"The Lone Ranger" to cost Disney $190m?

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A thrilling action adventure tale in which a famed masked hero is brought to life through new eyes. Native American spirit warrior Tonto (Johnny Depp) recounts the untold tales that transformed John Reid (Armie Hammer), a man of the law, into a legend of justice - taking the audience on a runaway train of epic surprises and humorous friction as the two unlikely heroes must learn to work together and fight against greed and corruption.
July 9th, 2013

Disney could lose $190 million on 'The Lone Ranger'.

The big budget Western film starring Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer has significantly underperformed around the world since its release last week, despite its A-list leading man and a $250 million budget, and analysts predict the movie studio stands to make a huge deficit on the blockbuster.

The film - which is based on a 1930s radio show and 1950s TV show of the same name - grossed just $48.9 million in its opening weekend in the United States, settling for number two on the box office chart behind animated hit, 'Despicable Me 2'. Meanwhile, the film has also had slow starts in other countries including Australia and Russia.

Analysts had originally predicted that Disney could lose $150 million on the project, but that number has since been escalated.

Financial expert Barton Crockett of Lazard Capital Markets told The Hollywood Reporter: ''Many investors had been skeptical about Disney's 'Lone Ranger' reboot. They were right. It was the weekend's lone misfire, and based on our math, could be pacing for a $190 million write-off.''

The film's low numbers have led to comparisons between it and Disney's 2012 failure, 'John Carter', which cost over $250 million and lost the company $200 million.

Disney had hoped to launch another hit franchise with 'The Lone Ranger' by re-teaming star Johnny Depp - who plays Native American spirit warrior Tonto opposite Hammer's eponymous character - with 'Pirates of the Caribbean' producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski.

As well as its massive $250 million budget, the film also commanded a further $175 million for marketing.

Analysts are expecting the film - which has yet to open in some countries, including the United Kingdom - to achieve just $275 million worldwide at the end of its theatrical run. That is a stark contrast to the $1 billion the last 'Pirates' movie - 'On Stranger Tides' - made in 2011.