Lone Ranger: Massive Flop

Walt Disney has warned that its Lone Ranger summer blockbuster will lose it between $160m-$190m (£104m-£124m) after heavy spending on promotion failed to bring returns.

The news came with the entertainment giant’s third quarter results.

They showed earnings almost unchanged but revenue up 4%, thanks to its theme parks and cable networks, such as ESPN.

Disney said it earned $1.85bn in the quarter to the end of June, up from $1.83bn last year.

Revenue at its theme parks and resorts grew by 7% to $3.7bn while cable network revenue was up by 8%. The losses from the Lone Ranger film, which stars Johnny Depp, will show up in the next quarterly figures.

The film opened in early July and made $29m in US and Canadian ticket sales over its first weekend, a figure considered weak in the industry for a major release.

The company said Iron Man 3, which was released in late spring, had fared worse than The Avengers which was out a year earlier, but that its Pixar movie Monsters University was doing better than its children’s film Brave did a year ago.

Disney chairman and chief executive Bob Iger said he was happy with the results, adding: “We are confident that our strategy of creating high-quality branded content positions us well for the future.”

He said he appreciated the risks associated with high-cost films, but that he still thought they were worth the risk.

“One way to rise above the din and the competition is with a big film, not just big budget, but big story, big cast, big marketing behind it,” he said.



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