousand Words," Hollywood will probably lose gobs of money this weekend.
Paramount Pictures is likely to lose out on its long-shelved Murphy comedy. Produced in 2008, the film was caught in the corporate upheaval that saw DreamWorks Pictures split with Paramount. Then the studio tried to capture Murphy's revival as a star -- a hope that was damaged when the comedic actor bailed on hosting this year's Oscar telecast.
Disney is in a different type of trouble, taking a big bet on a talented animated filmmaker's first live-action project. "John Carter," from Pixar mainstay Andrew Stanton ("Wall-e," "Finding Nemo"), is generating tepid response from audiences, both from the hard-core geeks who know the century-old Edgar Rice Burroughs story and the general audience, which seems uninterested in the weak marketing materials.
Times reporters Nicole Sperling and Steve Zeitchik examine why these films aren't connecting and some of the reasoning behind the blunders.