‘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
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Tony breaks into Ian Garrett's yacht and makes a shocking discovery
TVReview: Revelations continue to make this drama a tough watch
Arts and Entertainment

books
Arts and Entertainment
The party's over: Paul Higgins and Stella Gonet in 'Hope' at the Royal Court

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special

Broadcaster unveils Christmas schedule

TV
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Look out: Broad shoulders take Idris Elba’s DCI John Luther a long way
tvIdris Elba will appear in two special episodes for the BBC next year
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift is dominating album and singles charts worldwide

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

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Kieron Richardson plays gay character Ste Hay in Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Midge Ure and Sir Bob Geldof outside the Notting Hill recording studios for Band Aid 30

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
tvThe two new contestants will join the 'I'm A Celebrity' camp after Gemma Collins' surprise exit
News
The late Jimmy Ruffin, pictured in 1974
people
News
Northern Uproar, pictured in 1996
people

Jeff Fletcher found fame in 1990s

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the new Paddington bear review

Review: Paddingtonfilm
Arts and Entertainment
Tony stares at the 'Daddy Big Ears' drawing his abducted son Oliver drew for him in The Missing
tvReview: But we're no closer to the truth in 'The Missing'
Arts and Entertainment
Henry Marsh said he was rather 'pleased' at the nomination
booksHenry Marsh's 'Do No Harm' takes doctors off their pedestal
Arts and Entertainment
All in a day's work: the players in the forthcoming 'Posh People: Inside Tatler'

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne plays Stephen Hawking in new biopic The Imitation Game

'At times I thought he was me'

film
Arts and Entertainment

books
Arts and Entertainment
One Direction go Fourth: The boys pose on the cover of their new album Four

Review: One Direction, Four

music
Arts and Entertainment
'Game of Thrones' writer George RR Martin

Review: The World of Ice and Fire

books
Arts and Entertainment
Sean Bean will play 'extraordinary hero' Inspector John Marlott in The Frankenstein Chronicles
tvHow long before he gets killed off?
Arts and Entertainment
Some like it hot: Blaise Bellville

music
Arts and Entertainment
A costume worn by model Kate Moss for the 2013 photograph

art
Arts and Entertainment

music
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.

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
    Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

    Putin’s far-right ambition

    Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
    Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

    Escape to Moominland

    What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
    Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

    24-Hour party person

    Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
    Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

    A taste for rebellion

    US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
    Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

    Colouring books for adults

    How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
    Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

    What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

    Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
    Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

    Call me Ed Mozart

    Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
    10 best stocking fillers for foodies

    Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

    From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
    Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

    Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

    Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
    'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

    'I am a paedophile'

    Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
    How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

    How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

    Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
    Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

    From a lost deposit to victory

    Green Party on the march in Bristol
    Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

    Winter blunderlands

    Putting the grot into grotto
    'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

    'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

    London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital