In an astonishing admission, Disney issued a statement on Monday (19) reporting that the ill-fated sci-fi adventure will most likely lead to a $200m operating loss during the second quarter.

The move enabled the studio to take the lead on damage control after days of intense speculation by press and private conversations among executives at rival studios.

Disney top brass went into crisis mode when John Carter opened in North America on a disappointing $30.2m on Mar 9 and scored in the region of $67m internationally according to Disney sources. By the end of Sunday (18) the global tally stood at $184m according to the statement below.

The full statement from Disney:

“In light of the theatrical performance of John Carter ($184 million global box office), we expect the film to generate an operating loss of approximately $200 million during our second fiscal quarter ending March 31.

“As a result, our current expectation is that the Studio segment will have an operating loss of between $80 and $120 million for the second quarter.

“As we look forward to the second half of the year, we are excited about the upcoming releases of The Avengers and Brave, which we believe have tremendous potential to drive value for the Studio and the rest of the company.”