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Five weeks after a disastrous opening weekend, Disney is still trying to climb out of the hole dug by “The Lone Ranger”, featuring yet another team up by the (formerly) cant-miss duo of actor Johnny Depp and producer Jerry Bruckheimer. With the film’s U.S. box office run all but done, the movie is now sitting at just $86 million Stateside, and $175 million worldwide.
That’s … not so good. Especially when you factor in the budget, which comes in officially at $215 million, but some estimates have it being as high as $250 million.
While overseas in the UK promoting the movie (it’s scheduled to open Across the Pond this Friday), the trio of Bruckheimer, Depp, and co-star Armie Hammer (he plays the Lone Ranger, in case you were wondering), took time out to talk to Yahoo UK and bash American movie critics for, as Hammer puts it, “[slitting] the jugular of [their] movie”.
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. It’s got to the point with American critics where if you’re not as smart as Plato, your stupid. That seems like a sad way to live your life. While we were making it we knew people were gunning for it. I think it was the popular thing when the movie hit rocky terrain they jumped on the bandwagon to try and bash it. They tried to do the same thing with to ‘World War Z’, it didn’t work, the movie was successful. Instead they decided to slit the jugular of our movie.
Depp shares his younger co-star’s sentiments about the “gunning” by U.S. critics:
I think the reviews were written 7-8 months before we released the film,. 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.
Bruckheimer took the more diplomatic approach, and is pretty certain the film will turn out to be good … later on:
I think they were reviewing the budget, not reviewing the movie. The audience doesn’t care what the budget is – they pay the same amount if it costs a dollar or 20 million dollars. It’s unfortunate because the movie is a terrific movie, it’s a great epic film. It has lots of humour. Its one of those movies that whatever critics missed in it this time, they’ll review it in a few years and see that they made a mistake.
I honestly think they’re giving way too much credit to U.S. critics. I get it, they’re looking for reasons why “The Lone Ranger” didn’t connect with moviegoers (here and abroad), but going on an offensive against critics is kinda stupid. Mind you, I’m not even lumping myself or this site in with “real” critics. I don’t think most of you give a damn what we say about a movie before you either decide to see it or not — there may be one or two of you in there who do care, but for the most part, if the trailer sells it, you’re going to go see it regardless of what we or anyone else say.
Bottom line is, people like what they like. “The Lone Ranger’s” trailer sold bombastic action and Johnny Depp playing a Western version of Jack Sparrow. That, apparently, was something most people didn’t care for. And that, I think, is the real reason the movie tanked.