Disney has announced an end to its first-look deal with producer Jerry Bruckheimer in 2014, according to a report by The Hollywood Reporter.
The announcement was made in an email sent out Thursday night:
The Walt Disney Studios and Jerry Bruckheimer have decided not to renew their first-look deal when it expires next year. Disney will continue to focus on its branded properties including Disney, Pixar, Marvel and now Lucasfilm, while Bruckheimer is looking to produce more mature films outside the scope of the Disney brand. Disney and Bruckheimer will continue working together on various projects, including the fifth installment of Pirates of the Caribbean.
Bruckheimer said the decision has to do with the types of movies he'd like to make, and is not because of the disappointing box-office returns of The Lone Ranger. "It's time for us to tackle all kinds of movies, not just Disney movies. We're still working on Pirates and hopefully National Treasure, and we still have development at Disney.”
The move follows months of speculation about Bruckheimer's future at the studio following disappointing box office returns for The Lone Ranger. That film, which cost $250 million to make, brought in less than $50 million during its opening weekend, and has made only $89 million at the domestic box office. During a conference call with analysts last month, Disney said it expects to take a loss of $160 million to $190 million due to The Lone Range r, including a roughly $86 million impairment charge.
Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn reportedly said the move is more about Disney's supply of projects than The Lone Ranger.
"This is about a long-term relationship with lots of pluses and minuses. 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," Horn reportedly said.
Earlier this month, Disney announced that it had delayed its Bruckheimer-produced Pirates of the Caribbean 5 beyond its planned summer 2015 release date over script issues. Bruckheimer reportedly said at the time the potential price tag was also a factor.
Head over to THR to read the full announcement.