Americans may be getting tired of seeing Johnny Depp dress up in silly outfits. For the second time in as many years, a big-budget feature film starring Depp as a bizarrely garbed, quirky character has bombed at the box office. This time, it was “The Lone Ranger,” which was crushed by “Despicable Me 2” this weekend.
According to Box Office Mojo, “The Lone Ranger” grossed only $29.4 million in its opening weekend, which might be an acceptable sum were it not for the movie’s staggering $250 million budget. At this rate, it appears unlikely “The Lone Ranger” will pull in a comparable sum. Last year, Depp once again teamed with Tim Burton on “Dark Shadows,” a horror comedy reboot of the 1960s soap opera that nobody had clamored for. American audiences largely rejected the film, which earned only $79 million of its $150 million budget at the box office. It appears Depp’s career is in a nosedive, and it might be because people are tired of him constantly playing bizarrely garbed, quirky characters.
As indicated by Rotten Tomatoes’ Tomatometer figures, critics have plenty of issues with “The Lone Ranger,” including its bloated running time and less-than-likable leads, but its biggest problem appears to be Depp himself. Promotional materials for “The Lone Ranger” hinged on him playing Tonto, the Lone Ranger’s inscrutable Native American sidekick, but his performance seems to be one of the least-liked aspects of the film, especially given the odd racial overtones of having a white man play a Native American.
Depp has made a name for himself by playing unconventional characters ever since his role in Tim Burton’s “Edward Scissorhands,” with performance as Capt. Jack Sparrow in “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” a decade ago making him an international star and box-office draw. Now, however, it may be American audiences have simply tired of seeing Depp play dress-up onscreen. All his roles outside the “Pirates” film franchise have suffered diminishing returns at the box office, and critical opinion hasn’t been much different. It appears that if Depp really wants to be a respected star again, he might have to tone down the crazy.
Not everybody fared so badly at the box office this weekend. “Despicable Me 2” managed to take in an impressive $82.5 million. Considering the lighthearted animated comedy scored well with critics measured by Rotten Tomatoes and cost only $76 million to produce, “Despicable Me 2” looks to be a success in every sense of the word.
Also opening in theaters this week was the standup comedy film “Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain.” Hart’s standup special made its debut with $10.1 million at the domestic box office and strong reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. Recorded at New York’s Madison Square Garden last year, “Let Me Explain” is the second of Hart’s standup specials to receive a large theatrical release after 2011’s “Laugh at My Pain.”
Check out the top 10 grossing movies of the weekend, based on Box Office Mojo data:
- “Despicable Me 2” -- $82.5 million
- “The Long Ranger” -- $29.4 million
- “The Heat” -- $25.0 million
- “Monsters University” -- $19.6 million
- “World War Z” -- $18.2 million
- “White House Down” -- $13.5 million
- “Man of Steel” -- $11.5 million
- “Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain” -- $10.1 million
- “This is the End” -- $5.8 million
- “Now You See Me” -- $2.8 million
Eric Brown is an IBTimes reporter who eats far too much pizza. He is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and currently resides in Brooklyn.