2013 Summer Movie Preview: The Lone Ranger, The Mortal Instruments

My continuation of the 2013 Summer Movie Preview rolls on with two entries that hope to kick start potential franchises.

First up is The Lone Ranger, which re-teams the potent duo of director Gore Verbinski and star Johnny Depp. Debuting July 3rd, Ranger has the plum Independence Day weekend slot and, with it, high expectations. Verbinski and Depp collaborated on the first three wildly successful Pirates of the Caribbean flicks, a billion dollar franchise. Co-starring Armie Hammer as the title character with Depp as Tonto, you can bet Disney is hoping for another long-term franchise.

The film has suffered a number of setbacks. It was pushed back from its original December 2012 release date. There have been reports of budget issues – Ranger‘s price tag is reportedly a hefty $250 million. Interest will certainly be high among audiences. The big question is: can Ranger reach Pirates-level numbers? I’m not so sure. Anything below $200 million domestically would be considered lackluster, but it’ll have to deliver for audiences to reach considerably above that.

August 23rd brings us The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. Based on a bestselling series of novels by Cassandra Clare, Instruments is clearly going after the Twilight audience. Sony Pictures is hopeful it’ll resonate with audiences in the way Twilight did and develop further films. I’ll confess I know nothing about the popular books this is based on. I do see the cast is filled with relative unknowns and buzz for the picture seems pretty quiet. Still, that could certainly change over the next couple of months.

Next up on the Summer Movie Preview: action/adventure films including titles from Channing Tatum and Denzel Washington.