Jerry Bruckheimer poses for pictures at the UK premiere of "The Lone Ranger." (Andrew Cowie / AFP/Getty Images)
Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer to end longtime partnership.
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 more than 20 years with tremendous profits for Disney, and one notable flop.
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."
Pixar is delaying "The Good Dinosaur." (Walt Disney Co.)
By Joe Flint and others
After the coffee. Before figuring out if I need a new hairstyle.
The Skinny: While I'm not a fan of Thursday night football, I do want to see the Chiefs-Eagles game because former Eagles coach Andy Reid now coaches the Chiefs. Should be good drama. Speaking of drama, today's stories include Deadline editor Nikki Finke's ongoing fight with her owner Jay Penske. Also, reality producer Mark Burnett looks to conquer new genres.
Showtime was a big winner in the fight between Floyd Mayweather, left, and Saul "Canelo" Alvarez. (Eric Jamison / Associated Press)
Mayweather-Alvarez fight brings in $150 million in PPV buys.
The Floyd Mayweather-Saul "Canelo" Alvarez championship fight was a knock-out for Showtime.
The fight, which Mayweather won by decision, took in almost $150 million in pay-per-view revenue. That tops the $136 million that Mayweather's 2007 defeat of Oscar De La Hoyamade.
Showtime said early estimates from pay-TV distributors show that 2.2 million bought the fight. However, that number could grow and perhaps challenge the 2.48 million pay-per-view buys for Mayweather-De La Hoya. Showtime is a unit of CBS.
The fight will be rerun on Showtime starting Saturday.
Syosset's Ralph Catapano, left, addresses the town board Tuesday about the helicopter that flies over his home regularly. (Photo credit: Joe Dowd.)
Daily Dose: A helicopter owned by Long Island-based Cablevision Systems Corp. is causing headaches for a Syosset resident who made his complaints public at a meeting of town leaders. Cablevision is based in nearby Woodbury. Ralph Catapano said he has reached out to Cablevision to try to talk about the situation but gets no response. If he's a subscriber, maybe he should threaten to drop Cablevision in favor of DirecTV or Dish. More on this amusing tale from the Oyster Bay Patch.
Bob Peterson was the voice of Roz in "Monsters, Inc." (Disney/Pixar / August 31, 2013)
Dinosaur delay. Pixar has pushed the release of "The Good Dinosaur" from next May to November of 2015. This is the latest sign that all is not well with the movie about dinosaurs and humans living together. This summer, director Bob Peterson was removed from the movie and Pixar still hasn't named a successor. The move means there will be no Pixar release in 2014. But, as Pixar President Ed Catmull told the Los Angeles Times, people will forgive that quicker than they will a subpar movie.
JOHNNY CARSON BIO MINI-SERIES -- Working Title -- Pictured: Johnny Carson -- (Photo by: NBC) (NBC / NBC)
NBC developing miniseries about late night icon Johnny Carson.
NBC is developing a miniseries about Johnny Carson, who hosted the network's "Tonight Show" for three decades.
The miniseries will be based on Bill Zehme's upcoming biography "Carson the Magnificent: An Intimate Portrait." NBC has not cast anyone to play Carson yet.
Zehme, who wrote a well-regarded profile of Carson for Esquire in 2002 and consulted on the American Masters documentary "Johnny Carson: King of Late Night," will be the executive producer for the NBC program.
On television, Carson was smooth as silk. Behind the scenes, it was a different story as Carson was married four times and had a complex relationship with the network he called home for 30 years.
Carson died in 2005.
This is the second big miniseries of a well-known figure NBC has in the works. This summer, it unveiled plans for a Hillary Clinton miniseries starring Diane Lane as the former first lady. However, it remains to be seen whether that project will see the light of day.
Remember us? Much of the focus on this Sunday's Emmy Awards has been whether the Netflixseries "House of Cards" will score big wins. But heading into the show, it is once again HBO that has the most nominations, and it is still a huge cash cow for parent company Time Warner. Reuters takes a look at HBO's efforts to keep growing in a more competitive media landscape.
The Man Who Made Nintendo King, RIP
Donkey Kong, Super Mario Brothers, Legend of Zelda: For Hiroshi Yamauchi, the hits kept coming — but he enjoyed none of them.
"I have better things to do" than play video games, he told interviewers.
Yamauchi, a gruff and uncompromising businessman who autocratically transformed Nintendo from a purveyor of playing cards to a gaming gargantuan, died in Japan on Thursday of pneumonia, his company said. He was 85.
He ran the company for 52 years, until his retirement in 2002.
Yamauchi also was an owner of the Seattle Mariners, a baseball team that was on the verge of leaving for Florida when he offered $75 million for a majority share in 1992.
He never saw his team play.
"Let me put it this way," he told the New York Times after his purchase. "Baseball, well, baseball has never really interested me."
Intense yet detached, Yamauchi built Nintendo into a company that at one time took in more revenue than any other in Japan. In the U.S., at least one in three homes had a Nintendo device. In 1990, the Q scores used by marketers indicated that more American children recognized Super Mario than Mickey Mouse.
"His contributions were inestimable," Scott Steinberg, an expert on the industry, told The Times on Thursday. "He impacted millions of individuals — entire generations who grew up with joysticks, controllers and gamepads in hand."
Steinberg called him "fiercely practical" but Yamauchi's critics called him unethical. In 1991, Nintendo settled a price-fixing case brought by U.S. agencies. In 2002, the European Commission levied a $147-million fine for the same kind of anti-competitive behavior.
At Nintendo's Kyoto headquarters, Yamauchi pitted employees against one another and was said to be merciless with the losers.
"Months of work were disposed of with a scowl," a designer told David Sheff, author of a 1994 Nintendo history called "Game Over."
Since Yamauchi's retirement, the company has struggled. Over the last four years, sales dropped by 64%. Early results from its new Wii U console have not been encouraging, company officials have acknowledged.
Born on Nov.7, 1927, in Kyoto, Yamauchi grew up in a privileged but unhappy household. His father abandoned the family when Yamauchi was 4. When he returned years later, ill and eager to reconcile, Yamauchi would not see him.
"The man had brought shame and dishonor to the family and was to be avoided," Sheff wrote.
When Yamauchi's dying grandfather asked him to take over the family company, he did. But first he demanded that his cousin be fired. Later, he fired all the managers who had worked for his grandfather over the years.
When the playing card market sagged, Yamauchi poured himself into out-of-the-box enterprises: Selling instant rice, opening "love hotels" where rooms rented by the hour, even marketing the Love Tester — a gizmo purporting to measure electric current generated by a couple holding hands.
He broke into the video game business as other companies headed for the exits. Although he said he didn't understand the games, he had a feel for what millions of customers would want, down to the fine points of game systems like the console that came to be known as Famicom, or the Nintendo Entertainment System.
"Steve Jobs' obsession to design the perfect mouse for the original Macintosh was no greater than Yamauchi's attention to the details of the controllers," Sheff wrote. "Should there be one or two or more buttons? Should the system's casing have round or square edges?"
In the U.S., Yamauchi had his son-in-law run the company's Seattle headquarters. When the Mariners foundered, Yamauchi saw a public relations opportunity in a country that spent more than $17 billion on Nintendo products.
Former Sen. Slade Gorton (R-Wash.), recruited him. In a statement to the Associated Press on Thursday, Gorton credited Yamauchi with keeping the team in Seattle, calling the purchase "simply a civic gesture."
It was initially opposed by Major League Baseball, which was skittish about foreign ownership.
In Japan, Yamauchi did not engage in civic activities.
"I think I'm involved in community service sufficiently," he told the New York Times in 1992. "I'm the biggest individual taxpayer in Kyoto and Nintendo is the largest taxpayer overall."
Yamauchi is survived by two daughters and a son. His wife, Michiko, died last year.
Jay Penske. (Michael Kovac / WireImage / September 18, 2013)
Broken news. Deadline Hollywood founder and editor Nikki Finke is turning up the volume in her fight with owner Jay Penske. Finke has been at odds with Penske since his Penske Media Corp. bought Variety and opted not to give her a role in running it. Now Finke thinks Variety is getting preferential treatment from Penske and wants to buy Deadline Hollywood back or be cut loose from her contract to start another site. So far, Penske has shown little interest in granting Finke -- who has reduced her presence on the site as of late -- her wishes. The latest on the Hollywood drama from the New York Times and Los Angeles Times. The New York Times says the site has become "bland" since Finke lowered her profile, which I'm sure made the rest of the staff there feel real good.
David Becker/Getty Images
Hopping mad. The broadcast networks were dealt another blow in their legal fight against satellite company Dish Network and its AutoHop, a device that makes it easier to skip commercials while watching television. A New York federal judge denied ABC's request for a preliminary injunction against Dish. Last year, Fox's request was denied by a California federal judge. More on the legal battle over the AutoHop from the Wall Street Journal and Hollywood Reporter.
Writing a new script. Producer Mark Burnett, who rose to fame with the reality hit "Survivor" in 2000 and made the transition to scripted fare with the miniseries "The Bible," now wants to add sitcoms and dramas to his impressive resume. Variety chats up Burnett on his goals and looks back at his unusual rise to the top of the television industry.
James Gandolfini and Julia Louis-Dreyfus star in "Enough Said." (Lacey Terrell / Fox Searchlight / September 18, 2013)
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Kenneth Turan on "Enough Said," which stars the late James Gandolfini and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
Follow me on Twitter. It'll keep you honest. @JBFlint.