The box office failure of Disney’s The Lone Ranger looks like it will have ramifications for the studio’s upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean 5. While Kon-Tiki helmers Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg have already been tapped to direct the next Pirates film and production is poised to begin later this year, Disney is apparently making a few changes behind the scenes. As a result of the studio being forced to take a $160-$190 million writedown for The Lone Ranger, producer Jerry Bruckheimer may lose final cut on Pirates 5. Moreover, Disney is apparently looking to trim the budget on the next Jack Sparrow adventure. Hit the jump for more.
Though Disney tried its darndest to bring the budget of The Lone Ranger down before filming began, the price tag still clocked in at somewhere around $225 million. Add in a hefty Disney marketing campaign, and the Johnny Depp/Armie Hammer-fronted Western cost the Mouse House quite a bit. A month after release, the film has yet to even hit $100 million domestically, and its worldwide total currently sits at $175 million. The movie undoubtedly has problems, and Disney is taking steps to ensure that a similar situation doesn’t happen again.
The folks over at The Wrap report that Jerry Bruckheimer, who produced The Lone Ranger, may not receive final cut on the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean 5—a privilege he enjoyed on the previous four Pirates films. Moreover, the studio is looking to shave the film’s budget down from $250 million to a number closer to $200 million (sound familiar?). The Lone Ranger‘s box office is indeed unimpressive, but coupled with the disappointing box office performance of last year’s $250 million John Carter, the studio is trying to avoid pricey (and public) embarrassments becoming a trend in the near future. That being said, there’s likely nothing to worry about box office-wise for Pirates 5, as audiences turned out in droves for the lackluster On Stranger Tides. The moviegoing public loves it some Jack Sparrow and the fourth film brought in over $1 billion worldwide.
Disney is hoping that new directors Rønning and Sandberg can bring a fresh take to the Pirates franchise, and the pic will no doubt open very, very big. Moreover, the studio isn’t exactly hurting for money following its successful Marvel launch of The Avengers and Iron Man 3, and it now has years of new Star Wars films to look forward to. Nevertheless, Disney appears to be sending a message to its shareholders by somewhat penalizing Bruckheimer re: The Lone Ranger. One hopes Pirates 5 can still maintain a sense of artistic authorship, and the hiring of Rønning and Sandberg is certainly hopeful. Pirates of the Caribbean 5 opens in theaters on July 10, 2015.