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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