Has Jerry Bruckheimer lost his magic?

Guy Adams

bruck1 300x210 Has Jerry Bruckheimer lost his magic?

This weekend’s box-office charts will make ugly reading for Disney, whose ambitious $150m kids flick The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, starring Nicolas Cage, opened to a raspberry of public disinterest and global returns of just $32m. But they will make even uglier reading for Jerry Bruckheimer, the superstar producer behind the ill-fated project.

For years, Bruckheimer, left, has been Hollywood’s go-to guy for big-budget, effects-heavy popcorn flicks which (for all their lack of depth) exert a spooky pull on the affections of the cinema-going public. Pirates of the Caribbean was his franchise; he made Top Gun, Days of Thunder, and a string of Tom Cruise’s early action movies; he even masterminded the Beverly Hills Cop films.

Now, though, the man can’t buy a hit. This weekend’s debacle means he’s now given Disney, who have him on a hugely expensive retainer, four straight stinkers: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Prince of Persia, G-Force and Confessions of a Shopaholic. His last hit was Pirates of the Caribbean 3, in 2007.

Some will of now argue that he’s simply lost his touch – what, after all, would possess anyone to hire Nicolas Cage to star in a summer family movie? – while others might contend that the trend in public taste has temporarily swung away from the Bruckheimer brand of sequel-prone Hollywood schlock.

What’s really worrying, though (if you buy the latter explanation) is the fact that Bruckheimer’s one recent attempt to widen his palate, the unfortunately-timed chick-flick Confessions of a Shopaholic – made during the boom, released in the depths of recession last year – was the biggest disaster of the lot.

All of which means that if he wants Disney to continue writing those bottomless cheques, an awful lot is now riding on Pirates of the Carribbean 4, due out next summer.

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  • chee

    Good riddance. Never liked that guy’s productions.

  • Natalie

    Jerry Bruckheimer has not lost his magic touch. I just saw Sorcerer’s Apprentice and loved it. Great combination of action, CGI, and humor. Bruckheimer will also do sequel to National Treasure and do another Pirates of the Caribbean. He does great summer movies. I continue to watch his movies because I do get great entertainment value for my dollars.

  • danlee1001

    Nick Cage in a successful family blockbluster – see the National Treasure series (a winter release).

    Anything’s a comedown after the Pirates franchise, in terms of money anyway. Prince of Persia seems to have done reasonably well – but perhaps the Bruckheimer name raises expectations.

    The Sorcerer’s Apprentice looks bloody awful though.

  • whiteoak

    Widen his palate? You mean a bigger mouth?
    Better he widens his palette.

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