Johnny Depp as Tonto and Armie Hammer as John Reid in The Lone Ranger (© Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer, Inc.)
Walt Disney
(DIS), which last summer stunk up the nation's multiplexes with "John Carter," may lay another egg at the box office this year with "The Lone Ranger."

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.

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