Walt Disney Co. and producer Jerry Bruckheimer will not renew their first-look deal when it expires in 2014, ending a relationship that resulted in 27 movies and lasted more than 20 years.
Bruckheimer, whose summer tentpole “The Lone Ranger” was a costly disappointment, “is looking to produce more mature films outside the scope of the Disney brand,” Burbank-based Disney said in a statement late Thursday.
Before “Lone Ranger,” Bruckheimer teamed with Disney on the “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “National Treasure” film franchises.
“The good news is we will continue working together on ‘Pirates of the Caribbean,’ ‘National Treasure’ and other projects we have developed together at the studio,” he said in a statement.
The four “Pirates of the Caribbean” films have grossed about $3.73 billion worldwide.
Disney said this month that the fifth film in the Johnny Depp-starring “Pirates” franchise would not be released as planned on July 10, 2015.
People with knowledge of the matter have said the delay was in part due to the project’s incomplete script and the studio’s crowded 2015 slate, which includes a “Cinderella” reboot, “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” and animated movie “Inside Out.”
Production of the “Pirates” picture was supposed to have begun early next year.
“We will continue to work together in the future, and we look forward to seeing more of the films that have made Jerry Bruckheimer a Hollywood legend,” Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn said in a statement.
The Sept. 10 announcement of the “Pirates” delay led to entertainment industry chatter over the fate of Bruckheimer’s ongoing business relationship with Disney. It came only a few months after “Lone Ranger” disappointed at the box office, grossing $89 million in the U.S. and Canada and $156 million overseas.
The movie, released domestically July 3, had a production budget of at least $225 million and cost tens of millions of dollars more to market.
Discussing the company’s fiscal third-quarter results, Disney Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo said on a conference call with analysts in August that the company expects to lose $160 million to $190 million on “The Lone Ranger.”