The Big Picture: The Lone Ranger: What Happened?

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The Lone Ranger: What Happened?

MovieBob takes a long look at what exactly caused The Lone Ranger's failure.

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Good analysis, but this part stuck with me the most:

"...Toy Story [2]...is almost 20 years old."

That makes me feel incredibly old.

I could have sworn Toy Story 2 was only thirteen years old, I was already around 10 when I saw it *checks* yeah it was released November 99 so "almost twenty has old" is overstating it a bit.

Honestly I was fully expecting this weeks Big Picture to be a Pacific Rim Job...I'm pleased to see it isn't though. I hope this means the Pacific Rim Honeymoon phase is over.

Say Bob. The Lone Ranger is Summer 2013's biggest flop. But didn't The Lone Ranger open at No.2 in the Box Office and has made over $100 million? And then there's that Robot movie which opened at No.3 and has yet to make $100 million. I'm not saying anything Bob. Just making an observation.

Well to be fair the whole bird thing didn't have anything to do with Tonto being a n indian
It had everything to do with Tonto himself being insane.

Personally I found the Comanche's reenactment of the end of The Last Samuri to be WAY more offensive. Fucking lemmings.

Oh HO, so THAT'S where the look came from! Here I thought Johnny Depp was actually being respectful or some shit. You know, it's ironic really, Johnny Depp doing what he wanted, even though Disney hated what he was doing at the time, worked for the Pirates of the Carribean movies, and now, the reverse seems to have happened. I actually really like Johnny Depp as an actor... But he's starred in a lot of lame-ass moves...

pottyaboutpotter1:
Say Bob. The Lone Ranger is Summer 2013's biggest flop. But didn't The Lone Ranger open at No.2 in the Box Office and has made over $100 million? And then there's that Robot movie which opened at No.3 and has yet to make $100 million. I'm not saying anything Bob. Just making an observation.

Oh, come on. Bob put Amazing Spider-Man in his example of movies that suck. Yeah, it did suck, but remember how Bob was completely sure it would a YEAR before it came out? He has selective vision; it's his most annoying feature. That, and buying into the idea that it's okay for Johnny Depp to play a pirate from hundreds of years ago but you have to be the same race as the character you're adapting. Unless you're not white.

Lot of good points otherwise.

I actually liked this movie. A lot. So. Yeah. Maybe I'm just easy to please or maybe I can just appreciate a movie for what it is more than what it could have been.

pottyaboutpotter1:
Say Bob. The Lone Ranger is Summer 2013's biggest flop. But didn't The Lone Ranger open at No.2 in the Box Office and has made over $100 million? And then there's that Robot movie which opened at No.3 and has yet to make $100 million. I'm not saying anything Bob. Just making an observation.

You're comparing the established brand with the planet's most bankable star that has barely made half its money back in 2 weeks to the original property with a lesser-known cast that's almost made half its money back in one weekend?

Westerns are cool.

Westerns are America's legends, or at least the legends of the America that we have become. The gunslinger is America's knight in shining armor, our samurai, our cultural exemplar of a hero. The Western is a story about a hard man living in a hard time, a man who doesn't want to be a killer but must in order to battle the killers threatening those he loves. The Western is a story about a man who, after the entire movie has been spent piling pressure on him, becomes willing to take damnation onto himself in order to protect those who can't bear that burden not because he's broken and has become a beast but because he has made a choice as a man to embrace what of the beast he can use as a man. The Western is set in a nearly fantastical world we barely recognize where water is scarce and where enemy armies are camped out in the darkness just beyond our sight. The Western is a magical experience when done right, and if one is in a theater I will always go see it.

I did not go to see the Lone Ranger, and I never will, because I have no reason to believe it is a Western. I have seen nothing to suggest it has any understanding of what makes a Western great, and from what I've heard, no one else has seen that either.

This is not intended to rebut anything Mr. Chipman said. I'm sure his analysis is spot-on, and even if it isn't, I haven't seen the movie myself so I don't get to call him a liar. I'm only saying the Lone Ranger did not really want to be a Western, and that is a source of great sadness for me.

Vault Citizen:
I could have sworn Toy Story 2 was only thirteen years old, I was already around 10 when I saw it *checks* yeah it was released November 99 so "almost twenty has old" is overstating it a bit.

I think he's talking about Toy Story 1, which was launched in 1995, 18 years ago.

I think the whole Lone Ranger mess can be summed up in one line from Bruce Campbell's If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor...

Revelation #48: "No" is the most powerful word in the Hollywood dictionary.

That is what someone should have told Johnny Depp and Gore Verbinski from the start - NO! As in "No, Gore! We're not pumping so much money into a franchise where its target audience is so old, they can remember a time when dirt was fresh!" or "No, Johnny! You're not going to play the role of Tonto! I don't give a damn if you are part Indian!" But Disney, believing in the hype the two made with the Pirates franchise, decided to give them so much rope it could hang every employee currently working for the whole company.

I really wish Lone Ranger had been placed in more capable hands. It could have worked as a cable TV series instead of a summer blockbuster. Instead, we've got another turd that will be desperately trying to earn its money back on DVD/Blu-Ray (highly doubtful) and another reason that Johnny Depp needs to cancel all his future movie plans and take an extended vacation from Hollywood to rethink his career choices before he becomes the same joke Marlon Brando became at the end of his career. He needs a massive 180 right now and having him reprise his roles in Pirates or Alice in Wonderland is not going to help.

Johnny Depp's supporting character becoming the main character of the story is my main reason for not being too thrilled about any of the Pirates sequels.

Also, reading the title of the movie I was kind of hoping for an insight on The Lone Ranger's messy and shaky pre-production phase, but it turned out to be mainly a re-iterating of the review, which was kind of a disappointment :(

Hollywood never learns.

They should have structured the movie around Victor.

Anyways, why is it not okay for Johnny Depp to play a fictional native American when most Indians in westerns were played by Jewish men? Movies are movies and actors make money by doing the job.

The Great JT:
Good analysis, but this part stuck with me the most:

"...Toy Story [2]...is almost 20 years old."

That makes me feel incredibly old.

That got me too. Darn.

But yeah, great points. I wonder though, is there a viable AAA market for westerns? What would it have to look like now? It seems like the vast majority of movies as a media have been spent mining and exploiting that era for all it's worth and people have started to grow tired of it. I love westerns. The Good, the Bad, the Ugly. Fistful of Dollars. Gunsmoke. The Rifleman. etc. I am happy they exist. But is there a AAA market for new or remade versions of it today?

mrblakemiller:
That, and buying into the idea that it's okay for Johnny Depp to play a pirate from hundreds of years ago but you have to be the same race as the character you're adapting. Unless you're not white.

Glad someone else pointed out Bob's bias. I doubt this movie would have been any better if they'd had a native American actor who was as crazy as Johnny Depp.

Pink Apocalypse:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6b0ftfKFEJg

The logical fallacy in your comparison is so grossly obvious, that I assume any explanation more complex than that would be lost on you.

The fact that you couldn't explain why mrblakemiller was wrong and instead posted a clip from Sesame Street shows that you Pink Apocalypse are the one who is incapable of understanding why white guilt is not an acceptable reason to make white characters into non-white characters.

pottyaboutpotter1:
Say Bob. The Lone Ranger is Summer 2013's biggest flop. But didn't The Lone Ranger open at No.2 in the Box Office and has made over $100 million? And then there's that Robot movie which opened at No.3 and has yet to make $100 million. I'm not saying anything Bob. Just making an observation.

Cost of 'The Lone Ranger' - $330million

Estimated final takings - ~$180million

Estimated losses of 'The Lone Ranger - $150million

Cost of 'Pacific Rim - $190million

Projected takings - >>$200million

I really wish an open postmortem of this production would be done by someone with all kinds of crazy levels of access (ala The Sweatbox) because as MovieBob alluded to the problems got so bad they called a halt to work things out before continuing. Some of which were public, like the main focus of the plot being rewritten (or maybe not so much, based on what I've heard about the actual plot of the movie), many more I'm sure were not.

While neither Johnny Depp or Gore Verbinski are likely to be unemployed out of this disaster, wonder if both of them will see their ability to control projects reduced as a result of this mess.

pottyaboutpotter1:
Say Bob. The Lone Ranger is Summer 2013's biggest flop. But didn't The Lone Ranger open at No.2 in the Box Office and has made over $100 million? And then there's that Robot movie which opened at No.3 and has yet to make $100 million. I'm not saying anything Bob. Just making an observation.

Neither has made 100 million in the US box office (Lone Ranger grossed over only if you count worldwide sales.) Pacific Rim is still in the opening weekend, but it made more in the opening weekend than Lone Ranger. So I definitely wouldn't call it a flop.

IMDB Lone Ranger:

Box Office
Budget:
$250,000,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend:
$29,210,849 (USA) (5 July 2013)
Gross:
$71,467,292 (USA) (12 July 2013)

And worldwide courtesy of Box Office Mojo:

FOREIGN TOTAL - 7/3/13 $24,300,000 50.6% $48,000,000 7/14/13

IMDB Pacific Rim:

Budget:
$180,000,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend:
$37,285,325 (USA) (12 July 2013)
Gross:
$37,285,325 (USA) (12 July 2013)

FOREIGN TOTAL - 7/11/13 n/a - $53,000,000 7/14/13

The Great JT:
Good analysis, but this part stuck with me the most:

"...Toy Story [2]...is almost 20 years old."

That makes me feel incredibly old.

Has it really been 20 years?

It's been twenty years, three presidents, and two apocalypses, two wars, and the Rapture since we were first introduced to Buzz and Woody (which sounds vaguely sexual, now that I'm old enough to know what sex is.:P )

Vault Citizen:
I could have sworn Toy Story 2 was only thirteen years old, I was already around 10 when I saw it *checks* yeah it was released November 99 so "almost twenty has old" is overstating it a bit.

The first one.

He used a picture from Toy Story 2, but was talking about Toy Story, where the character arc was about a cowboy feeling replaced by a space ranger because sci-fi was the new 'in' thing.

OT: The whole thing sounds like a huge clusterfuck to me. Fortunately I never had any interest seeing the film in the first place. It is all too correct that Hollywood probably won't realize the actual reason it's a relative flop, though.

Pink Apocalypse:

mrblakemiller:

That, and buying into the idea that it's okay for Johnny Depp to play a pirate from hundreds of years ago but you have to be the same race as the character you're adapting. Unless you're not white.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6b0ftfKFEJg

The logical fallacy in your comparison is so grossly obvious, that I assume any explanation more complex than that would be lost on you.

I'm honestly surprised that the producer/writer didn't just do one of those "raised by Native Americans" rewrite that producers have a prerogative to make nowadays. I had honestly assumed that they'd do that and am shocked that, no, he has to be a full blown actual Native American for some reason. This came down to bad directing and bad writing. These things could have been easily side stepped.

I will say that this can be done in a generally "ok" way. Robert Downey Jr. basically acted out the entire Tropic Thunder movie in blackface. I mean, holy heck if that isn't the biggest no-no possible and from what I can tell there was little to no backlash because the issue was addressed in the movie in legitimate manner.

(this is only partially on topic but bare with me)

I really don't get the whole "Brick by brick" thing. As much as I find what Movie Bob has to say interesting, I really don't think I'd pay money for a deconstruction of a game that I've already played to death over the past 2 decades. Maybe if they were just a series of Let's Play videos, I don;t know.

How to make a modern day western: See firefly and/or serenity.

Why does the movie industry seem to be run by the stupidest people on the planet? Seriously, their tendency to make the wrong decisions and learn the wrong lessons from their failures every single time makes Homer Simpson look smrt by comparison. At least he occasionally learns something, even if he has to forget it by the next episode or they'd run out of things to do episodes about. So how did they get where they are today? How did the industry not collapse under their leadership? It's as baffling as how the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant never became the next Chernobyl.

mattawbrown:
God, whenever I hear that quasi speech impediment Bostonian slipping in my mind immediately blocks everything out. Just another American having a hissy-fit because things didn't go their way.

American, no. 1 according to no one.

Things didn't go his way.. American no. 1.. what? He called it before release as being a stinker in the making, thought it was a stinker after he watched it, then gave a brief explanation of some of the things he thinks made it a stinker.

I think your Bostonophobia really did a number on your understanding of the video because you seem to have completely missed the point. I've read your post a few times and cannot see any kind of relevance between it and the video you're commenting on.

pottyaboutpotter1:
Say Bob. The Lone Ranger is Summer 2013's biggest flop. But didn't The Lone Ranger open at No.2 in the Box Office and has made over $100 million? And then there's that Robot movie which opened at No.3 and has yet to make $100 million. I'm not saying anything Bob. Just making an observation.

You didn't actually listen to what Bob said in the video did you?

The Lone Ranger is a flop because, even though it made millions of dollars, it is no where near making enough money to have been profitable. As it stands now, it is still hundreds of millions of dollars in the red.

Pacific Rim has been out for a weekend and almost made back half of it's budget in that time. Not bad for a brand new franchise with no big name stars in it.

Jenny Jones:
How to make a modern day western: See firefly and/or serenity.

How about the Cohen Bros' True Grit? It's my 3rd favorite western behind The Shootist (2nd), and El Dorado (1st).
Firefly may be like a western in space, but its main focus was the characters and how they interact with each other. Western's (usually) are more about a Hero's journey or a quest for redemption/revenge (ala John Wayne westerns, Lone Ranger TV, Shane, etc.).

DVS BSTrD:
Well to be fair the whole bird thing didn't have anything to do with Tonto being a n indian
It had everything to do with Tonto himself being insane.

Personally I found the Comanche's reenactment of the end of The Last Samuri to be WAY more offensive. Fucking lemmings.

Why you rip on my favourite film? Im fairly sure the real Samurai didn't go out quite as spectacularly but its still a good battle and the message seemed legit. I know the term Samurai mean't alot of things in Japan back in the day and they didn't all go on about honour and duty but I don't see how it's offensive.

Hutzpah Chicken:
Why is it not okay for Johnny Depp to play a fictional Native American when most Indians in westerns were played by Jewish men?

It's not really appropriate for those Jewish guys to have done it either. The problem is that there are actual First Nations actors (First Nations is the term to refer to the people who lived in America before the Pilgrims, right? Apologies if not) who did not get the role in favor of giving it a white man. White men do not need more jobs in Hollywood. There are other actors out there of the appropriate race who would have been at least as good for the role as Johnny Depp, yet none of them were cast because there's a white dude who wanted the job. Given America's history of white people taking whatever we want from the native population, that's a serious dick move.

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