John Carter of Mars, and now The Lone Ranger, have both flopped. Actually, they’re not that bad, certainly not bad enough to be put in the same cone-of-shame as Howard the Duck, Dick Tracy, The Shadow, etc. Just a bit bland and instantly forgettable. But together their failure has cost Disney somewhere around $400m in direct losses, not to mention the lost opportunity costs in terms of tying top talent to turkeys. Sony’s Doc Savage is set for 2014, though it seems to be the only old-time pulpster set for release next year. If Doc Savage tanks too, then I guess we won’t be seeing too many big-studio movies of near-forgotten pulp fiction and old-time radio heroes in the next decade or so. Or maybe ever again, as the cultural demographics of nostalgia move inexorably on to 90s toys, 00s videogames (Morrowind: the movie — want!), and superhero comics.

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