John Carter and the Gods of Hollywood by Michael Sellers

John Carter and the Gods of Hollywood

John Carter and the Gods of Hollywood
I didn’t see “John Carter” when it first came out even though I am a fan of the Edgar Rice Burroughs books and generally like these kind of movies. I was tricked by the negative press and bad marketing by Disney Studios. After reading this book I rented the movie and found it to be very good. Michael Sellers addresses the problems Disney had marketing this project. I have a degree in Marketing so this was up my alley. It didn’t hurt that Amazon offered it as a free Kindle download. If you like ‘Hollywood Insider‘ books this is pretty good. The only negatives are typos and repetitive writing by Sellers. Even if you’re not interested in Burroughs or Science Fiction movies, you might be interested to read how Hollywood works, or doesn’t work in the case of this movie.

370 pages

Excerpts From My Kindle

All-Story liked to boast: “192 pages — All stories–stories of rapid action and stirring adventure, stories with sweep and go to them. Stories without tiresome descriptions or baffling dialect.” – location 236-37

A film such as this could be undertaken with a wide range of visual styles. At the one end was the largely “fantastical” approach, filmed against green screens and emerging with the look of something like 300, or Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, while at the other end was something which, while still fantastic due to the subject matter, would have a more realistic texture to it. – location 1142-44

It would be, as producer Lindsey Collins would later put it, “Master and Commander in the skies above Mars.” – location 1152-53

Joseph E. Levine famously said, “You can fool all of the people all of the time …. if the advertising is right and the budget is big enough.” – location 2886-87

As the final all-media phase of the campaign launched in the waning days of November, the campaign was once again coming off of a period of media silence. Since D23 in August, a paltry total of 45 publicity placements monitored by IMDB. By comparison, during the same period its main competition The Hunger Games logged over 1100 placements, and its stablemate The Avengers logged over 1400 placements. – location 2918-21

Andrew Stanton, in the accompanying interview, to talk about how this scene, written by Edgar Rice Burroughs in 1912, was the source of and inspiration for the Attack of the Clones scene. – location 2936-37

boy-friendly franchises (Prince of Persia, Tron: Legacy, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, I Am Number Four, Fright Night, and Real Steel), – location 3116-17

Among the more prominent of the “ERBophiles”, were..

  • Bill Hillman, a retired college professor from Manitoba whose weekly “ERBzine” fanzine at has grown over the years into a 10,000 page online archive of everything from a detailed timeline of Burroughs’ life and collection of his letters, to a collection of virtually all of the art by Burroughs’ illustrators
  • Bob Zeuschner, a philosophy professor at Pasadena City College and author of “ERB: The Exhaustive Scholars and Collectors’s Descriptive Bibliography
  • George T. McWhorter of Louisville, Kentucky, the curator of the Burroughs memorial collection at the University of Louisville Library
  • David Bruce Bozarth of Houston, Texas, moderator and webmaster for the ERBlist Listserv email group and author of the exhaustive “Barsoom Glossary”
  • Scott Tracy Griffin, a Hollywood actor and writer, Laurence Dunn of London, President of the Burroughs Bibliophiles Fan Group
  • and Henry Franke III, the longtime Editor of the Burroughs Bulletin Magazine. Additionally, there were various bloggers who maintained fansites relating to Burroughs and Barsoom – Jeff Doten, an artist who had worked on the failed “Carson of Venus” project, maintained
  • Diana Cole maintained, Mike Carembat maintained
  • “MCR” maintained
  • and Bill Hillman, in addition to his Erbzine efforts, maintained Other ERBophiles maintained other sites, including
  • Phil Normand’s, which specialized in creating replica dust jackets for many of the Burroughs books. – location 3205-16

Waxman’s comment highlights the fact that John Carter was getting special treatment — as in special negative treatment — by its own studio. – location 5001-2

yet been released in the second and third largest markets, Japan and China. But corporate considerations trumped any quaint concern for the film itself or its constituents — including royalty participants such as the Edgar Rice Burroughs Family, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., and the key filmmakers. – location 5069-71

Disney had completely given up on the film and the franchise; that no word of mouth miracle could now be considered nor was Disney interested in nurturing the long term legacy of the film a la Blade Runner and 2001, two sci-fi films that got off to rocky starts at the box office and with critics but went on to be regarded as classics. The inevitable takeaway from the announcement was that Disney was washing its hands of John Carter, period. – location 5105-8

And it was doing this a mere 10 days into its release and before it had been released in the second and third largest foreign markets. – location 5108-9

a variety of countries all had stronger impact and appeal than anything Disney US did. 4. In other words — did the other Disney divisions, far from home and outside the specter of what was g0ing on in Burbank, manage to do a better job? – location 5229-31

Flops-turned-classics include the Wizard of Oz, Citizen Kane, Blade Runner, and It’s a Wonderful Life. None of these films are perfect; none were widely praised on first release; all found a place in history that leaves them regarded today as cinematic gems. – location 5724-27


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