Box Office Bomb: One of the biggest in recent memory. It cost an absurd $250 million to make and pulled in an anemic $73 million at the domestic box office. Overseas was much much better at $211 million.
If this math seems funny to you first consider marketing is good for at least another $100 million. Secondly the studio does not receive all of that box office money, it splits about half with theater chains domestically. Overseas returns are even lower, where some nations like China don't allow more than 25% of a film gross to leave the country. Also major individuals like directors often have a cut of the gross.
Disney predicted a $200 million dollar loss on the film and this could be optimistic or counting on DVD/Blu-ray sales. Without the actual books its impossible to be sure.
The rights to the novels have since reverted back to the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate, who are still game to try and turn the books into a successful movie franchise.
Creator Killer: Studio executive Rich Ross was fired from his position as Disney Studios leader weeks after Disney predicted they'd lose $200 million on the project. Also resulted in a Stillborn Franchise for the foreseeable future.
Director Andrew Stanton has possibly survived being slated to direct Finding Dory due in 2016. That said, it's unlikely he will be allowed to work in live action again.
The two really weren't competing against each other as the films were aimed towards totally different audiences (this film for young males, The Hunger Games for teen girls). This film's actual rival was Wrath Of The Titans (a similar literary concept with big action sequences, a buff male lead and releases in 3-D).
The studio also refused to use the book's title A Princess of Mars, fearing it would make the movie sound like a chick flick. As many critics pointed out, they exchanged a title that appealed only to women for a title that appealed to no one.
Ink Stain Adaptation: Don't expect anyone else to touch this franchise again for at least a few decades.
In Memoriam: Dedicated to Steve Jobs, director Andrew Stanton's former boss at Pixar, who died several months before the film was released.
Old Shame: Andrew Stanton has already confessed that he isn't too satisfied with how the movie turned out.
Troubled Production: Versions of this movie had been in production since the 1930's. Many different studios tried to make it but never got out of pre-production...
There were reservations at Disney about letting Stanton direct the film, despite his obvious sentimental attachment to the material, because he'd never directed a live-action feature before. But, since he'd made WALL•E and Finding Nemo into hits, they let him do it even though he warned them, "I'm not gonna get it right the first time, I'll tell you that right now." Indeed, the film required extensive double reshoots. Throughout production, he ignored the advice of the crewmembers who were live-action veterans in favor of his Pixar friends, back in their offices. Rich Ross and the other studio executives at Disney likewise had little experience with feature films, since most had come from television.
Then, it came time to market the film, which was already handicapped in that department by having no big stars in the cast. A trailer shown at a Disney con did not go over well, and Stanton refused to take any advice from the studio's marketing department. He insisted on using Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir" in the trailer even after it was pointed out to him that a 30-year-old classic-rock song was not likely to resonate with the younger male audience the film was intended for. In addition to all the titling problems noted above.
Granted, once one remembers that film journalists get much of their information from executives, perhaps the above should be taken with a massive grain of salt as an attempt to throw Stanton under the bus.
The film's budget qualifies all on its own. At $250 million dollar budget is some $20 million more then James Cameroon spent on Avatar. And unlike the man behind then highest grossing film in history, Director Stanton had never made a live action picture.