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Disney Writes Down 'John Carter' Bomb

AP

As expected, "John Carter" is weighing heavily on Disney’s balance sheet.

The studio officially acknowledged that the $250 million budget film is a bomb, issuing a statement saying that the film will generate “an operating loss of approximately $200 million during our second fiscal quarter ending March 31.”

As a result of this loss, the studio division will have a loss of between $80 million and $120 million for the second quarter.

Disney pointed out that "Carter" has grossed $184 million worldwide, but that’s far from enough to compensate for its massive marketing costs—about $100 million. And the film’s domestic performance indicates that it’s not going to hold up — at all — in coming weeks. The film brought in $30 million in its first weekend at the U.S. box office, plummeting to $13.5 million in its second weekend.

In its statement, Disney says it’s “excited about the upcoming releases of ‘The Avengers’ and ‘Brave.’"

This isn’t a big surprise, but the studio clearly wants analysts to bake this disappointment into expectations before we get to the end of the quarter. The stock is trading down just about 1 percent after hours.

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  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.