The Lone Ranger fires blanks

08 July, 2013 by Don Groves

Johnny Depp, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski were a potent combination with the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise but they’ve misfired badly with The Lone Ranger.

The costly Western based on the 1930s radio show and 1950s TV series mustered just $3.5 million in its first four days in Australia and an estimated $US49 million in five days in the US.

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The opening weekend total, including Italy, Russia and Korea, was $73.2 million, a poor return for the Disney production starring Armie Hammer in the title role and Depp as Tonto, budgeted somewhere between $215 million–$250 million, plus $175 million in global marketing costs.

US analyst say the studio could be looking at a write-off of as much as $150 million, not as bad as the $200 million loss that Disney took on John Carter, which cost more than $250 million to produce and raked in $282 million worldwide.

In Australia The Lone Ranger ranked third behind the third weekend of Despicable Me 2, which has earned a lucrative $22.3 million, and Man of Steel which tumbled by 54% in its second frame, pocketing $16.8 million to date.

Helen Mirren admirers turned out in droves for National Theatre Live: The Audience, to see the actress impersonate Queen Elizabeth 2 in the West End stage play, minting $240,000.

Among the specialty releases, A Gun in Each Hand, a battle-of-the-sexes comedy from Spanish writer/director Cesc Gay, was the best of the openers, nabbing $90,000 on 18 screens.

Julian Assange may be the subject of recurring news stories but Australian audiences were not much interested in Alex Gibney’s documentary We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks, which took $67,000 on 23 screens. Assange refused to appear in the doco.

To The Wonder, Terrence Malick’s romantic drama starring Ben Affleck and Olga Kurylenko, debuted on just two screens, making a modest $12,000. Maybe some Malick fans have given up on the director after The Tree of Life.

Two Chinese films squared off, Blind Detective proving to have a lot more heft than the Keanu Reeves starrer Man of Tai Chi.

      WEEKEND BOX OFFICE  July 4-7

 

 

 

Title

 

Week/ Screens

 

Box Office

 

% +-

 

Total

 

1

Despicable Me 2

3/477

$4,706,340

+7

$22,357,517

2

 Man of Steel

2/553

4,085,050

-54

16,833,967

3

The Lone Ranger

1/353

3,556,173

NA

3,556,173

4

Monsters University

3/494

3,458,430

+3

15,131,582

5

World War Z

3/372

1,993,858

-37

14,727,342

6

Epic

2/408

1,056,697

+44

4,971,774

7

The Great Gatsby

6/201

712,667

-38

25,343,569

8

The Internship

4/148

552,622

-39

7,054,440

9

Fast & Furious 6

5/194

548,086

-48

26,286,171

10

National Theatre Live: The Audience

1/33

239,647

NA

239,647

Source: Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia

 

 

 

 

 

 

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