Disney’s The Lone Ranger opened in theaters last night, with poor reviews surfacing today and a surprising amount of apathy rearing its ugly head for Disney’s would-be summer blockbuster. According to early box-office reports, Despicable Me 2 opened with more than twice the ticket sales of The Lone Ranger, showing that even Johnny Depp can be susceptible to animated yellow blobs. And if the number of bad reviews increases for The Lone Ranger, from TheHDRoom and other outlets, Disney’s film may see lower overall weekend box-office results when they start rolling in this Sunday. For context, the average Metacritic score for The Lone Ranger as of this writing is 37; Despicable Me 2 is 61.
One night does not a trend make, and The Lone Ranger may turn things around as quickly as that masked man on his trusty steed, Silver. But if Despicable Me 2 blew past Disney’s much-more-hyped The Lone Ranger at a midnight showing, Walt Disney Pictures executives must be jittery headed into the Fourth of July weekend. After all, a midnight-showing crowd would seem to favor The Lone Ranger much more than the younger-demographic Despicable Me 2.
The anxiety may go beyond the Walt Disney Pictures walls, however, as Disney Interactive is preparing to launch Disney Infinity later this summer. One of the early accessories for this Skylanders-like game is a The Lone Ranger play set, which we took a look at in this exclusive video. That play set is durably built and looks to have a lot of fun potential, but if The Lone Ranger doesn’t perform well at the box office, how will that affect sales of The Lone Ranger play set for Disney Infinity?
When all is said and done, the film’s box-office performance may not impact total Disney Infinity sales. After all, the game also has figures coming from Monsters Inc., a franchise that continues to have strong theatrical results with the recent Monsters University movie. It also has play sets for Cars, Pirates of the Caribbean and The Incredibles. Conspicuously missing is a Disney’s Planes play set, which would seem to be a logical tie-in for Disney’s other summer film (from Pixar, no less), but even without a Planes play set in the wings, there are plenty of franchises to boost Disney Infinity sales.
But, in the short term, do you think the bad reviews for The Lone Ranger movie will have an impact on sales of The Lone Ranger play set for Disney Infinity? How much will the early apathy for Jerry Bruckheimer’s latest Disney film affect the fortunes of an all-new Disney Interactive game franchise? Or will it? I hope to see The Lone Ranger pick up some more positive reviews, and I can’t wait to see it myself. But am I in the minority on this one, and if so, will the minority report be sufficient to help Disney Infinity avoid lackluster sales, particularly for its the Lone Ranger playset? Drop your thoughts into the comments section below.