The 5 Dumbest Things on Wall Street This Week: July 12
5. Disney's Dumbness
The media giant shot itself in the foot last weekend after its supposed summer blockbuster-slash-tent-pole release The Lone Ranger went over like a cloud of dust. Despicable Me 2 ran roughshod over Disney's masked man (not to mention Johnny Depp's Tonto) at the box office with Universal's offering earning $82.5 million in the U.S. and Canada, compared to a pathetic $29.4 million for The Lone Ranger.
Disney's Western reportedly cost the company $225 million to produce plus at least $100 million to market, nearly guaranteeing that the company will take a severe loss on the widely panned film. The film's shameful showing puts it on par with last year's $250 million flop John Carter, which opened to a measly gate of $30.1 million and caused Disney to swallow a $200 million write down on the stupid sci-fi flick.
Carter, if you remember, got his ass kicked by The Lorax in its opening weekend, thus making this the second time Universal dominated Disney at its own animated game.
"Obviously this is disappointing," said Dave Hollis, vice president of distribution for Walt Disney Studios. "It obviously didn't connect with audiences, and it's frustrating for us. We felt we had everything in place for it to succeed."
Don't feed us that drivel Dave. There was nothing in place for this movie to succeed and you know it. This movie has been plagued for years, so much so that you were forced to shut it down because it blew through its already bloated budget. It was as clear then as it is now that the movie should never have been brought back from the dead and those costs should have stayed sunk.
Heck, we still don't know what on earth prompted you to bring back the gun-toting character from 1950's TV in the first place!
If today's kids didn't connect with the Wild, Wild West and Cowboys & Aliens -- both massive, money-losing busts -- then why would you ever believe this far more antiquated Western starring a guy named Armie Hammer would do the trick?
More importantly, how did you think this was going to play in foreign markets, where the real money is these days? Were you counting on all those Chinese teens to ask their grandfathers for their Clayton Moore memorabilia so they can wear masks to the Shanghai multiplex?
Yeah, yeah, we know that The Lone Ranger was a Jerry Bruckheimer/Gore Verbinski production, the same team responsible for the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. And we also know Disney made money scissor-hand over scissor-fist with Johnny Depp playing Captain Jack Sparrow in that highly profitable series of films.
Still, we have a little advice for Disney before it once again bets the Mouse House on less than a sure thing.
Next time put the movie before the theme park ride.