Skip to main content

"Bruno" Sashays to Universal to the Tune of $42.5 Million

Universal has reportedly pay $42.5 million to win the heated bidding war for worldwide rights to Bruno, Sacha Baron Cohen's follow-up to Borat, which opens Friday.

According to reports, Universal's price (which could have bought the entirety of Staines, Ali G's hometown) managed to edge out competition from other interested studios including Dreamworks, Sony, Warner Bros., and 20th Century Fox, and will cover the film's estimated budget, said to be in the range of $20-25 million.

For those of you not familiar with Bruno, he's another character played by the uber-talented Sacha Baron Cohen (Da Ali G Show): a flamboyant Austrian fashionista/reporter who jet sets between the runway shows of New York (watch out, Tim Gunn), the nightclubs of Miami (that goes for you too, Uli) and, um, the American Deep South, usually annoying the hell out of anyone he meets and managing to nearly get himself killed. The film, like its predecessor Borat, will showcase the Bruno character, who was introduced on HBO and Channel 4's Da Ali G Show.

It's extremely disconcerting that Universal would pony out this kind of dosh, given that Cohen's Borat doesn't even open theatrically until this week. (Sidebar: I attended a screening of Borat last week and have to say that for the first 3/4 of the film, my face hurt from laughing so much, but in the end it does go way too far overboard and ends up collapsing on itself with a painfully extended sequence. You'll know which one I mean when you see it.)

I worry for the fate such an expensive endeavor, especially when Bruno is a feature adaptation of an even more culty TV series character than Borat that is light-years away from attaining the kind of awareness that the Kazahk reporter had. Especially since 20th Century Fox, which is distributing Borat, scaled back that very theatrical release to a mere 800 screens, due to concerns that "the movie wasn't registering high enough in awareness tracking," according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Ouch. Or, as Bruno himself might say, "Ich don't think so."

Has Universal made a shrewd investment in a future mega-hit... or overpaid for what will be a whimper instead of a bang? Only time will tell. In the mean time, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan hits theatres nationwide this Friday.

Comments

Anonymous said…
I also worry cause, for me, Bruno is by far the least funny of the SBC characters.
Me said…
Bruno is one of the three charaters Sasha plays that I really don't like, hes like a blond Borat but without the funny.
Anonymous said…
I actually enjoy Bruno more than Borat. The episode where he went to NY Fashion Week was probably the funniest thing I've ever seen on HBO.
Anonymous said…
What is more universal than ironic homophobia? Uh, sadly, the regular kind.

Did Universal learn nothing from the whole Deiter debacle? They seem really eager (42.5 million dollars eager) to get into the gay, Germanic, avant-garde comedy business.

Popular posts from this blog

What's Done is Done: The Eternal Struggle Between Good and Evil on the Season Finale of "Lost"

Every story begins with thread. It's up to the storyteller to determine just how much they need to parcel out, what pattern they're making, and when to cut it short and tie it off. With last night's penultimate season finale of Lost ("The Incident, Parts One and Two"), written by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, we began to see the pattern that Lindelof and Cuse have been designing towards the last five seasons of this serpentine series. And it was only fitting that the two-hour finale, which pushes us on the road to the final season of Lost , should begin with thread, a loom, and a tapestry. Would Jack follow through on his plan to detonate the island and therefore reset their lives aboard Oceanic Flight 815 ? Why did Locke want to kill Jacob? What caused The Incident? What was in the box and just what lies in the shadow of the statue? We got the answers to these in a two-hour season finale that didn't quite pack the same emotional wallop of previous seas

Have a Burning Question for Team Darlton, Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly, or Michael Emerson?

Lost fans: you don't have to make your way to the island via Ajira Airways in order to ask a question of the creative team or the series' stars. Televisionary is taking questions from fans to put to Lost 's executive producers/showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse and stars Matthew Fox ("Jack Shephard"), Evangeline Lilly ("Kate Austen"), and Michael Emerson ("Benjamin Linus") for a series of on-camera interviews taking place this weekend. If you have a specific question for any of the above producers or actors from Lost , please leave it in the comments section below . I'll be accepting questions until midnight PT tonight and, while I can't promise I'll be able to ask any specific inquiry due to the brevity of these on-camera interviews, I am looking for some insightful and thought-provoking questions to add to the mix. So who knows: your burning question might get asked after all.

Katie Lee Packs Her Knives: Breaking News from Bravo's "Top Chef"

The android has left the building. Or the test kitchen, anyway. Top Chef 's robotic host Katie Lee Joel, the veritable "Uptown Girl" herself (pictured at left), will NOT be sticking around for a second course of Bravo's hit culinary competition. According to a well-placed insider, Joel will "not be returning" to the show. No reason for her departure was cited. Unfortunately, the perfect replacement for Joel, Top Chef judge and professional chef Tom Colicchio, will not be taking over as the reality series' host (damn!). Instead, the show's producers are currently scouring to find a replacement for Joel. Top Chef 's second season was announced by Bravo last month, but no return date has been set for the series' ten-episode sophomore season. Stay tuned as this story develops. UPDATE (6/27): Bravo has now confirmed the above story .