It’s got Johnny Depp reuniting with his Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski and there’s certainly been no shortage of promotion, but whether The Lone Ranger performs well at the box office seems to be an open question right now.
Opening Wednesday, Ranger has been plagued by negative press for quite some time. It’s worth mentioning that its bad press (mostly about budget overruns) is similar to the kind of press World War Z received. And that picture is doing quite well domestically and worldwide.
The price tag for Ranger is reportedly around $250 million so its domestic and foreign numbers will need to be very strong. As mentioned, the combination of director Verbinski (who made the first three Pirates flick) and star Depp (playing Tonto) has been lucrative.
However, beyond its less than glowing press coverage, The Lone Ranger may have other issues. First and foremost, it’s starting to seem as if opening against Despicable Me 2 might be a mistake. That animated sequel looks in position to post huge holiday weekend numbers and Lone Ranger is competing for much of that same family audience. My prediction post on Despicable Me 2 can be found here:
Secondly, I don’t really think the trailers look that good and I’m not convinced audiences will rush out to this like they did for Pirates.
So, what kind of numbers are we talking here? The range on Ranger is massive. Over its first five days, I would say $90 million would be the ceiling. I’ll be truly surprised if its does over that figure. A number like $75 million is certainly possible and would be considered a fairly decent opening (you gotta keep in mind with the pedigree and budget involved, the numbers game is changed here… in case you’re wondering why $75M would only be considered decent). I think it’ll dip below that though. And anything below $75M will be considered a big letdown for Disney. My prediction reflects Depp’s Tonto and Armie Hammer’s Ranger falling far short of Gru and his minions for a second place showing over the holiday weekend.
The Lone Ranger opening prediction: $63.9 million
Be sure to check back Tuesday for my predictions on the weekend’s top five.