'Despicable Me 2' shines over the July 4 weekend

The low-budget film wows audiences, while the mega-budget 'The Lone Ranger' bombs.

By Benzinga Jul 8, 2013 12:08PM

hollywoodBy Tim Parker


Two films that opened over the July 4 holiday weekend had drastically different results along with drastically different budgets. One movie scored big and one will likely find company with the biggest Hollywood flops ever.


First, the winner. "Despicable Me 2" brought in $142.1 million from Wednesday to Sunday. The impressive haul edges it past "Toy Story 3" as the top five-day grossing animated feature ever, according to Time.


Adding international revenue, "Despicable Me 2" has grossed a total of $293.2 million since opening. Comcast (CMCSA)-owned Universal has to like these numbers, especially since the movie only cost $76 million to make -- a bargain by modern-day animated movie standards.


The original "Despicable Me" earned $543.1 million, but the second installment is expected to earn more than $700 million worldwide.


Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for "The Lone Ranger." Disney (DIS) has to be happy that, "Oz the Great and Powerful" did so well because the studio will likely have to take a big write-down for what appears to be a giant flop. "The Lone Ranger" earned about $29.4 million over the five-day period ending Sunday.


That's worse than the Disney flop that all flops are now judged against. Last year's sci-fi drama "John Carter" is still talked about as one of the most costly failures in recent Disney movie history, but it brought in $30.1 million in its first five days -- more than "The Lone Ranger." "John Carter" went on to make an unfortunate $73 million for a loss of $200 million.


"The Lone Ranger" might be setting up for the same fate. The film was plagued with a ballooning budget and filming delays that forced Disney to invest $225 million into the it, according to, The Wrap.


There are plenty of reasons why the movie will likely be a failure, according to reviewers. First, Westerns were once the cornerstone of Hollywood, but the people who lived during the height of that era are now in their 70s and 80s. Studios know that the bulk of their paying audience is under 25. Although the franchise has returned in low budget films and TV specials since the original series ended in 1957, to the under 25 crowd, this isn't a remake of anything they know.


Second, Westerns are uniquely American and because of that they don't do well in international markets. Some films that bomb in American markets find success overseas, but "The Lone Ranger" isn't likely to be one of those.


The low budget "Despicable Me" wowed audiences, while the mega-budget "The Lone Ranger" will likely be one to forget.


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1Comment
Jul 8, 2013 5:40PM
avatar

Why do idiots like the author of this article continue to quote the $73 million number when the movie grossed $283 million WORLDWIDE.  That doesn't even include the $20.2 million it has made on DVD sales.

 

This myopic "domestic" viewpoint distorts the reality of large budget movies like the Long Ranger and John Carter.  They are made just as much for the international viewer as for American viewers.

 

Get it right!

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