"Mars Needs Moms" is one of the most notorious flops in Hollywood history. With a budget of $150 million, the Robert Zemeckis production -- which was an animated film shot using motion capture technology -- earned just $6.9 million during its opening weekend and finished with only $38.9 million worldwide. All told, Disney, the studio that released "Mars Needs Moms," lost a reported $125 million on the film.
Not that its failure was a total surprise: As reported by the New York Times back in 2011, the studio shuttered Zemeckis' motion-capture production company, ImageMovers Digital, almost a year before "Moms" flopped, and also pulled the plug on the director's planned mo-cap remake of "Yellow Submarine."
Despite that record futility, however, there is still one person who thinks "Mars" was a success: Zemeckis himself.
"It's the best 3-D movie since 'Avatar,'" Zemeckis said at the Philadelphia Film Fest last weekend (via Movieline). "It's the way 3-D should be presented."
Zemeckis blamed the poor box office performance of "Mars Needs Moms," in part, on the advertising. "It was not marketed properly," he said.
In the post-mortem done after the "Mars Needs Moms" release, there were many factors cited for the film's failure. As the New York Times noted, the film arrived in theaters during a wave of kids' movies, audiences were revolting against higher 3D surcharges, and the mo-cap technology was never fully embraced by ticket buyers.
For his part, Zemeckis -- who produced "Moms," but directed the motion-capture spectacles "The Polar Express," "Beowolf" and "A Christmas Carol" -- might be done with the whole thing.
"It was great just to do an inexpensive movie," Zemeckis told the New York Times about making "Flight," his first live-action feature since "Cast Away" in 2000. "I'm really tired of making these huge, over $100 million movies where they literally mean life and death for a studio. It's really rough making these expensive movies. Everyone is hysterical."
For more from the Philadelphia Film Fest, head over to Movieline.