What is Disney's big-budget science fiction epic "John Carter" all about? If you asked almost anyone that question right now, very few people would be able to tell you.
They might say something about a guy in loincloth jumping around the desert, or maybe mention the multi-limbed green aliens that seem to populate the film. However, beyond that, what does anyone really know about the $200 million dollar film? Not much.
Disney's marketing machine has faced criticism in recent weeks for precisely that reason. Despite a high profile Super Bowl spot and a teaser trailer attached to the final installment of the "Harry Potter" series, "John Carter's" promotional campaign has failed to connect with audiences.
With the film's release just a few weeks away, early box-office predictions aren't looking good. Deadline reported last week that preliminary data suggests that general awareness of the big-budget film is shockingly low. Never a promising sign when your film needs to earn hundreds of millions of dollars just to break even.
But all is not lost yet for "John Carter," thanks to a new fan-made trailer that has been making the web rounds. The trailer edits together a lot -- a lot -- of existing footage from the movie into a solid two-minute primer for the swashbuckling sci-fi adventure. Check out the trailer below, and if you're still confused after that be sure to read our handy "John Carter" primer.
The home-made trailer is either a piece of brilliant third-party viral marketing paid for by Disney, or else it's a legitimate effort on behalf of passionate fans who just want to see the sci-fi epic succeed at the box office. Either way, kudos to whoever is responsible for clearing things up and giving potential viewers a better idea of what to expect from the film. The trailer also highlights how influential the source material for the film has been on sci-fi in general and touts the Pixar pedigree of director Andrew Stanton ("Finding Nemo," "Wall-E"). Both facts that might just help put butts in seats.
"John Carter" hits theatres on March 9.