Why Marvel, Pixar and ‘Star Wars’ Will Ease Disney’s ‘Lone Ranger’ Pain


Success of new superhero, animated and "Star Wars" films will help boost performance of studio's slate for years to come

Given the disappointing performance of “The Lone Ranger,” Disney will be forced to write off the Jerry Bruckheimer Western as a loss. Some analysts are saying the writedown could be as high as $190 million, but just how much has yet to be determined.

But Disney isn’t shaking in its cowboy boots. Neither is Wall Street: Analysts and shareholders rallied around the Mouse House on Monday.

The stock was up over 84 cents or 1.3% during mid-day trading to $64.66, as Disney observers pointed to the success of Marvel’s “Iron Man 3,” (which earned $1.2 billion worldwide) and Pixar’s “Monsters University” (at around $401 million so far), as big hits for the studio that will help offset the bruises left at the box office by “Lone Ranger.” Disney ends is fiscal year in September.

And then there’s “Star Wars.”

Credit Suisse’s Michael Senno expects Disney to generate around $733 million in profits from the seventh “Star Wars,” out in summer 2015. Film is expected to generate around $1.2 billion in global theatrical receipts, and more from consumer products and other revenue, Senno said. As a result, Senno set a new target price of $74 for Disney’s stock to eventually reach, helping boost shares on Monday.

“The “Star Wars” franchise should drive strong profit growth and mitigate risk at the studio with fewer risky high budget films,” Senno said.

Before the July 4th weekend ended, Cohen & Co.’s Doug Creutz predicted “Lone Ranger” would cost Disney $100 million in a writedown. B. Riley’s David Miller agreed on the $100 million number, saying the film’s performance was a “massive disappointment.”

SEE ALSO: Disney, Jerry Bruckheimer See ‘Lone Ranger’ as New Genre-Bending Superhero

On Monday, after the film earned just $48.9 million over its first five days of release in North America, Lazard Capital’s Barton Crockett said the writeoff could be even steeper, at around $190 million, up from the $113 million he had originally expected. Credit Suisse’s Senno also chimed in, also predicting a $100 million loss.

Disney wrote off $200 million in 2011, when “John Carter” failed to find an audience in megaplexes. The film, which also carried a steep pricetag of around $200 million, went on to earn $283 million during its theatrical run.

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  1. Charles Winfield says:

    So WHAT if critics have an effect on a film’s bottom line?? Hollywood isn’t supposed to be run as a Police State. Film Critics are
    allowed to point out the good AND bad in any film (even Disney’s). They sometimes have criticisms, hense the title CRITIC. I and millions of others value the critics we trust, since we can’t afford to waste time on dozens of bad movies each year. Critics are not the problem- greedy studios are. Not everyone is as gullible as Paula Abdul or is in Disney’s pocket, and that’s okay in a free country. “Seriously”.

  2. Robert Turner says:

    “The Lone Ranger” could have worked and been a huge success. The problem was not the genre or an older time period (“Raiders” and the “Mummy” movies took place in the 1930s). The movie was simply way too violent to attract a broad, family audience like “Pirates of the Caribbean.” It was also 20-30 minutes too long. “Ranger” just didn’t know what kind of movie it wanted to be.

    • D ParkPark says:

      No one knew how violent the movie was before seeing it.Most people don’t read reviews before going to a film. The reason it bombed was because it was a western. Modern audiences couldn’t connect. Raiders was decades ago and the Mummy movies over ten years old so to use those as your examples are rather weak.. TODAY’S audience can’t connect with a western.

  3. why does everyone only talk about the business side of films and not assume that people just didn’t care to go see this film? i mean, johnny depp was put in it to draw a crowd. it didn’t work. so, obviously people didn’t care to see him in this film. he ruined dark shadows as a film too. is anyone really going to be watching that film 5 years from now? he and burton turned a cult classic into a joke of a film. and for his trouble, he was paid $20million

  4. James says:

    It’s a western which as a genre has had it’s struggles in the recent past. It’s also taken from a genre whose going to this movie as a senior citizen and yet its not made for them but a generation who grew up on comic books. I never saw it but those two things make it hard for me to fork over $20 to see it in theaters.

  5. Gerard says:

    LONE RANGER has a great theme – I like it. It just cost a lot is all and is defined a failure solely in bean-counting terms.

  6. Al Oliver says:

    A follow-up to Janet Reichl:

    You describe this film as exactly the kind that made DISNEY STUDIOS famous…a fun time at the movies.

    PROBLEM is, they could have made FOUR (4) films that would do that…entertain and amuse….for the cost of this one (1).
    Any good investment advisor will tell you to keep your risk at a minimum, you need to DIVERSIFY, DIVERSIFY!! I’ll bet old WALT, who was known to be “frugal”, would have axed this “TONTO” pronto.
    Want to see this turkey…..why not wait and rent it for the holidays.

    THANKSGIVING might be appropriate!

    • Janet Reichel says:

      Sorry Mr. High and Mighty, but maybe the movie isn’t the turkey… just saying… enough said.

  7. TommyFlorida says:

    Graser, you’re confused – Disney’s Lone Ranger is a really good movie, well written and lots of clever fun and humor. That the movie going dirty masses chose to attend a “part deux” Despicable feature where you walk in stupid and walk out stupider is just typical of what our culture has become after a steady diet of rap, the kardasians and Family Guy. The Lone Ranger is a risk for Disney and a risk worth taking – I watched it twice. Original scripts or dumb and dumber?

  8. russgrant says:

    Why do people take the critics so seriously? I remember when Star Wars came out, the critics hated it. And almost 40 years later the story has outshined them all. So Lone Ranger pulled in 48 million the first week. It still pulled the money and will likely make it’s money over the next few months.

  9. Janet Reichel says:

    It’s time that all these movie critics stop taking themselves so seriously. And the public needs toquit taking them so seriously, also. I don’t know what standard was used to judge “Lone Ranger” with, but let’s face it, LR isn’t “Shindler’s List,” nor is it intented to be. What it is, in my opinion, is a tongue in cheek movie desgned to entertain, which is exactly what it does. Movie consumers need to quit letting a few voices determine what we go see at the movies. We need to decide what we like and want to see and act according. …an critics need to lighten- up.

    • Jake says:

      No, movie goers need to use whatever they want when deciding what they see. It’s a movie, whether its good or not is totally subjective. How should critics lighten up? By using standards other than their own? That’s their opinion and how much weight that carries is up to the individual movie goer. It entertained you. That’s great. My friend saw it and said it was boring and too long. That’s her opinion. She didnt like it. I have no interest in seeing it. None. That’s me. If you pay to see a movie, what influences you to see it or not see it, is up to you. That’s your choice. I know people who predicted this would flop when they announced it. It’s not a total shocker.

    • Jake says:

      Sorry. It won’t make it’s money over the next few months. It cost 250 mil and probably at least 150 to promote. That’s 400 mil the studio needs to get back. The rentals, money returned to he studio, is about 45% worldwide. It would have to gross at least 800 mil just to break even. DVD and streaming sales won’t make up that shortfall. Please realize the analysts did best case extrapolation when they predicted a 100 mil + write off. You’ll see, Disney has admitted its a disappointment. Read any box office analysis, the conclusion is the same, The Lone Ranger will lose tens of millions for Disney. They will be announcing a write soon.

      • oceansofcake says:

        Finally, a commenter that gets it. Even if The Lone Ranger was 95% fresh it’s still bombing at the box office. Disney’s best chance at a big-budget film that profits is in Episode 7. What they don’t need is another Treasure Planet/John Carter.

      • Janet Reichel says:

        …do all the panning by the critics has no effect on the box office bottomline? Seriously?

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