The cost of marketing the flop already suppressed profits in Q3
Disney will take a write-down of $160 million to $190 million in the next fiscal quarter, the company said during its earnings call on Tuesday.
“The Lone Ranger” has grossed just $175.5 million at the global box office, a pittance for a movie that cost more than $200 million to produce – and millions more to market. Though it opened in theaters in the third quarter, its main hit to the company's bottom line will not be reported until the next quarter given recent changes in reporting standards.
The marketing costs of that film still submarined profits at the company's film studio, which reported a 36 percent decline in profits for the third quarter on Tuesday.
Disney released two massive hits in the quarter — "Iron Man 3" and "Monsters University" — but "Lone Ranger" marketing costs, and a tough comparison with last year's "Avengers" took their toll on the studio.
"The Lone Ranger's" creative brain trust – including producer Jerry Bruckheimer and star Johnny Depp – recently upbraided critics for hurting the box office performance of the film with their unfair reviews, an assertion TheWrap's Alonso Duralde swatted down earlier on Tuesday.
"Needless to say, we're disappointed with the result of 'The Lone Ranger,'" Disney CFO Jay Rasulo told analysts.