A quick look at why and how the latest summer blockbuster crashed and burned like a runaway train.
Well, the numbers are in, and the first pivotal weekend for The Lone Ranger proved disappointing. Making a mere $49 million over the five day holiday weekend, the Ranger was blown out of the water by the number one film, Despicable Me 2--an animated sequel that conquered the weekend with over 90 million more.
So why was The Lone Ranger so underwhelming? Do modern audiences not have a place in their hearts for the white stallion-riding masked hero?
Here's the main problem I saw immediately from the advertisements. Here's my recap of the typical Lone Ranger trailer: "The Lone Ranger....starring JOHNNY DEPP...... and some guy playing the title character."
So wait a second...all the trailers pumped up the secondary because he's supposed to be a fan favorite? Oh boy. This isn't the first time we've seen this, but in this case we also have the added line slapped on: "From the producers of the Pirates of the Caribbean." I just knew they'd be riding on the coattails of that totally dissimilar movie. And then we have the continually white-washing Hollywood loves, in which this white guy (his heritage is supposedly unknown) is playing a Native American. This has got to be insulting to any number of people. The character was already called Tonto (Spanish for silly, foolish) and now we can't have him played by an actor of some Native American descent.
And don't get me started on the wonderful paint job Depp's personal makeup artist did all over his face.
Besides Depp, the other major problem the advertising (and possibly the plot...I don't know, I'm one of many who didn't see the film) does not make this film look any different from any other actiony film set somewhat in the past. It looks like the advertisements for the more recent Zorro films or Sherlock Holmes or a bunch of other more forgettable titles. There's nothing that makes this film look unique.
A film needs to have an interesting main character that you care about. If all the ads pump up the stardom of a sidekick character, it seems to try to cover up a main character that nobody will be interested in. And better yet, if you have an action movie, it needs something unique to it. Story is still key in films, and more attention must be paid by writers, producers, and directors alike to emphasizing that part of their big scale productions.