Jerry Bruckheimer strikes out again with Cage flop
By Carl DiOrio
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Jerry Bruckheimer, of all people, shouldn't have to worry about maintaining a production deal. And Disney says he doesn't have to, with executives labeling the prolific filmmaker's lucrative arrangement with the studio as secure despite a recent string of theatrical misfires.
Yet whispers of a growing breach between the multibillion-dollar producer and his studio partner circulated in the aftermath of a disappointing $17.6 million first weekend for "The Sorcerer's Apprentice."
"No producer can have four flops and have there be no repercussions," one Disney insider mused.
Greenlighted by since-departed film boss Oren Aviv and studio chairman Dick Cook, "Sorcerer's Apprentice" cost at least $160 million to produce. Disney hoped it would launch a franchise akin to its four-picture "Pirates of the Caribbean" juggernaut.
The film looks likely to register just $60 million-$70 million domestically, suggesting a possible corporate write-off of up to $100 million unless the release dramatically overperforms overseas.
Its biggest problem: The presumed core audience isn't showing up. "Sorcerer's" seems unable to lure younger moviegoers, perhaps because of their preoccupation with "Despicable Me" and other recently released family films. About 55% of viewers were aged 25 or older.
Bruckheimer always will be beloved in the Magic Kingdom for producing three "Pirates" pictures that have rung up a mind-bending $2.75 billion in global boxoffice, and a 3D fourquel is set to hit theaters in May. He is now shooting "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" in Hawaii.
But the "Sorcerer's" misfire follows poor theatrical runs by May opener "The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time," the July 2009 release "G-Force" and February 2009's "Confessions of a Shopaholic." Continued...