The Lone Ranger costs Disney, cast blames critics
While The Lone Ranger has failed to gain a decent box office return, in fact it's going to result in a huge loss of up to US $190m or UK £124m for Disney, the blame for that isn't falling at the writers, the director, the cast, or the huge budget, in fact it's being dropped squarely at the feet of the critics.
According to the two leading stars the critics wrote their reviews before seeing the film, saying that they had been out to get the film since it was originally shut down due to the ballooning budget. The main producer of the film, Jerry Bruckheimer, says that the critics reviewed the budget, not the film. So are they to blame?
Well clearly not. You just have to look at the past history of what the majority of critics say about films to see that they cannot control the box office - films they laud do not always break the box office and films they pan can often exceed expectations and return healthy profits. If this really was the case then Hollywood would listen to them and not churn out overly expensive blockbusters that just copy the same formula.
That's not how Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer and Jerry Bruckheimer think though. You'd already heard what Bruckheimer thought of the critics but Depp and Hammer are much tougher. According to The Independent Hammer says:
"They've been gunning for our movie since it was shut down the first time. That's when most critics wrote their initial reviews…"
Meanwhile they have a quote from Depp saying:
"I think the reviews were written seven to eight months before we released the film."
That's pretty amazing, if anyone was to say something like that to a big name star you could guarantee a law suit would follow. This is tantamount to saying that the critics lied, faked reviews, and deliberately conspired against a company to ensure their product didn't sell. It's calling their entire reputation into question, something we have seen Hollywood figures sue for.
They won't though because they have thicker skin, and while I'm not defending the collective critics mentioned I don't necessarily think they are wrong.
The Lone Ranger followed a standard template, a template we've seen time and time again with the Pirates of the Caribbean and films before. Certainly the Pirate films were fantastic and elevated this formula to a new level, but this just seemed to be a repeat with more of the same from the same team, just in a different location with different costumes.
It did seem that The Lone Ranger story should have been a little smaller and not with huge big rollercoaster type, fairground ride set-up action sequences which looked like they were reading for the next appearance at a Disney fairground rather than delivering the story of the main character and his sidekick. Somewhere all that was lost.
Was that to do with the huge filming budget and massive marketing budget? I don't think so. Once again it was lack of focus on a good story at the core and developing the characters and story instead deciding to focus on big event action sequences that would deliver Disney rides.
Critics fault? No, they really don't influence the general film going audience as much as they would like to think. Try blaming the audiences for not going, or maybe better the studio reliance on the huge event films.