Disney set to lose $190 million on ‘The Lone Ranger’, ouch!



Disney said during its third quarter fiscal earnings call that it expects to lose between $160 million (£104 million) and $190 million (£123 million) from the disappointing performance of “The Lone Ranger.” The charges will be part of Disney’s fiscal fourth quarter results, which wrap up in September, according to Disney chief financial officer Jay Rasulo, reports Variety.

Directed by Gore Verbinski, whose ballooning budget brought the film to a halt in 2011, The Lone Ranger has only opened in 40%  of its market outside of the US, but on a budget of more than $215 million, the film is expected to cause Disney a massive loss. The film is not quite as bad as Disney’s last major flop, John Carter, which was made on a budget of $250 million, and only achieved an embarrassing $73 million in the US. John Carter went on to a worldwide gross of $282 million, but did not make its money back for Disney, despite the film being praised by movie goers as not being quite as bad as the critics made out.

The Lone Ranger was made on a massive budget of $215 million, and has only earned $87 million in the US, with a worldwide gross of just $176 million. Still to open here in the UK (it opens Friday), the film has yet to open in 60% of its market outside of the US, but Disney are not expecting the film to do well thanks to some scathing reviews and a “crowded market”.

Disney chief Bob Iger was frank on the status of the busy summer season “The last number of summers have been quite competitive and crowded,” Iger said during the call with analysts. “I don’t think it’s been more crowded or competitive (than previous years) although a lot of attention has been paid to it”, he said.

However, a few days ago, The Lone Ranger’s lead cast of Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer, plus the rest of the cast and crew, openly blamed US critics for its failure, and blamed them for jumping on the film before it was even finished. Both Depp and Hammer feel the unjust poor reviews were intended to make the film fail, and it looks like it has worked.
“I think the reviews were written seven to eight months before we released the film,” Depp told Yahoo Movies UK.

“I think the reviews were written when they heard Gore and Jerry and me were going to do The Lone Ranger. They had expectations that it must be a blockbuster. I didn’t have any expectations of that. I never do.”

Hammer agreed “[Critics] jumped on the bandwagon to try and bash it. They tried to do the same thing to World War Z. It didn’t work, the movie was successful. Instead they decided to slit the jugular of our movie.”

“This is the deal with American critics: they’ve been gunning for our movie since it was shut down the first time, that’s when most of the critics wrote their initial reviews,” Hammer said.

Saying that though, some UK critics have praised the film, with Empire giving it four stars out of five. While the UK release won’t do much to get the film some money back, Disney may have a surprise in store when the film arrives in UK cinemas Friday, and it may perform quite well.

Disney are down, but not out, and thanks to the success of the mighty Iron Man 3, and the recent Monsters University, it has not been a terrible year. With massive money makers like Pixar, Marvel and now Star Wars in their arsenal, Disney will easily sort out the losses of The Lone Ranger.

There has been a lot of discussion of the risk of high-cost tenptole films; we certainly can attest to that given ‘The Lone Ranger,’” Iger said. “We still believe in a tentpole strategy. A tentpole strategy is a good strategy,” adding that the “way to rise above the din and the competition is a big film — a big film, a big cast and big marketing behind it.”

Iger added that looking at the studio’s release schedule in the years to come, Pixar, Marvel and the Lucasfilm brands “will help us rise above that din and compete effectively. But you still have to make really strong films. I don’t think the dynamic (of a crowded summer marketplace) has changed all that.”

About Matt Wavish 9999 Articles
A keen enthusiast and collector of all horror and extreme films. I can be picky as i like quality in my horror. This doesn't necessarily mean it has to be a classic, but as long as it has something to impress me then i'm a fan. I watch films by the rule that if it doesn't bring out some kind of emotive response then it aint worth watching.

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