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Disney’s Costly ‘John Carter’ Fights Critics Along With Martians

In the new Walt Disney Co. film "John Carter," a Civil War veteran transported to Mars fights giant saber-toothed apes and four-armed, sword-wielding aliens.

Things are only a little less scary here on earth, where the pricey picture -- researcher Box Office Mojo pegs its cost at about $250 million, not counting marketing -- is already battling bad buzz, reports of cost overruns, and criticism of Disney’s early marketing.