It will be fireworks for
The animated 3-D sequel will probably collect an impressive $110 million between Tuesday night and Sunday evening, according to those who have seen pre-release audience surveys. The big-budget western, meanwhile, is poised to gross $70 million during that same period. (
Though that sounds like a lot of money, "The Lone Ranger" cost Disney at least $225 million to produce. If it is to become profitable, the critically panned movie (which has a 21% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes) will need to generate exceptionally positive word-of-mouth and do strong business abroad, where westerns have not been traditionally popular.
Based on a 1930s radio show that later became a 1950s television series, "The Lone Ranger" was produced by
Since the beginning of production in August 2011, "The Lone Ranger" has been plagued by bad buzz. Disney was forced to stop filming when the movie's budget ballooned to $250 million. Production resumed in February 2012, but the studio later took heat from critics who argued that a Native American should have been cast to play Depp's role.
Heading into the weekend, the film is appealing most to older men. The picture is set to launch this weekend in a handful of foreign markets, including Russia and Australia. In addition to attending a splashy U.S. premiere at Disney's California Adventure last month, Depp and Hammer traveled to Moscow to promote the film. Depp, 50, has long been a big draw internationally. Only three of 16 live-action movies in which he has appeared over the last decade have grossed more domestically than abroad.
Meanwhile, "Despicable Me 2" is already off to a strong start overseas. Prior to its U.S. release, the film debuted in seven foreign markets and has so far collected $50 million. This weekend the movie will launch in 38 additional countries. The original
Also opening on Wednesday is "