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  1. #1

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    Lone Ranger underperforms at box office, Disney may take a loss on film

    Based on box office returns from Tuesday (early shows) and Wednesday, Disney's remake of The Lone Ranger starring Johnny Depp did significantly worse than initial forecasts. This led some analysts to predict that Disney may end up taking a loss on the movie.

    'Lone Ranger' ambushed at box office, Disney may face loss | Reuters

    How will a poor performance at the box office affect the presence of The Lone Ranger characters or additions in the Disney theme parks?

    Here is the text of the article:


    'Lone Ranger' ambushed at box office, Disney may face loss

    By Ronald Grover and Lisa Richwine


    LOS ANGELES, July 4 | Thu Jul 4, 2013 4:48pm EDT



    LOS ANGELES, July 4 (Reuters) - "The Lone Ranger," Walt Disney Co's big-budget western starring Johnny Depp, performed below expectations on Wednesday night, raising the possibility that the movie could saddle the media giant with a loss on the film.

    The film, which cost an estimated $225 million to produce, generated $9.7 million during Wednesday showings, falling well behind "Despicable Me 2" from Comcast's Universal Pictures, which sold $34.3 million at the domestic box office, according to studio estimates.

    Both films opened with limited showings on Tuesday. For the two-day period, "Despicable Me 2" generated $39 million and "The Lone Ranger" saw $11.7 million.

    Disney estimates "The Lone Ranger" will sell $45 million for the Wednesday through Sunday July Fourth holiday weekend, below industry experts' initial forecasts of $60 million to $70 million over the five days.

    "If it does end up grossing less than $50 million over the five-day stretch, it will most certainly go down as a misfire," said Jeff Bock, senior box office analyst for Exhibitor Relations, which tracks movie box office prospects.

    The film's poor opening is a black eye for producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Gore Verbinski and star Depp, the trio behind Disney's ultra-successful "Pirates of the Caribbean" series.



    Disney made their prior success a key part of marketing the current film, and Depp's international appeal still could help the film's overseas box office.

    "The Lone Ranger" is an action remake of a 1930s radio show and television series in the 1950s. Armie Hammer plays John Reid, the lawman who dons a mask to fight injustice in the Old West. This time, though, it is the Lone Ranger's Native American sidekick Tonto, played by Depp, who takes center stage.

    Critics have not embraced the movie. Among 110 reviews compiled on the Rotten Tomatoes website on Wednesday, just 25 percent recommended the film.

    Gitesh Pandya, editor of the website Box Office Guru, estimates the film will generate $100 million in domestic ticket sales.
    A $60 million opening over its first days would have generated a modest profit, according to Tony Wible, a managing director of Janney Montgomery Scott who follows Disney.

    With that opening, he estimated the film would generate $180 million in domestic ticket sales and give Disney total revenues of $370 million from foreign, video and other sales.

    Studios and theaters generally share box office receipts.

    Disney spent $225 million to make the film and an estimated $100 million to market it.

    A Disney spokesperson was not available for comment on the studio's outlook for the film's profitability.

    "The Lone Ranger" is the latest entry in Disney's strategy of spending more on fewer films to build franchises from big budget movies that can generate continued revenues from sequels, merchandise and outlets like its theme parks and TV properties.
    The company found such success with Marvel superhero films "The Avengers" and "Iron Man 3," and with Pixar's "Monsters University," but wrote down $200 million when sci-fi epic "John Carter" flopped last year.

    The studios will update the box office results over the weekend.

  2. #2

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    Re: Lone Ranger underperforms at box office, Disney may take a loss on film

    Disney needs to stop with the big action blockbusters. They have done such a good job at establishing their brand that it has become impossible to break free of the identity they've created for themselves--if it's not a cartoon, then people aren't going to see it. The name Disney alone invites children and families, not those thirteen years old and over (so who exactly is being targeted in a PG-13 rated Disney film?)

    Pirates of the Caribbean did well because it was associated with a famous ride. The next PG-13 Disney releases (Prince of Persia, John Carter, and now this) have all failed. The Avengers was associated with Marvel and released by Paramount.

    The first thing you learn in advertising is how difficult it is to change your brand perception, especially when you've built an identity as a family studio shifting to violent action films.

    And the first thing you learn in life is that when something doesn't work, stop doing it. These big-budget actioners should have been given the Touchstone label (does that still even exist?) or sold to another studio after Prince of Persia.

  3. #3

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    Re: Lone Ranger underperforms at box office, Disney may take a loss on film

    Quote Originally Posted by TylerDurden View Post
    Disney needs to stop with the big action blockbusters. They have done such a good job at establishing their brand that it has become impossible to break free of the identity they've created for themselves--if it's not a cartoon, then people aren't going to see it. The name Disney alone invites children and families, not those thirteen years old and over (so who exactly is being targeted in a PG-13 rated Disney film?)

    Pirates of the Caribbean did well because it was associated with a famous ride.
    So the writing, originality, storyline, unique twists and turns, phenomenal special effects and music, as well as the casting has NOTHING to do with Pirates I, success????!!!!!!??????

    With your same reasoning, The Haunted Mansion Movie should have been just as successful!

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    Re: Lone Ranger underperforms at box office, Disney may take a loss on film

    I haven't seen this movie, so I have no idea how good or bad it is. And generally I think the quality of the movie matters much more than the marketing involved. But I really do think Disney has a marketing problem.

    For a film that costs this much to make, I should have not only known exactly when it was opening, but have been able to recite a half dozen lines from it by now, and be almost sick of being bombarded by it's marketing. But instead, if it wasn't for this site I wouldn't have known much about it at all. Contrast that with Despicable Me 2 for which I've seen dozens of commercials.

    I know I'm probably not the target demographic for this film, but I think that's part the problem. My guess is Disney is getting too surgical and clever with their marketing instead of just hitting a broad swath of the public.

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    Re: Lone Ranger underperforms at box office, Disney may take a loss on film

    They just spent too much on making things go Boom....you need a good story, characters and good writers to bring it all together

    This is why movies like this and John Carter Fail...they focus too much on how it looks over how good the film really is

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    Re: Lone Ranger underperforms at box office, Disney may take a loss on film

    I don't get it. I went to an advanced screening of the film and not only did everyone in the theater applaud when the credits started rolling but I saw a few people give a standing-o. On Rotten Tomatoes the professional critics poo poo'ed the film because it had poor cinematic format and there were issues with theme continuity but almost all of those critics never said that the film wasn't fun. It had a 25% rating before it's opening day and I think that Rotten Tomatoes contributed to at least 30% of the movie's potential audience abandoning it for despicable me. I really liked the movie. It's a shame that they probably won't green light a sequel at this point.
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    Re: Lone Ranger underperforms at box office, Disney may take a loss on film

    Word of mouth doesn't appear to be helping The Lone Ranger...


    ‘Despicable Me 2′ Passing $200M Global Today And Destroys Domestic Rivals With $140M For 5-Day U.S. Holiday, ‘Lone Ranger’ Falls To $47M

    SATURDAY 8 AM PDT: As predicted there were fireworks at the Fourth Of July weekend box office. More bad news for Disney’s #2 too-expensive The Lone Ranger (3,904 theaters) which opened disastrously Wednesday, remained weak on Thursday, and did only $10.6M Friday. It will be a very disappointing 5-day holiday with only $47M max. The Johnny Depp-Armie Hammer starring Western’s domestic cume is way below Disney’s initial lowball projection of $65M. Twentieth Century Fox’s #3 female buddy comedy The Heat could even outgross it for the 3-day weekend. Far different result for the #1 movie, Illumination Entertainment’s and Universal’s Despicable Me 2 (3,957 theaters) which had yet another huge day for $30.2M which should bring its 5-day holiday to near $140M.

    Here are Friday estimates with percentage changes from Thursday:

    1. Despicable Me 2 (Universal) NEW [Runs 3,957]
    Wednesday $35.0M, Thursday $24.5M, Friday $30.5M (+24%)

    2. The Lone Ranger (Disney) NEW [Runs 3,904]
    Wednesday $9.6M, Thursday $9.8M, Friday $10.6M (+7%)

    3. The Heat (Fox) Week 1 [Runs 3,181]
    Wednesday $5.2M, Thursday $6.3M, Friday $8.6M (+36%)
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    Re: Lone Ranger underperforms at box office, Disney may take a loss on film

    Quote Originally Posted by JerrodDRagon View Post
    They just spent too much on making things go Boom....you need a good story, characters and good writers to bring it all together

    This is why movies like this and John Carter Fail...they focus too much on how it looks over how good the film really is
    I actually thought John Carter was really good. No, it wasn't a deep character study, but neither was The Avengers. Which is one of the reasons I think a failure in marketing is at least part of the reason for these films flopping.

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    Re: Lone Ranger underperforms at box office, Disney may take a loss on film

    ... If the Commercial/Preview has NO appeal then no one will see it. I saw the preview and i was not convinced to see the movie. The movie is not my interest therefore I wont see it. It has to go with my personal interest.

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    Re: Lone Ranger underperforms at box office, Disney may take a loss on film

    I agree that the trailers are an important part of the issue, they didn't tell you anything of the plot only that's made from the same team of POTC and mainly only showed Johnny Depp running around wit makeup, wit a rapid flashing passing of other characters faces for barely two seconds each, I know from talking to other people that they didn't even saw the face of the Lone Ranger in the trailer

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    Re: Lone Ranger underperforms at box office, Disney may take a loss on film

    One can try to blame critics and marketing, but at the end of the day what sinks a film like The Lone Ranger is word of mouth from customers who've seen it. As it was with John Carter, the word of mouth on this movie ranged from "don't waste your money" to "wait 'til it's on cable."
    "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
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  12. #12

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    Re: Lone Ranger underperforms at box office, Disney may take a loss on film

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
    One can try to blame critics and marketing, but at the end of the day what sinks a film like The Lone Ranger is word of mouth from customers who've seen it. As it was with John Carter, the word of mouth on this movie ranged from "don't waste your money" to "wait 'til it's on cable."
    I used to firmly believe that. But then I just saw too many really bad movies do well or at least open well. If this movie opened decently and then fell off rapidly, I'd be on board with no amount of marketing being able to help it. But how much does word of mouth really kick in on the opening 2 days? *Shrugs*, having not even seen the movie yet I've probably offered my opinion more than warranted already, but I still think that the fact that I knew much more about Despicable than Lone Ranger means something went terribly wrong in the marketing of this film.

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    Re: Lone Ranger underperforms at box office, Disney may take a loss on film

    Visually, the Lone Ranger trailers have been extremely exciting. Seems to me, like Disney hasn't tried to capture potencial audience interest by featuring dialogue sequences, as has Dispicable Me 2. Plus, DM2 is a known modern film product, while the Lone Ranger has been out of action for some time.

    Well, let's hope things pick up thru word of moth (etc.). There is a tremendous audience of potential movie goers out there that had things to do other than go to the movies during the short holliday weekend.
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    Re: Lone Ranger underperforms at box office, Disney may take a loss on film

    I thought in the first trailer it said something about controlling the railroads and the outcome if you do. Bad guys hi jack trains and the Lone Ranger with Tonto tries to stop them. How can people not know the plot?
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  15. #15

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    Re: Lone Ranger underperforms at box office, Disney may take a loss on film

    Quote Originally Posted by Steveman View Post
    I used to firmly believe that. But then I just saw too many really bad movies do well or at least open well. If this movie opened decently and then fell off rapidly, I'd be on board with no amount of marketing being able to help it. But how much does word of mouth really kick in on the opening 2 days? *Shrugs*, having not even seen the movie yet I've probably offered my opinion more than warranted already, but I still think that the fact that I knew much more about Despicable than Lone Ranger means something went terribly wrong in the marketing of this film.
    *Bold mine

    There was a time when word of mouth did take a while to filter out. But now with the net, even on opening day you can have thousands of "word of mouth" reviews out, and hundreds of thousands of people reading those reviews.

    I watch and extremely limited amount of TV, so I don't remember even seeing any advanced preview stuff for Lone Ranger. I may have only watched one of the trailers online. And while I have seen and equally limited amount of info for DM2, I would be more inclined to see that, just because its a known quantity to me. I already know basically what it is. Lone Ranger I just know its roughly based on an old franchise, and one that I never cared for in its earlier incarnation. (I was more into Roy Rogers. )




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