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March 14, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Disney’s chief financial officer is unwilling to join the speculation about how costly John Carter will be to the studio if it bombs as badly as most analysts expect. With numerous predictions that Disney will take a $100-150-million writeoff on the movie (it reportedly cost $250-300 million to produce and market and will therefore need to earn $700 million to break even), Disney CFO Jay Rasulo told a Disney shareholders meeting in Kansas City, MO, “It’s very early to talk about financial results. I don’t want to give any numbers out.” Shareholders who questioned Rasulo and Disney chief Robert Iger appeared more interested in the cost of parking at Disney theme parks and the price of souvenirs than in the fortunes of the Carter movie, but analysts have begun questioning whether Disney’s decision to produce a limited number of expensive blockbusters and abandon low-budget family flicks will continue to remain viable — particularly after the dismal results for some of its recent sci-fi space flicks, including John Carter, Mars Needs Moms, and Cowboys & Aliens. However, at least one analyst has suggested that the rush to judgment over Carter may be flawed. Tony Wible of Janney Montgomery Scott told the Hollywood Reporter‘s website, “Our analysis shows that the impairment may not be as bad as feared if the film tracks in line with average performance ratios seen in 2011.” Wible’s best-case scenario: the film will make a $53-million profit. Worst case: Disney will take a $180-million write-down. Average case: Disney will lose $53 million — “better than bearish expectations,” he observed.