Jerry Bruckheimer aka "Mr. Blockbuster" (Mania.com)

By:Jarrod Sarafin
Date: Sunday, May 27, 2007

Since the monster known as Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End hits theater screens this weekend, I thought “Why Not?” Let’s talk about him. In fact, I’m close to putting up a *Fan boy Alert* advisory along side this Star Spotlight due to the fact that internet critics everywhere are well in tune on thinking of creative insults towards Michael Bay. What strikes me as odd on that one is Jerry Bruckheimer isn’t Michael Bay. Michael Bay isn’t Jerry Bruckheimer. It’s funny how since they’ve worked together so very often, some critics seem to forget that fact.
 
With Jerry Bruckheimer, I think he deserves talking about just out of sheer “power” and “standing” inside the studio executive circles. The man has made the Power List on Entertainment Minded Power Rankings with magazines such as Forbes, Entertainment Weekly, Premiere, etc for over a decade now. He’s been in the top 10-40 of those various rankings for the last 4-5 years. There’s a reason for it. He’s been a powerhouse behind some very marketing ventures in the industry the last 25 years. Within the last decade, he’s branched off into some even more successful television hits which increased that power ranking of his.
 
Overall, by letting him get Spotlighted, I’m more interested in hearing your thoughts on the man.
 
There seems to be a faction of people which consider the whole Summer Tent pole Movie concept to be a reason why Hollywood has turned into spurning out “crap” in their minds while others seem to like the occasional popcorn shoot ‘em up for what it is, mindless entertainment. This can be a highly heated issue to discuss, hence, the fanboy alert is probably deserving.
 
The thing about Bruckheimer is he’s strictly a producer first and foremost. With nearly 4 decades of films under his belt, he has yet to direct one movie or film. He’s too busy calling the shots overseeing so many movies and television programming I doubt he’ll get that first directorial credit on his resume. That is, if he even wants to direct something in the first place. To get an idea on what films and television he’s been in charge with, here’s a list.
 
 
 
 
Seriously, just look at the list. Forgetting whether you like a lot of these movies or not on a personal level, there is little to no doubt about their success rates when looking as an analyst. Jerry and long time friend, co-producer Don Simpson, made some very wise choices when the whole Hollywood Tent pole Concept was gaining steam around the industry. This was around the time where James Cameron, Richard Donner and John McTiernan were churning out highly bankable franchises such as Terminator, Aliens, Lethal Weapons, Predator and Die Hard. Whether one fan absolutely hates the last 10 years of summer movies or not, nobody can deny the hits mentioned above by these directors.
 
Honestly, it could be backtracked to before those directors and be traced more towards Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola and some others who really started the summer movie concept with Jaws, Indiana Jones, Star Wars and other smash hit popcorn munching pop culture phenomenon.
 
Whatever the case, producers Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson, became powers in the industry in the midst of this new wave of smash hits by collaborating on Flashdance, Beverly Hills Cop, Top Gun, Days of Thunder, Bad Boys and finally The Rock. Longtime friend Don Simpson died untimely while The Rock was being filled (it would later be dedicated to him). Untimely because he died of Cardiac Arrest after they found multiple drugs in his system.
 
After his death, Jerry Bruckheimer would go it along and it was around this time where he would also venture into creating and overseeing television programming over shows which would help contribute to him getting on Power Lists lately. Here’s a list of his TV shows:
 
 
 
As you can see, the man is overseeing and in charge of some very successful television franchises. It’s the residues in syndication and programming off these shows which contribute to him being a very powerful man inside the studio scene.
 
Let’s not also forget about the bankability of his movie franchises and past movies. Here’s a box office receipt look at some of his movies:
 
Movie
Opening $
Theaters
Domestic $
Overseas $
Worldwide $
Beverly Hills Cop
15.2 mil
1,532
234.7 mil
81.6 mil
316.3 mil
Top Gun
8.1 mil
1,028
176.7 mil
177.0 mil
353.8 mil
Beverly Hills Cop 2
26.3 mil
2,326
153.6 mil
146.3 mil
299.9 mil
Days of Thunder
15.4 mil
2,307
82.6 mil
75.2 mil
157.9 mil
Bad Boys
15.5 mil
2,132
65.8 mil
75.6 mil
141.4 mil
Crimson Tide
18.6 mil
2,382
91.3 mil
66.0 mil
157.3 mil
Dangerous Minds
14.9 mil
1,348
84.9 mil
94.6 mil
179.5 mil
The Rock
25.0 mil
2,392
134.0 mil
200.9 mil
335.0 mil
Con Air
24.1 mil
2,824
101.1 mil
122.8 mil
224.0 mil
Enemy of the State
20.0 mil
2,393
111.5 mil
139.1 mil
250.6 mil
Armageddon
36.0 mil
3,127
201.5 mil
352.1 mil
553.7 mil
Gone in Sixty Seconds
25.3 mil
3,006
101.6 mil
135.5 mil
237.2 mil
Coyote Ugly
17.3 mil
2,653
60.7 mil
53.1 mil
113.9 mil
Remember the Titans
20.9 mil
1,865
115.6 mil
21.0 mil
136.7 mil
Black Hawk Down
28.6 mil
3,101
108.6 mil
64.3 mil
172.9 mil
Pearl Harbor
59.0 mil
3,214
198.5 mil
250.6 mil
449.2 mil
Bad Company
11.0 mil
2,944
30.1 mil
35.8 mil
65.9 mil
Bad Boys II
46.5 mil
3,186
138.6 mil
134.7 mil
273.3 mil
Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
46.6 mil
3,269
305.4 mil
348.5 mil
653.9 mil
King Arthur
15.1 mil
3,086
51.8 mil
151.6 mil
203.5 mil
National Treasure
35.1 mil
3,017
173.0 mil
174.4 mil
347.4 mil
Glory Road
13.5 mil
2,222
42.6 mil
$291,000
42.9 mil
Deja Vu
20.5 mil
3,108
64.0 mil
116.5 mil
180.5 mil
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
135.6 mil
4,133
423.3 mil
642.3 mil
1.065 billion
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
n/a yet
4,362
n/a yet
n/a yet
n/a yet
National Treasure: Book of Secrets
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
Prince of Persia: Sands of Time
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
 
 
Yes, there’s a reason his nickname in Hollywood is “Mr. Blockbuster”.
 
As you can, films he oversees have a habit of banking massive amounts of cash for the studios. Who knows where Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, National Treasure: Book of Secrets or Prince of Persia: Sands of Time end up on box office success but it would be a sound guess to assume they make quite a lot of money.
 
There you go, an overview of Bruckheimer…Past, Present & Future.
 
Now, it’s time to hear your thoughts on the man, his films & his television. Are you a fan of some of the popcorn fare above or do you consider Bruckheimer a thorn in your imaginative side? Let us hear your thoughts on the man.