Taylor Kitsch, John Carter, Battleship

Disney, Universal Pictures

Battleship was no John Carter at the weekend box office; John Carter opened bigger.

But if the question is, has the $200 million newcomer established itself as the new flop of year, box-office analysts say no.

"John Carter was the bigger disappointment because of how much money it ultimately lost for Disney," says BoxOffice.com editor Phil Contrino.

In the battle of the big-budget, Taylor Kitsch-led bombs, Exhibitor Relations' Jeff Bock also opts for John Carter over Battleship, citing the latter's international box-office advantage.

Predicts Bock of Universal, the studio behind Battleship, "It's going to be a wash for them." (E! and Universal Pictures are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

Battleship, the board-game-turned-alien-invasion blow-'em-up, raised eyebrows when it failed to raise much cash in its domestic debut: only $25.3 million, per estimates.

"From the get-go, we knew it was in trouble," Bock says, "but I don't think anyone expected it to gross less than John Carter did."

The notorious John Carter posted a $30.2 million Friday-Sunday opening in March.

John Carter also received better notices from opening-weekend audiences, though neither film earned poor ones, earning a B-plus grade to Battleship's straight B.

But that's where the good news ends for John Carter, aside from the fact that The Avengers came along, and made everything better for Disney.

Thanks to a weeks-in-the-making worldwide take of $240.6 million, Battleship, which cost a reputed $209 million, has already made back its budget, a feat as-yet unaccomplished by John Carter, which was weighted down by a staggering $275 million price tag.

And that's about where the good news ends for Battleship, which didn't mobilize the young male moviegoers needed to power a potential action franchise.    

"Universal clearly expected a Transformers-level thing," Contrino says. "It didn't come even close to working out for them."

John Carter can relate.

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