March 20, 2012 / 4:55 AM / 8 years ago

Disney projects $200 million "John Carter" loss

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Walt Disney Co shares fell 1 percent in after hour trading on Monday after the company said it expects mega-budget science-fiction movie “John Carter” will lose about $200 million in the current quarter.

The company issued the forecast in a statement that projected the studio division would report an overall operating loss of $80 million to $120 million in the fiscal second quarter that ends March 31.

Disney shares dropped about 1 percent to $43 in after-hours trading from an earlier close of $43.44 on the New York Stock Exchange.

So far, the film about a former military captain who is transported to Mars, has generated $184 million in ticket sales worldwide. That is far shy from the audience needed to earn back the movie’s estimated $250 million production budget, plus tens of millions more that Disney spent on advertising.

Even before the movie opened, Wall Street analysts had projected “John Carter” would lose tens of millions of dollars as industry tracking showed little interest in the film.

“John Carter” opened on March 9 and took in about $30 million over its first three days at U.S. and Canadian theaters, finishing the weekend in second place behind family film “The Lorax.”

Reporting By Lisa Richwine; editing by Andre Grenon

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