The animated 3-D sequel will probably collect an impressive $110 million between Tuesday night and Sunday evening, according to those who have seen pre-release audience surveys. The big-budget western, meanwhile, is poised to gross $70 million during that same period. (Walt Disney Studios, which is distributing the film, is predicting a softer debut of roughly $60 million.)
Though that sounds like a lot of money, "The Lone Ranger" cost Disney at least $225 million to produce. If it is to become profitable, the critically panned movie (which has a 21% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes) will need to generate exceptionally positive word-of-mouth and do strong business abroad, where westerns have not been traditionally popular.