As Dwight Schrute reminded viewers in the classic “The Fire” episode of “The Office,” there was no “Bonto” to go along with Tonto and The Lone Ranger. But perhaps their should have been, as the actual duo could not lead the film to a strong box office debut.
Having earned just shy of $10 million on Wednesday and Thursday and $10.7 million on Friday, “The Lone Ranger” can claim a domestic cume of only $30.2 million. Unlikely to earn even $50 million by the end of Sunday, “Ranger” represents a major disappointment and will even fall short of Disney’s late, conservative estimates, which Deadline.com lists at $65 million.
Making matters worse is the extent to which animated “Despicable Me 2″ is dominating the holiday weekend box office. The buzzworthy sequel added $30.2 million to its haul Friday, which makes for a total of $89 million in receipts since Wednesday’s release. Almost certain to pass $140 million over its five-day debut period–and thus likely to earn at least $80 million from Friday through Sunday–“Despicable Me 2″ is significantly outperforming its well-received 2010 predecessor.
With $8.6 million in Friday, “The Heat” claimed third place, besting “Monsters University.” With $7.2 million in Friday receipts, however, the latter earned enough to move past the $200 million domestic mark.
“World War Z” was in fifth with $6.3 million.