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Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Scott Mendelson has an interesting article in FORBES:
The film grossed $48 million over its first five days in America, along with around $24 million in limited overseas release.
The pattern for July 4th debuts is generally around 2x their respective long weekend totals, which gives The Lone Ranger around $100 million domestic.
 Even if it becomes the rare film to gross just over $100 million domestic and still muster $300 million+ overseas (The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader), the film is still going to be a money loser for the Mouse House.
Because they spent ‘sequel money’ on their first installment.
The chief cause of concern is that The Lone Ranger cost anywhere from $220 million to $250 million, which meant it had to have all of its proverbial ducks in a row just to break even.
With costs like that, everything had to go right.
The Lone Ranger was not Pirates of the Caribbean 5 any more than Due Date was a sequel to The Hangover.
Without criticizing Verbinski’s ‘money is on the screen’ approach to big-budget filmmaking
(the film looks great and the climax is an all-time classic action sequence),
it was never a great idea to budget The Lone Ranger at such a high figure that it absolutely *had* to break out in a manner similar to Curse of the Black Pearl.
The Lone Ranger basically had to debut to the same $43 million Fri-Sun/$73 million Wed-Sun opening that Curse of the Black Pearl snagged ten summers ago just to survive.
So what does Disney do?
They release it on the same date that DESPICABLE ME 2 came out!  Guys! 
I mean REALLY!
 If Disney thought that The Lone Ranger was franchise material, great.
 But they should have waited until the first film’s box office returns came in before budgeting it like an already established franchise.
And then been smart on when to release it.
The lesson of The Lone Ranger is:
Don’t budget The Lone Ranger as if it were The Lone Ranger Rides Again.
What do you guys think?
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  1. Sorry, I gave money to Despicable Me 2 instead. I can forgive a few bad reviews, but when most say a movie is awful...

  2. ...hate to admit it, but I'm with Alex, took the wife & kids to Despicable Me this past weekend.

    But no worries, regardless of the reviews, I'll be watching Ranger in a theater very soon ;)


  3. I really, really want to see this movie.

    As for the powers in charge, there were issues from the beginning. Didn't they originally go through a couple of directors? It stalled, then picked back up again.

    And they for sure picked a bad opening day....

    Yep, I also want to see DesMe2 :)

  4. Alex:
    I watched THE LONE RANGER and wondered if the critics had watched the same movie that I was watching. They warned parents not to bring their children -- but in PIRATES III, a child was executed by hanging at the very start of the movie, and I didn't read one negative review on that point.

    Shakes his head.

    I felt an anti-Disney/Depp bias in those reviews as if they wanted the film to bomb.

    But Disney certainly picked a lousy start date. What were they thinking?

    I don't blame folks for seeing DM2. I blame Disney for choosing such a stupid release date.

    The film was shown as a tall tale told by an aged Tonto so the movie took on the feel of myth and legend.

    Words Crafter:
    Disney shut the film down for over-spending. They needed a strict money manager from the start to keep such over-spending from happening. The movie needed a strict budget ... and a sane release date!! :-)

  5. Yeah, they're banking on Depp. And while I LOVE Depp as Jack Sparrow, it feels wrong to have him being so close to the same character as Tonto. I mean I will probably eventually see it, but I went to ALL the Pirates movies in theater--I will probably wait for this one.