‘Blockbuster’ Jerry Bruckheimer splits with Disney as power pairing fades

Hollywood studio to cut its losses after ‘The Lone Ranger’ proves costly

It was a partnership which generated blockbusters grossing $10 billion and redefined the high-octane action movie. But now Disney has parted company with Jerry Bruckheimer after the failure of The Lone Ranger forced the "Mouse House" to cut its losses.

Walt Disney Studios and Bruckheimer, the producer behind blockbusters including Top Gun, The Rock and Pirates of the Caribbean, announced that they will not renew their "first-look" deal when it expires next year.

The divorce ends a partnership which began in the early 90s and has delivered high "high-concept", pulse-racing hits including Armageddon, Enemy of the State, Pearl Harbor and Con Air.

The 27 films Bruckheimer, 69, produced for Disney took more than $10 billion at the global box office, with the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise alone accounting for $3.7 billion.

However Bruckheimer's star had fallen within Disney and the failure of The Lone Ranger, this Summer’s flop Western revival starring Johnny Depp, appears to have prompted a parting of the ways.

Disney halted production on the $225 million film to reduce its costs and has been left with $190 million of losses after it finally opened to negative reviews in July.

Bruckheimer failed to deliver "tentpole" films in recent years, following the relative worldwide box office failure of expensive productions such as The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and G-Force.

Disney said it will focus on producing branded franchise films from Pixar, superhero stable Marvel and its latest acquisition, Lucasfilm, with a seventh Star Wars film due to launch in 2015.

The entertainment giant wants a conveyor belt of live action and animation franchise hits which can be converted into television, theme park and consumer product spin-offs.

Bruckheimer, famed for delivering explosive thrills, often at the expense of subtlety and characterisation, is looking to produce a slate of "more mature" films outside of Disney.

Stalled projects with the studio include Apaches, a book adaptation about renegade police in New York City who take the law into their own hands.

Disney and Bruckheimer will continue working together on various projects including the fifth instalment of Pirates of the Caribbean, delayed because of budget concerns and script issues, as well as a third film in the National Treasure series.

Bruckheimer, who earned $80 million last year according to Forbes, and also produced the CSI television franchise, is developing a Top Gun sequel with Paramount and is expected to oversee a fourth Beverly Hills Cop film.

Bruckheimer said he was "very appreciative of the wonderful collaboration and support I have had at the Walt Disney Company for over twenty years" and said they would continue to work together on future projects including Pirates of the Caribbean. The producer said he looked forward to "returning to films like Black Hawk Down, Enemy of the State, Beverly Hills Cop and The Rock."

Alan Horn, chairman of Disney Studios, hailed "an incredibly successful collaboration over the past two decades". He admitted: "The Lone Ranger certainly didn't help things, but we all have our wins and our losses, and this is an overall thing related to the company's supply of projects from all these other places. This is about a long-term relationship with lots of pluses and minuses."

Bruckheimer said of the reception which greeted The Lone Ranger. "You learn more from your failures than you do your successes. The audience tells you what works and what doesn't. If there are things in movies we think we could have done better, you hope to imprint that on the next movie."

Bruckheimer box office hits…

Top Gun, 1986

Budget $15m

Box office $357m

Thrilling aerial sequences fuel testosterone-packed, bombastic Tom Cruise vehicle, which sets the template for Bruckheimer’s thunderous action blockbusters.

Armageddon, 1998

Budget $140m

Box office $554m

Bruce Willis versus a gigantic asteroid. “An assault on the eyes, ears, brain and common sense,” says critic Roger Ebert.

Con Air, 1997

Budget $75m

Box office $224m

Nicolas Cage in plane hijack – described  as “pure action-thriller pornography” that delivers at the  box office.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, 2006

Budget $225m

Box office $1.07bn

Depp sequel ensured Pirates became the first franchise to produce a $1bn-grossing movie. The series has grossed $3.72bn worldwide.

... and misses

The Lone Ranger, 2013 

Budget $250m

Box office $245m

Bruckheimer blamed the critics. Disney described box office return as ‘very disappointing’.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, 2010

Budget $150m

Box office $215m

Fantasy adventure that Disney hoped would launch a franchise.

Kangaroo Jack, 2003

Budget $60m

Box office $89m

Even the presence of Christopher Walken failed to lift this preposterous comedy film about mob bosses who run into a flatulent kangaroo in the Australian outback.

Arts and Entertainment

Theatre

Arts and Entertainment
V&A museum in London

Art Piece taken off website amid 'severe security alert'

Arts and Entertainment
Over their 20 years, the band has built a community of dedicated followers the world over
music
Arts and Entertainment
The Wu-Tang Clan will sell only one copy of their album Once Upon A Time In Shaolin
musicWu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own only copies of their latest albums
Arts and Entertainment
Bradley Cooper, Alessandro Nivola and Patricia Clarkson on stage

film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Reese Witherspoon starring in 'Wild'

It's hard not to warm to Reese Witherspoon's heroismfilm
Arts and Entertainment
Word up: Robbie Coltrane as dictionary guru Doctor Johnson in the classic sitcom Blackadder the Third
books

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
The Oscar nominations are due to be announced today

Oscars 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Hacked off: Maisie Williams in ‘Cyberbully’

Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challenge

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything and Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game are both nominated at the Bafta Film Awards
Arts and Entertainment

Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated

Arts and Entertainment
Damian Lewis shooting a scene as Henry VIII in Wolf Hall
TV

Arts and Entertainment
A history of violence: ‘Angry, White and Proud’ looked at the rise of far-right groups

tv

An expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle

Arts and Entertainment

art

Lee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist

Arts and Entertainment

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Michael Keaton in the 1998 Beetlejuice original

film

Arts and Entertainment

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman and David Tennant star in 'Broadchurch'

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Michael Kitchen plays Christopher Foyle in ITV's 'Foyle's War'

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Downton Abbey star Joanne Froggatt will be starring in Dominic Savage's new BBC drama The Secrets

Arts and Entertainment
Vividly drawn: Timothy Spall in Mike Leigh’s ‘Mr Turner’
film
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
News
art

‘Remember the attackers are a cold-blooded, crazy minority’, says Blek le Rat

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
    Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

    Growing mussels

    Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
    Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

    Diana Krall interview

    The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
    Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

    Pinstriped for action

    A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
    Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

    Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

    'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

    Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

    Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
    Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us