"They try to get as broad interest as possible in any of these big, expensive tentpoles," said Disney analyst Harold Vogel, president of Vogel Capital Management.

The project, years in the planning, made headlines in August 2011 when it was halted because of concerns about its budget, originally reported to be in the range of $250 million.

PHOTOS: Hollywood backlot moments

The budget was pared to an estimated $225 million and production resumed in February 2012, although multiple reports have said that costs again crept up toward $250 million.

Key to film's prospective profitability will be how it fares in important foreign territories such as China, now the second-largest movie market in the world. This weekend, the film is premiering in Italy, Russia, Australia and South Korea and will debut elsewhere over the next several months.

A Disney spokesman confirmed that "The Lone Ranger" would be shown in China, but said a release date has not be set.

Bailey acknowledged that some foreign territories are not so familiar with the western genre.

"But this isn't a western in a traditional sense," he said. "These guys set out to re-imagine the genre."

Besides, Bailey noted, there's also Depp's international star power. His last seagoing venture, 2011's "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," took in $803 million of its $1.04-billion global gross outside the domestic market.

REVIEW: Not even Johnny Depp can save 'The Lone Ranger'

Disney was able to trim the budget on "The Lone Ranger" by cutting back on expensive action sequences, and after Depp, Bruckheimer and Verbinski and others cut their fees, according to several reports.

The studio is betting that the trio can once again deliver, replicating their "Pirates" success.

"'Pirates' was always talked about as a target for this movie," Bailey said. "That was a movie that people didn't anticipate — pirate movies were not really out there. Now it would be really difficult for one of our competitors to do a tentpole pirate movie. That is something we talked about."