It's not looking great for Disney going into The Lone Ranger's second weekend at the box-office.
Disney's disaster The Lone Ranger - which cost over $400 million including marketing costs - should sink without trace at the box-office this weekend given the release of several big-hitters and the continuing success of Despicable Me 2. The western-reboot took a grim $48.9 million domestic during the long holiday weekend to leave it pushing DVD and Blu-Ray sales to recoup its spending.
Johnny Depp [L] and Armie Hammer [R] As Tonto and The Lone Ranger
"...the problem with weird is that it doesn't shift tickets, popcorn and merchandise the way big summer blockbusters are supposed to," wrote Richard Jinman in his piece for The Week. The problem with that observation is that The Lone Ranger isn't weird - it's just bad, and nobody wants to watch horrifically big-budget westerns.
It's a pricey flop that will see Disney keen to renegotiate the deal for Jerry Buckheimer to produce the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean movie, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The studio will seek to learn how much responsibility Bruckheimer had in making The Lone Ranger one of the most expensive movies of all time - some sources suggest the producer held the line on director Gore Verbinski's spending (despite the filmmaker's reputation for profligacy).
"I don't know that Jerry Bruckheimer ever promised, per se, to 'control' Gore Verbinski," says the producer's representative David O'Connor of CAA. "I don't know how anybody could promise to control a movie. . Part of the whole visual pitch [of Lone Ranger] was the scope and vistas and incredible beauty of the West. There's a lot - when you're using real locations like that - that is out of control."
Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer in 'The Lone Ranger'
Essentially, nobody knows who's to blame then, but one thing's for sure: Bruckheimer could be the one to feel the heat here. Verbinski will move onto other projects, though Disney will know all too well that the producer's recent track record is poor. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time? The Sorcerer's Apprentice? Does Jerry Bruckheimer know how to make a blockbuster movie in the modern day movie climate?
Who knows where The Lone Ranger will end up in the box-office chart this week. I mean, honestly, we have no clue. Pacific Rim is coming out. Grown Ups 2 is coming out. Hell, Fruitvale Station is coming out. Oh, and those Minions are still around.