'Lone Ranger' team: Critics killed our box office
August 7th, 2013
09:37 AM ET

'Lone Ranger' team: Critics killed our box office

The buzz on "The Lone Ranger" was dismal ahead of the movie's July 3 release, and its opening weekend box office wasn't pretty, either.

But according to The Hollywood Reporter, it wasn't from a lack of promotion. The trade reports that the Walt Disney Co. has suffered because of "The Lone Ranger's" marketing budget, and that the summer action flick could wind up costing the company $190 million.

In the eyes of the movie's stars, Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer, the would-be blockbuster would have played better with American moviegoers had critics not ripped it to shreds.

While doing press for "The Lone Ranger" overseas, the two co-stars said American critics were set against the project far ahead of its release.

“This is the deal with American critics: they’ve been gunning for our movie since it was shut down the first time, that’s when most of the critics wrote their initial reviews," Hammer told Yahoo! Movies U.K.  “If you go back and read the negative reviews, most of them aren’t about the content of the movie, but more what’s behind it."

When it comes to American critics, Hammer continued, "it’s got to the point ... where if you’re not as smart as Plato, you're stupid. That seems like a sad way to live your life. While we were making it we knew people were gunning for it. ... (T)hey decided to slit the jugular of our movie.”

Depp, too, thinks the criticism of the film had been set in stone long before it reached theaters.

“I think the reviews were written seven to eight months before we released the film,” he said. “I think the reviews were written when they heard Gore [Verbinksi] and Jerry [Bruckheimer] and me were going to do ‘The Lone Ranger.' They had expectations that it must be a blockbuster. I didn’t have any expectations of that. I never do.”

Well, at least Depp knows how to manage his box office hopes. After pulling in $29 million its opening weekend, "The Lone Ranger" has thus far made $86.8 million domestically. We'll see how well the masked rider performs in the U.K. when it opens August 9.

Filed under: Celebrities • movies • Summer movies

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soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. Ben

    Jonny Depp with a dead bird on his heard may have killed the movie. A crappy story may have killed the movie. A pussified Lone Ranger may have killed the movie, but the critics most definitely did not kill the movie.

    August 24, 2013 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  2. john

    They took an American Classic story line, added a pirate playing an Indian doing Wild Wild West stunts. It would have worked had Kevin Costner done it as Dances with Wolves.

    August 8, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Ann

    Though I like Johnny Depp, I thought this movie was just stupid and boring. Not worth it!

    August 8, 2013 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  4. Bluedestiny

    LOL – the problem with the movie was Tim Burton, and also, it was Tim Burton. Did I mention Tim Burton? His movies are unwatchable. Frontman Depp as Tonto, an Indian, a sidekick, in a western setting? Really? Why not put scissors on his hands, too? What a disaster from the casting sheet and concept before one line of script had been written.

    Boooo, Burton. Another Burton disaster.

    August 8, 2013 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Wait...what?

      If you're talking about the Lone Ranger movie, then why are you babbling on about Tim Burton. Do some research - he had nothing to do with this film, neither as a producer, director or writer...nothing.

      August 8, 2013 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • M.A.P.

      I agrree that Burton helped ruin Johnny Depp's image amungst his older fans. Mr Burton – who we all thought was a genius in the 90's – turned out to be about as creative as a potatoe. He has ONE idea, ONE concept that he has now milked waaay beyong reasonably. He should reture. That said, this movie had NOTHIN – 0 to do with Tim Burton. You need to learn how to GOOGLE!

      August 9, 2013 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jeremiah liver eating Johnson

    This movie was anti-caucasion pr0paganda from the leftist indoctrinairres of Dizney. The lone ranger wears a mask due to shame of brutality to indigenous folks? Good luck making money off that. Dizney used to be quality production, like Old Yeller and Snow White. Since lib f@g michael eisner took over, all leftist all the time. I hope that money loss cuts deep.

    August 8, 2013 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
    • check yourself, namkoS...

      Eisner hasn't worked for Disney since 2005, so your entire 'argument' is invalid. DUH!

      August 8, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Name*wayne gore

    I 67. Love the Lone Ranger. Wanted to take kids and show them what he was about. Johnny D. can do great comedy when not drunk or trying to shock. When I read about the heart scene being cut out and ate, i knew this was just more shock trash. No good Kids should see. Shame on you Walt. Could have been a block buster if the real Walt had his hand on it. On movies like this return to your roots. I am mad at Disney for teasing me to see movie with my early hero just trashed up. Hope the money hurts deep. Wake up!

    August 8, 2013 at 6:46 am | Report abuse |
  7. Kthulu

    That Hammer guy looks mighty awkward there in that photo. SO does Depp. This mustve been taken AFTER it was decided that the Lone Ranger weas a 200 million dollar flop-

    August 8, 2013 at 6:32 am | Report abuse |
  8. M.A.P.

    The producers are so lazy they thought all they needed to do was cast Johnny Depp and it was a sure hit! WRONG! Yes Depp is increadiby popular (especially amung the younger audience) however he has made a LOT of films in the last few years, and his star power is fading since he always plays the same character (eccentric, wise, strange, extraverted/introverted).

    August 8, 2013 at 3:29 am | Report abuse |
  9. dick Ember

    If a movie stinks, don't show it to critics.
    I never did.

    August 8, 2013 at 12:27 am | Report abuse |
  10. Måd

    The problem here, and it's the same with video games, is that if you're putting out a decent product then you shouldn't need an ad budget that costs nearly as much as the movie itself. Going out to the the movies is too expensive nowadays to bet on a dud. In my day you could see a movie and a donkey show for under five bucks.

    August 7, 2013 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  11. PC

    I agree with the article. I enjoyed the movie very much. I think they all did an excellent job. I am too young to remember the original series but it made no difference. I had fun watching it. "Barbara" above is right. Why don't people make up their own minds (after learning the facts) rather than doing what some idiot tells them to do? Btw, Johnny Deep has Creek and Cherokee ancestry. Know what you are talking about, people!

    August 7, 2013 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Danny

    Or maybe most people that saw the trailers thought to themselves "Hmm, this looks alot like Pirates of the Caribbean.Pass."

    August 7, 2013 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • gt58

      Yes I thought this also looked like just a land based Pirates". Each POTC became less watchable for me, and definitely not worth theater $ when so many other films out.

      August 8, 2013 at 6:27 am | Report abuse |
  13. Ron-o

    I think that it is a shame when people don't "man up" and admit they made a mistake. This project was not very well conceived to start with, and was very poorly done. what was the deal with the computer generated animals? The idea might have worked if the producers, directors, writers, etc. had mad an effort. Don't blame the critics, just man up and admit that you badly missed the target.

    August 7, 2013 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  14. cnnlicksit

    Oh boo hoo Walt Disney Co., aka the evil empire run by the tribe that has been putting out low-quality products to the dumb-downed Americans for decades.

    August 7, 2013 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  15. BP

    They made a movie that only people who are like... 60 or older... have any idea about. Then, they tried to get younger people to go see it by casting Johnny Depp, thinking that his star power would somehow make up for the fact that these younger people have no freaking clue about The Lone Ranger. Seriously, why would I want to go see that movie? It looked LAME.

    August 7, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • JAS

      Try 50 or over! The original series was around in the 60's but that aside you do have a point. Even if they did get the age group wrong, the movie was terrible and I almost walked out on it. The critics ripped the movie apart because it was just plain bad, boring and not in the least bit entertaining. I suppose if you never saw a western and was just looking to see a B movie comedy then it would be Ok but this is a "Remake" of a classic that fails worse than Dark Shadows

      August 7, 2013 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • jg

      You do realize that Johnny Depp was the main reason this movie was even made. I honestly don't think it matters whether the current generation of movie goers remembers the Lone Ranger or not. I will agree that it would probably have been wiser to use an equally big name star to play the role of the Lone Ranger, but I'm sure the powers that be were banking on Johnny Depp carrying the movie. I think there is too much emphasis on big blockbuster movies and the expectations have been disappointing. Many of the critics said it was too long, which is never good.

      August 7, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Jay

    I don't NOT watch a movie because a critic or my friends said it was bad. I watch the trailer and make my own judgement. The name of the movie was the Lone Ranger, yet the biggest star is playing Tonto. On top of that you have a white guy playing a Native American....insulting much? Robert Downey Jr. got away with it in Tropic Thunder only because it was a comedy and it was Ben Stiller calling the shots. There respect there. Sorry Lone Ranger looked bad, people I know who saw it confirmed that thus reaffirming my belief that I would waste my money on a crappy film. I'll be surprised if I even waste the bandwidth to download it. Wow blame the critics...I guess when you're desperate you'll blame anyone for your failures.

    August 7, 2013 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • NiagaraTim

      yea Lou Diamond Phillips would've been the better choice to play Tonto as he's perfect for native roles.. and you're right they should've casted a major star for the main role to play Lone Ranger...

      August 7, 2013 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  17. LingerGalthrope

    Message to Hollywood and Disney: Stop Recycling Old Movies, TV Series, Comic Books, Etc. ...Come Up With Something Original

    August 7, 2013 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Jeeves

    Armie Hammer (the name just cracks me up) must be color blind - who in their right mind would buy, let alone wear, a red suit like that? Whoever convinced him that it was a good idea to lay down good money for that, should be punched in the mouth.

    August 7, 2013 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  19. Cathy

    Lone Ranger was a fantastic movie, such a shame it didn't do well at the box office, critics don't know what's good most of the time.

    August 7, 2013 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  20. M.A.P.

    The movie was ruined as soon as Disney bought the rights to it. Disney are modern day nazi propogandists with no souls

    August 7, 2013 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  21. Rocky

    I think most people were completely turned off by Johnny Depp's ridiculous outfit. Paying to have to see it was just too much to bear.

    August 7, 2013 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  22. Barbara

    Well, not that the children have spoken, let me say that I do agree with this article. Before it was even completed things were being stated that set it up for a fall. It was a good, fun movie and nothing like "Pirates". It should not have been compared or expected to be like any other previous entry from Disney and these producers/directors. Too bad so many people base what they hear and see on the words of others. Its best to base your decisions on your own desires and impressions. We tend to give too much credit to those who believe their view is the most important one.

    August 7, 2013 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • i love disney enjoy!


      August 7, 2013 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Crocs


      *belly squish

      August 7, 2013 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Robyn

      I AGREE with you Barbara. I am a huge Johnny Depp fan and was all excited for this movie until I started reading the critics reviews about it MONTHS before the movie came out. After all I read I decided not to waste my time/money going to it and to wait for it to come out on DVD. I'm glad I didn't end up doing that....instead I went to see it in the theater and I am thrilled that I did! It was a wonderful movie, full of laughs, beautiful scenery, touching moments and alot of action! Everyone that has had second thoughts about seeing this movie because of what critics have written should SCREW the critic reviews and go see it for yourselves! I was NOT disappointed!!

      August 7, 2013 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Boo

    I looove Johnny Depp.

    August 7, 2013 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |

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