One thing you must know about the Disney Company’s executives is that they absolutely hate Universal Studios. The two companies compete on every level. They both make movies and TV shows. They both own TV Networks (ABC and NBC). And they both own amusement parks.
This 4th of July weekend their competition started up again as they both launched summer blockbusters, but while Universal’s Despicable Me 2 is blowing up at the box office, Disney’s Lone Ranger is tanking.
Here is what the media is reporting about their respective box office returns:
The $29.4 million three-day Friday-Sunday total for the $225 million adaptation of the classic radio and TV show, with Armie Hammer as the title character and Johnny Depp as Tonto, was weaker than that of last year’s bomb “John Carter.” That $250-million sci-fi adventure opened to $30.1 million, topped out at $73 million at the domestic box office and Disney wound up with a $200 million write down. (The Wrap)
Things got better for the minions of “Despicable Me 2” and worse for Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer and “The Lone Ranger” on Friday, as the animated sequel took in another $30 million. That puts it on pace for around $77 million for the weekend, and a $140 million haul for the five-day July 4 weekend, roughly $30 million more than analysts had projected. The $76 million Universal-Illumination Entertainment production also has taken in nearly $94 million from 45 foreign markets through Friday, and will pass $200 million worldwide Saturday. (The Wrap)
Disney’s adaptation of the classic radio and TV show, with Hammer as the title character and Depp as Tonto, brought in $10.6 million on Friday, and probably won’t hit $50 million for the long holiday weekend. (The Wrap)
Disney’s updated take on “The Lone Ranger,” starring a Johnny Depp as Tonto and Armie Hammer as the masked Western hero, couldn’t keep pace. The film’s three-day total heading into the weekend was an estimated $30 million at an average of $10 million per day. At that pace the movie stands to earn less than half of Universal Pictures’ “Despicable Me 2” by the time its opening weekend ends. (LA Times)
Disney estimates “The Lone Ranger” will sell $45 million for the Wednesday through Sunday July Fourth holiday weekend, below industry experts’ initial forecasts of $60 million to $70 million over the five days. “If it does end up grossing less than $50 million over the five-day stretch, it will most certainly go down as a misfire,” said Jeff Bock, senior box office analyst for Exhibitor Relations, which tracks movie box office prospects. (Daily Freeman)
Those little yellow minions can’t be stopped! Despicable Me 2 easily won the box office race on Wednesday with $34.3 million ($4.7 million of which came from Tuesday night showings beginning at 7 p.m.), putting it on pace for a remarkable $140 million five-day debut. The $76 million film, produced by Illumination Entertainment and distributed by Universal, will easily notch one of the best opening weekends of 2013. And with an enthusiastic “A-” CinemaScore, the film is on track to quickly surpass The Croods and Monsters University to become the biggest animated hit of 2013. (Entertainment Weekly)
Disney’s ultra-expensive western The Lone Ranger stumbled out of the gate on Wednesday, wrangling a terrible $9.7 million, which puts it on pace for a five-day debut in the $45-50 million range. The film, which stars Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer, cost at least $225 million to produce and could cause a major financial blow to the studio since westerns rarely play well outside of the United States. (Entertainment Weekly)
Universal has the upper hand on Disney this weekend…