Lone Ranger would need to gross $800 million to turn a profit

I’m excited to report this story, because just the phrase “bloated tentpole” gets me all hot and bothered (mmm, yeah, baby, I want you in all four quadrants). So last we heard, Disney had cancelled Bruckheimer’s (bloated tentpole) The Lone Ranger, because it was going to cost $250 million. And it cost $250 million because, obviously, it had werewolves in it (or more specifically, according to ThePlaylist, “supernatural wolves” – “the 2009 draft we read by Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio features supernatural wolves, a legion of coyotes and the Wendigo, a cannibalistic Native American spirit”).

Today, the Hollywood Reporter says that in the most recent script, the werewolves were gone. …And it was STILL going to cost $250 million. Why the what I don’t even…

According to sources who have read recent drafts, three massive action set pieces involving trains remain, including one described as the biggest train sequence in film history.

Was a it a train sequence EVEN BIGGER THAN A MISSILE THE SIZE OF THE CHRYSLER BUILDING??!? Anyway, you’ll be glad to learn that they’re still trying to get this film made, and the latest is that Jerry Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski have lowered their fees by $10 million (!!!) and trimmed the budget to around $242 million. But Disney still wants it at $220 million or less. And even at that price, they claim it would have to gross $800 million worldwide just to turn a profit. Holy. Sh*t.

Even at the cost Disney has targeted, the film would have to gross about $800 million worldwide to be profitable when marketing and rich backends to Depp, Verbinski and Bruckheimer are factored in.

A source close to the dealmaking says studio chief Rich Ross believes the “substantial budget gap” can only be bridged by Verbinski reimagining some of the bigger sequences and a few “give-backs” from the talent — moves that those working on the film have been uninterested in making.
“It all starts with [Verbinski],” says a source. “If there is any saving this version of the movie, he’ll have to find substantial savings. If he can, maybe we can hold this together.”

I still have faith that these crazy kids can work it out. I guess it all depends on whether Bruckheimer and Verbinski can put aside their personal needs and make the necessary sacrifices for the greater good of the cynical cash grab. That’s the spirit that built America!