Big bangs and big bucks make producer Bruckheimer the biggest in Hollywood

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The Independent Culture

The film and television producer Jerry Bruckheimer, renowned for his love of big budgets, big explosions and big concepts untroubled by ambiguity or nuance, has been named the most powerful industry player in Hollywood.

Bruckheimer tops a list published today by the magazine Entertainment Weekly, thanks to a torrent of recent hits from his production company, includingPirates of the Caribbean andBad Boys II.

On television, he was behind the popular crime show CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and its spin-off CSI: Miami. Much anticipation is also surrounding two upcoming shows: Cold Case, about unsolved crimes that get a second look, and Skin, a melodrama set in the Los Angeles porn industry.

"The man is no longer just a canny packager of talent and content with a fat back-end," according to Entertainment Weekly. "Bruckheimer has become a brand."

Entertainment Weekly's remaining top 10 were: the director Steven Spielberg; the actor-producer Tom Hanks; the production company pairing of producer Brian Grazer and director Ron Howard; the chatsow host Oprah Winfrey; Peter Jackson, director of the Lord of the Rings trilogy; the author J K Rowling, of Harry Potter fame; the rap star Eminem; and the film stars Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman.

Bruckheimer, who is 58, is famous for inventing the "high concept" movie: one whose basic idea could be expressed in 25. He scored early successes withBeverly Hills Cop, Top Gun and Days of Thunder. More recent titles have included The Rock, Con Air, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor and Black Hawk Down. Although often denounced as loud and vacuous, his films have rarely failed at the box office.

"We are in the transport business," he once said. "We transport audiences from one place to another."

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