According to Disney’s CFO Jay Rasulo, the company is looking at a loss of betweeen $160 and $190 million next quarter solely because of ‘The Lone Ranger.’
The Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer “western” cost around $215 to make, and it has only made $175.5 million worldwide. It has earned only $86 million domestically, making it just slightly a better flop than ‘John Carter’ which made $73 million.
The news of the write-down comes one day after Depp and Hammer told Yahoo U.K. that it was critics’ vindictive skewering of the film that caused a weak box office run. “I think the reviews were written 7-8 months before we released the film,” said Depp. Hammer agreed, saying, “[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.”
For Disney, the loss hurts, but it isn’t crippling. The company’s portfolio now includes cash cows like Pixar, Marvel, and the Star Wars empire, the former two of which already delivered massive returns this summer with Iron Man 3 and Monsters University grossing $1.2 billion and $614 million worldwide. And Disney recognizes that its plan to produce fewer movies but make them all tentpoles is a high-risk/high reward business. “This branded tentpole strategy of ours, it’s 100 percent what we’re looking to do and what we want to be,” said Dave Hollis, Disney executive VP of distribution, following The Lone Ranger‘s disappointing opening weekend.
I never saw the movie – doesn’t appeal to me in the least. Did you? Was it that bad?