When Finding Nemo director Andrew Stanton's live-action debut John Carter went down in the record books as one of Disney's biggest flops, it more or less guaranteed that fans wouldn't see a sequel.
Nevertheless, the value of the property, solid reviews and great word-of-mouth kept hope alive for some viewers for a while that Disney would find a way to make more movies happen in that world.
Over the weekend, though, Stanton tweeted his disappointment at opportunities missed -- complete with logos from movies that, now, will never see the light of day.
Could have been cool. Had big plans... pic.twitter.com/xtL0KuLyAf— andrew stanton (@andrewstanton) June 7, 2014
...That would have led to even bigger plans. pic.twitter.com/GCXet6iZ3g— andrew stanton (@andrewstanton) June 7, 2014
Of course, those titles may have had to change; Disney famously didn't want "of Mars" in the title for John Carter, and forced a change, leaving the title feeling generic and giving casual viewers little idea of what the movie was about. It was one of a number of decisions that analysts argue contributed to the film's poor performance at the box office in spite of being generally well-received.
This is, of course, not entirely uncommon with big franchise movies. In the case of massive success, studios want to have multiple installments planned out so they can take advantage of the market's enthusiasm. Sometimes, depending on the strategic importance of the film to a company's bottom line, the sequels remain in development or even enter production long after the first film has shown to be less successful than expected (Green Lantern 2, for instance, seemed to hang around for quite a while).