The 'Lone Ranger' could leave Disney up the creek
Critics have little but scorn for the film starring Johnny Depp as Tonto. Will moviegoers agree?
Many reviews for the $250 million Western starring Johnny Depp as Tonto and Armie Hammer as the Lone Ranger, which opens Wednesday, have been brutal. The film was directed by Gore Verbinski and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, who developed the hugely profitable "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise featuring Depp.
Though movies are sometimes able to overcome a mass of negative reviews, "The Lone Ranger" will face a tough road, given that most professional critics didn't just hate the film but despised it.
Shares of Disney ended nearly flat Wednesday after opening with a dip as investors braced for a box-office bomb. By the way, Disney took a $200 million write-down for its "John Carter" science fiction epic.
"As of now, 'Lone Ranger' is tracking to open in the $70 million range, meaning the film will need strong legs domestically and a stellar run internationally to come out ahead financially," according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Here's a sampling of the scathing comments about the film that are just about everywhere now.
"Director Gore Verbinski's 'The Lone Ranger' is for anyone who thought the Native American guy from the Village People and a western-wear model would make the perfect blockbuster-action team," wrote Joe Neumaier in New York's Daily News.
Writing in The Atlantic, Richard Lawson spoke of "Verbinski's strange and scattershot movie, which veers wildly in tone in a way that insults both any reverence for the past and our simple intelligence as summertime moviegoers."
The Washington Post's Anne Hornaday lamented the film's "tonal clashes, wherein mournful scenes of genocide and stolen immigrant labor are tastelessly juxtaposed with silly slapstick humor, and solemn historic revisionism abuts awkwardly with overblown computer-generated spectacle."
Jonathan Berr does not own shares of the listed stocks. Follow him on Twitter @jdberr.
The original series was NOT a comedy, the movie shouldn't be, either.
From what I've seen so far, mostly trailers, it looks like Pirates of the Carribean Head West, with Captain Jack Sparrow dressing as an indian in order to avoid the authorities.
I hope it's better than that description.
I grew up watching a lot of these heroes and now they turn them into comedic fools, case in point : The Green Hornet. They endured for a reason, now they feel a need to turn them upside down & make them laughable with the sidekick truly the brains of the outfit. I'm expecting a new Tarzan movie where Cheeta is actually running the show & Tarzan is just a buffoon falling out of a tree.
Cheers to the Marvel Super Hero movies.
The biggest problem John Carter had was... Disney. They used an "outside" marketing firm that went out of it's way to refer to anything "of Mars" or to even mention that JC was the first sci-fi hero. When those ads didn't track well, Disney panicked and through a whole new marketing campaign out there. All of which added another $150-200 million to the price tag. It did very well overseas. Just not here. With a lot going to the mixed marketing signals.
Lone Ranger will depend on how much silly you can take. A lot of people saw that first photo of Depp with the bird on his head - shook their own and said "not me" I was all for giving it a go until I saw the bit with the horse leaping onto and then into a moving train. Just don't think I can stretch credibility that far...
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