Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer star in the western remake of “The Lone Ranger” this weekend and although it was met with a warm reaction from early viewers and critics, fans seem to be tired from a summer of over-the-top action films. Meanwhile, the animated sequel ‘Despicable Me 2’ is flying-high at the box-office and taking the number one spot by a large margin.
With the Disney Western losing 3 to 1 to Universal’s “Despicable Me 2,” the Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig and Benjamin Bratt comedy pulled in $59.9 million in ticket sales since Wednesday, leaving “The Lone Ranger” in the dust with only $19.5 million. Overal Disney did very well this Summer, having Pixar’s “Monsters University” and Marvel’s “Iron Man 3” to make up for ‘The Lone Ranger” lagging sales. The low ticket-sales spell doom for any hope of Depp and hammer reuniting for a sequel. The film itself cost $250 million in production, making it one of the more costly projects released in the summer of 2013.
On the other hand, animated comedies weren’t exactly scarce either, with both major animated studios relying on former animated hits to create this year’s big entires. Monsters Inc. and Despicable Me have had a long time to allow audiences to rest, making their return the screen all-the-more exciting.
The film relied heavily on over-the-top action sequences mixed with live-action stunts and CGI, a common denominator in this year’s action releases and, what I consider, one of the leading causes of poor ticket sales. After ‘Iron Man 3’ and ‘Man of Steel’ this summer, audiences just seem to be exhausted with explosions, special-effects and green-screens.
Not all of the reviews for the film were kind, many of which pointed to the week storyline and heavy-handed use of loud, over-the-top action as a weakness in the film. The AP’s Jake Coyle said the film “finally, exhaustingly collapses in a scrap heap of train wreckage.” One of the larger moments in the film.
The setback is unusual for Jerry Bruckheimer, director Gore Verbinski and Summer favorite Johnny Depp, all of whom worked on the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films.