Utah economy loses out on 'Lone Ranger's' failure
Published: July 10, 2013 10:12AM
Updated: July 8, 2013 03:34PM
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Courtesy photo Utah's Monument Valley got a featured role in "The Lone Ranger."

It's a good thing, according to Utah Film Commission director Marshall Moore, that Hollywood doesn't blame the location when a movie bombs.

The Fourth of July weekend numbers for “The Lone Ranger” were beyond disappointing. The action Western took in only $48.9 million in five days, which led to predictions (according to The Hollywood Reporter) of an ultimate box-office take of $125 million domestically and another $150 million internationally.

That's $275 million brought in for a movie that cost an estimated $250 million to make and another $175 million to market.

The Hollywood Reporter's analysis predicted that Disney may have to take a $150 million write-down on the flop – though the success of its other summer tentpoles, “Iron Man 3” and “Monsters University,” could soften the blow.

It's the second time in as many years that Disney has dealt with a high-profile failure. Last year, it was the Mars adventure “John Carter,” which led to a $200 million write-down for the studio.

“The Lone Ranger” and “John Carter” have something else in common: Both movies were shot partially in the red-rock country of southern Utah.

Hollywood isn't going to consider Utah a jinx because a movie shot here bombed, Moore told The Cricket in an interview before “The Lone Ranger” was released.

Where the state will be hurt economically, Moore said, is that both “John Carter” and “The Lone Ranger” were franchises that would have spawned sequels if the first movies had been successful. Now those sequels, which likely would have shot in Utah and pumped millions into the state's economy, will never be made.