The Bruckheimer deal with DIS started in the early 90s, and led to such collaborations as National Treasure, Pearl Harbor, and the Pirates of the Carribean franchise.
Of course, Disney stock also suffered thanks to the biggest flop of the year, The Lone Ranger, which only took in $90 million domestically despite a budget of more than twice that.
So is the end of the Bruckheimer deal a good thing or a bad thing for Disney stock?
Well, in the end, it’s probably not a big deal either way for DIS.
Disney Stock Doesn’t Rely on Any One Producer
Let’s clarify what’s happening — Disney and Bruckheimer aren’t angrily parting ways … they’ve just decided to see other people. This doesn’t preclude Bruckheimer from working on projects with Disney, it simply means that the company won’t get first pick of the producer’s projects.
Bruckheimer, for one, is probably eager to work with other studios that would allow him to delve into darker material than what he’s produced for Disney.
Early in his career, Bruckheimer was a producer for the adaptation of the Raymond Chandler classic, Farewell, My Lovely, before moving on to iconic 80s films like Flashdance, Top Gun, and Beverly Hills Cop.
Ultimately, the end of the deal won’t hurt Disney stock. DIS is a big, diversified business, with plenty of ways to pull in revenues beyond its filmed entertainment division.
Even if the end of the Bruckheimer deal meant the end of the Pirates franchise (which is very unlikely), Disney still has plenty of established properties, including Marvel’s superhero universe, and a small sci-fi franchise called Star Wars, which has a new film slated for 2015.
At the same time, it’s not clear that Disney stock will benefit outright. Sure, Bruckheimer was involved in 2013’s biggest flop, but The Lone Ranger’s failure can hardly be blamed on him alone (unless he’s the one who approved the $215 million budget). But having first pick of Bruckheimer’s projects was a nice perk for Disney.
The producer is sure to oversee a few films for other studios, but given his history with Disney, he’ll surely bring some projects back to the company, as well. Until then, a sequel to National Treasure 2 is already in pre-production.
As of this writing, Adam Benjamin did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.