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'Lone Ranger' could be box office disappointment for Disney

July 03, 2013
  • "The Lone Ranger" will face tough competition.
"The Lone Ranger" will face tough competition. (Walt Disney Pictures )

It will be fireworks for "Despicable Me 2" at the box office this Fourth of July, but "The Lone Ranger" could be a dud.

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.

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