Blu-ray, DVD, Blu-ray 3D Release: John Carter

Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: June 5, 2012
Price: DVD $29.99, Blu-ray/DVD Combo $39.99, 4-Disc Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD Combo $49.99
Studio: Disney


John Carter movie scene

Taylor Kitsch makes some new friends as John Carter.

John Carter, the lavish science-fiction action epic that, er, didn’t take the world by storm this spring, hopes to make up for lost audience shares on disc–a mere 100 days following its premiere on 3,800 screens around the country.

Based on the adventures of John Carter, the protagonist of writer Edgar Rice Burroughs’ 11-volume Barsoom series of novels (1912-43)–also known as the “John Carter from Mars” series–the film zooms in on Civil War captain John Carter (Taylor Kitsch, Friday Night Lights), who’s inexplicably transported to the mysterious and exotic planet of Barsoom (Mars). It’s a world on the brink of collapse, and Carter rediscovers his humanity when he realizes the survival of Barsoom and its people rests in his hands. Demonstrating his surprising new outer space powers (like being able to defy Barsoom’s gravity) and engaging in large-scale battles with Barsoom’s various factions, John Carter rises to become the man he is meant to be and the hero he truly is.

The first live-action film directed by Pixar veteran Andrew Stanton (WALL-E, Finding Nemo), John Carter co-stars Lynn Collins (City Island), Samantha Morton (The Messenger), Mark Strong (Green Lantern), Ciaran Hinds (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Dominic West (Centurion) and Willem Dafoe (Antichrist).

Produced for an estimated budget of $250 million, the PG-rated John Carter grossed about $70 million in the U.S. and another $100 million and change around the world, for a total worldwide gross of approximately $180 million. The numbers translated into some bad news for Disney, beginning with the studio taking a $200 million write-down for the film and the resignation of Walt Disney Studios chairman Rich Ross on April 20. According to Deadline.com, the write-down appears to be the biggest loss to date for a single film. (Step aside Cutthroat Island and Waterworld!)

The bummer in the story is that John Carter isn’t all that bad! Oh, it’s bloated and overlong, to be sure, but the visuals are stunning, the story’s solid enough and the performances are quite fine. Let’s put it this way: There’re plenty of movies out there  in the sci-fi action arena that are a lot worse! But John Carter seemed like it was doomed from the get-go, with all its negative Internet buzz from the commencement of production and the ceaseless chatter about it’s ballooning budget. It’s really too bad that the majority of audiences meant to enjoy this film won’t get a chance to check it out on the big screen. Not that it won’t look dazzling at home…

Okay, now here’s a breakdown of the bonus features included on John Carter’s various digital editions:

4-Disc Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack (3D BD + 2D BD + DVD + Digital Copy):

Blu-ray bonus features:

  • Disney Second Screen – Explore John Carter’s journal with this innovative in-world experience and uncover a trove of fascinating details that extend the mythology of the movie.
  • 360 Degrees of John Carter – Experience every aspect of the filmmaking process on one of the movie’s biggest production days.
  • Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary by Director, Andrew Stanton
  • Barsoom Bloopers
  • Plus all DVD features

DVD bonus features:

  • 100 Years In The Making – Follow the journey of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ story, from its origins as a pulp novel to its arrival onscreen.
  • Audio Commentary with Filmmakers

2-Disc Combo Pack (Blu-ray + DVD):

  • All Blu-ray bonus features
  • All DVD bonus features

1-Disc DVD:

  • All DVD bonus features

Here’s the trailer, but don’t judge the movie by it:

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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.