The Morning Fix: Cutting Jerry Bruckheimer's budget! 'Dinner' for who? Spike and G4 trade trash talk
Reigning in Bruckheimer. Legendary producer Jerry Bruckheimer is known for sparing no expense, but even he isn't immune to having his bottom line scrutinized and making cuts like every other director doing a movie with Disney. In a lengthy interview with the Los Angeles Times, Bruckheimer says he is finding ways to make his next "Pirates of the Caribbean" for less, which includes more shooting on land. Don't get us wrong, Bruckheimer will still spend over $200 million on Jack Sparrow's next adventure, but he says the budget will be 30% less than the last "Pirates" movie. Bruckheimer says the audience won't know the difference. My question is since that is what every producer, director and executive says when they make cuts, what does it take for us to notice? And if we never notice, why were they blowing the money in the first place?
Spielberg switches wars. Director Steven Spielberg, who has directed and produced some of the most acclaimed World War II epics, is now looking at World War I and will direct "War Horse," a drama set in London during the Great War, according to Variety.
"Dinner" for who? The title for a new Steve Carell movie is causing some headaches. The film is called "Dinner for Schmucks." (Wait, you know what? When I wanted to use that same Yiddish word to describe a certain type of entertainment industry practice, my editor wouldn't let me use it in a story, but these guys say it is OK.) Anyway, the word technically means a certain part of the male anatomy, although it is usually used these days to describe a chump, if you will. To read more about word and its history, you can go to the New York Times. Mazel Tov.
Is there an app for that? The FTC and Justice Department are looking into requirements that Apple lays on software developers who are making applications for their products, according to the New York Post. Whether that will eventually turn into an investigation remains to be seen, but no one likes it when regulators start nosing around their hard ball practices business.
Lots of drama at NBC. But this time the drama is on screen. NBC has ordered a new J.J. Abrams drama for next season, and Variety reports that three other dramas are likely to be picked up as well. Throw in the usual assortment of "Law & Order" programs and pretty soon the network will have a pretty full schedule. Just to say it again, don't mess up "The Rockford Files."
Sirius marketing. Sirius Satellite Radio is reporting subscriber growth, but Paid Content's Staci D. Kramer thinks the company can do a better job and offers some tips to its chief executive, Mel Karmazin.
Remember in "Sixteen Candles" when the Geek tells Samantha he's king of the dorks? Actually he didn't say dorks, but I am not supposed to use that word either. Anyway, the Wrap's Joe Adalian captures a smackdown between Spike TV President Kevin Kay and G4 President Neal Tiles over who is hotter with young men. Adalian called it a smackdown, I'll call it a geekfest. To be fair to both, I rarely watch Spike TV and G4. Spike TV did put on one of the worst shows ever in "Blue Mountain State." And no, I don't hate the show because it is so crude; I listened to Howard Stern for 20 years. I hate it because it is unfunny and poorly acted. Anyway, kudos to Kay and Tiles to at least engage in a little bit of trash talk in an age when most executives are afraid to step away from corporate babble about brands, marketing and the phrase "at the end of the day."
-- Joe Flint