And point three: The studio has had a great year, with three of the year's biggest films, including "Iron Man 3," which broke records, grossing $1.2 billion worldwide. "Oz the Great and Powerful" broke records with its March debut and has grossed nearly half a billion. And it's been a strong summer so far with Pixar's "Monsters University," which opened just two and a half weeks ago, already grossing $400 million worldwide.
Still, "The Lone Ranger" disappointment will sting Disney: it certainly does not seem to be launching another franchise. And Wall Street analysts expect to take a loss on the film. Lazard Capital's Barton Crockett projects the studio will write off as much as $190 million on the film, nearly $80 million more than he'd previously projected the studio would lose.
Crockett projects the additional loss adds up to earnings of 3 cents less per share for the quarter that ends in September. Crockett writes "Many investors had been skeptical about Disney's 'The Lone Ranger' reboot. They were right." And even Crockett rates Disney a "buy."
The comparison is "John Carter," which performed worse out of the gate than "Lone Ranger." That film cost about $250 million and the studio ended up taking a $200 million write-down on it two years ago.
The big question now: what happens when "Lone Ranger" opens in the remainder of the 70 percent of international territories where it hasn't opened yet. Westerns tend to perform poorly overseas, and "The Lone Ranger" hasn't proven an exception.
A Disney studio spokesperson acknowledged that "initial opening performance in the U.S. and overseas was softer than expected," but said it was really too soon to make any announcements about write-downs.