More ‘Lone Ranger’ Fallout

We’ve been discussing on a few of the past podcasts whether there would be any fallout or collateral damage resulting from the poor box office performance of “The Lone Ranger” this past Fourth of July weekend and into the summer.  Disney is expected to take a $190 million loss on the film.

In Episode 24, we mention that the date of the next installment of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise has been postponed from its July 2015 slot to perhaps a Memorial Day 2016 release.

Now, the next shoe has dropped.  Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer have announced that they are not renewing a first-look deal that saw the studio release a wide slate of films over the past two decades.  According to this article, the partnership has resulted in 27 films accounting for more than $3.7 billion in box office receipts worldwide.

Bruckheimer will still work with Disney to release future projects that have been established at the studio, including any future “Pirates” or “National Treasure” films.  The agreement will allow the producer to work on more adult-oriented/action films outside of the confines of the more family-friendly fare Disney is known for.  Disney, for its part, will focus more of its film making on franchises such as Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, etc.

What do you think?  Surprised that Bruckheimer was set free based on the performance of “The Lone Ranger”?  A smart move by Disney to refocus efforts on in-house franchises?  A change in how big, tent pole movies are financed and distributed?  Let’s hear your thoughts.

~ Matt

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About Matthew Walker

A lifelong Disney fan, Matt realized his dream of becoming "part of the magic" by working as a cast member at the Disney Store for 7 years, where he also met his wife, Kathy. He is a two-time Disney Store National Trivia Showdown finalist and has shared his knowledge and photographs on the subject in a number of print publications and websites, including StartedByAMouse.com, which he runs. Matt currently serves as the writing director at a technology-focused public relations firm. In his free time, Matt enjoys photography, walking and frequent trips to Disneyland. He lives in Burbank, California with his wife and daughter, Chelsea.

One thought on “More ‘Lone Ranger’ Fallout

  1. Personally, I don’t think it is a good move for Disney, based on Jerry Bruckheimer’s overall track record. However, in taking a look at the business side of things, I can see why they did what they did.

    I believe that this isn’t just related to The Lone Ranger, however. I think that the box office receipts (or lack of) from The Sorcerer’ Apprentice and Prince of Persia contributed to this move as well. And perhaps even the less-than-expected performance of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

    As Bruckheimer said, this frees him up a bit to make more adult-oriented movies, which are the kinds of movies that brought him to Disney’s attention in the first place, actually. But Disney is going for more of a “family” market these days than what they used to aim for, and that can be seen in the fact that they don’t have many movies from Touchstone Pictures or Hollywood Pictures any more. So it could also be argued that the types of movies that Bruckheimer wants to make just don’t fit with Disney any more.

    But really, no matter what other arguments are out there, it really all comes down to money. And right now, Marvel makes a ton of it, while Bruckhemier doesn’t.

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