Box office report: 'Pirates of the Caribbean' posts year's best opening with $90.1 mil


Image Credit: Peter Mountain

Now more than ever, the entire world knows the name of Captain Jack Sparrow. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides opened globally this weekend, and while it performed admirably in the U.S., its $256.3 million opening overseas — the largest foreign debut ever — is why Disney executives will be swigging celebratory bottles of rum tonight. Domestically, the $250 million film plundered $90.1 million, passing Fast Five‘s $86.2 million debut to secure the year’s largest opening. However, the 3-D adventure movie fell short of the last two Pirates entries; by comparison, 2006’s Dead Man’s Chest opened to $135.6 million, and 2007’s At World’s End took in $114.7 million. On Stranger Tides, the fourth title in the Pirates series, also garnered the franchise’s weakest reviews, but CinemaScore audiences handed the PG-13 film a favorable “B+” grade.

Creating its own box-office news was the R-rated comedy Bridesmaids, which fell a mere 20 percent for $21.1 million. That’s a smaller second-weekend drop than 2009’s The Hangover, and a far better hold than 2008’s Sex and the City, which plummeted 63 percent its second week. Thor, which lost many of its 3-D and IMAX screens to Pirates, didn’t fare as well. The PG-13 superhero movie declined 55 percent for $15.5 million, pushing its three-week tally to $145.4 million. In fourth place, Fast Five skidded 48 percent for $10.6 million. With $186.2 million in the vault so far, the street-racing movie will attempt to become the year’s first movie to reach $200 million domestically. In fifth, the animated avian flick Rio slipped 44 percent for $4.7 million. And right behind it was the horror action film Priest, which earned $4.6 million — a monstrous fall of 69 percent.

In limited release, Midnight in Paris — the new Woody Allen romantic comedy starring Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams — collected $579,000 from just six locations. Its estimated per-theater tally of $96,500 is the 15th best opening-weekend average on record, beating the likes of There Will Be Blood, The King’s Speech, and Black Swan.

Check back next week as two sequels, The Hangover Part II and Kung Fu Panda 2, open on Thursday for the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

1. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides — $90.1 mil
2. Bridesmaids — $21.1 mil
3. Thor — $15.5 mil
4. Fast Five — $10.6 mil
5. Rio — $4.7 mil
6. Priest — $4.6 mil

Comments (115 total) Add your comment
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  • Jenckles

    I knew that people would be tired of another ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’. At least, the people in North America. Johnny Depp should really reconsider doing another one. I haven’t seen the new one, but he looked exhausted in the new POTC trailer. As if he just doesn’t care anymore about the franchise and is only in it for the money. Depp, you’re a good actor. Don’t let this drag you down.
    Even with the 3D ticket prices, it couldn’t break the $100 million mark for the weekend. Isn’t bad, but expectations were extremely high, and it failed to meet them.

    • adam

      I don’t think expectations were extremely high. Franchises like this tend to lose steam. They knew it wasn’t going to have an opening weekend similar to the last two films. I think most people expected an opening between $80-100 million. I think $90 million is pretty great.

      • Matt1

        Make a sequel that’s better than the previous film and grosses will rise. Just look at Fast Five…

      • Kris

        Also, its worthy to note that less people are going to the movies nowadays. Factoring in the fact that we’re in a severe box office slump, 90 million isn’t half bad. I didn’t see POTC and don’t plan to but it didn’t fall on its face.

      • tony

        “Franchises like this tend to lose steam. They knew it wasn’t going to have an opening weekend similar to the last two films.”

        Tell that to Fast Five, a fourth sequel that managed to outopen and outgross every ingle previous film in the franchise.

      • Sith Lord J

        Johnny should take a couple years off and do Lone Ranger and Dark Shadows then come back.

      • adamfan

        Who goes to see this garbage?

      • @tony

        And that’s one of the very few exceptions. It helped that it was the only well-reviewed film in the series. The norm, like Adam stated, is that a 4th or 5th entry in a series most likely won’t perform as well as the 2nd or 3rd.

      • Matthew

        Plus Fast Five had the Rock!

    • LOL

      America wallows in crap once again.

      • Loch Ness

        Next weekend looks awful, too. Two more sequels? No, thanks.

      • LFMAO

        We’ll miss you guys in the theater.

      • SaM

        I LOVE ABBA

      • brett

        funny how u seem to comment on this “crap” and i guarentee you that you go see all these movies just like we do

      • LOL

        I was a bit harsh, yes, Pirates isn’t as good as Fast Five, but it’s not that bad. It just needs more hot men in it. Johnny Depp is cute and all, but I like more manly men. Oh well, America did an ok job this weekend.

      • Lol 2

        It did way better internationally. The best weekend ever internationally. The wallows in crap

    • rachel

      Pirates collected $90Millions and is the best North America opening of the year..and you say that? are you crazy?..what more do you want if every critic said bad thing about this movie?…Pirates is good and better than the last one.And the film collected $346,4 MILLIONS IN · DAYS!..what more the people wants?And it will go Go Johnny,you’re the best!

      • Ghost of Pia

        Rachel needs an English lesson.

      • A.H.

        No rachel… this was just bad. The only reason i saw it was cause i won tickets to an advance screening.

    • talkin’

      I guess you can’t read very well

    • Pirates was a rippoff

      Pirates was a rippoff. The 3D price was not worth it. There was nothing useful about the 3D.The box office is going to drop off big time next weekend.

      The North American box office keeps getting less and less. They can still keep making them because apparently they liked to be taken overseas. But that’s on them. I’ll never go to see another Pirates especially in 3D. I’ll wait for it to come on tv/HBO.

      Pirates will stand in the sun today, you still have Transformers, Kung Fu Panda, Deathly Hallows Pt2 and Breaking Dawn Pt 1 to get through this year. None of what’s made this summer may not stand by November anyway.

      • mac

        All 3D prices are rip offs. 3D is a scheme to get you to pay more for a movie that would be just as ejoyable/infuriating without a knife flying at your dome.

    • Old Blighty

      That’s funny! Your country spends all the $$$$ to make the the movies but whether your fellow Americans see it or not is becoming less & less relevant.

    • Old Blighty

      That’s Funny! Whether Americans see movies that is mostly made with American $$$$ is becoming less & less relevant.

      • Dave

        Who cares where the money comes from as long as it makes money? British musicians make far more money in the States when they hit. Big deal.

      • Grumpster

        Britain has been irrelevant since 1776. Cartoonish royal families take the cake for stupid things to follow. I’d rather see a bad Depp movie any time.

    • WASTED

      It was an awful remake of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Awful, awful awful.

    • coachbags

      You know, very popular this summer clothes? ” ww w.styshops.c om “. AF, t-shirts, as long as the $12, still not quick action.


  • Thom

    $350 million worldwide… Sigh, they’ll never stop making these movies until they’re inevitably Disney Channel original movies starring the latest tween heartthrob as Jack Sparrow Jr.

    Remember that the first movie was actually really good? I almost forgot until I caught again recently.

    Shame they’re running it into the ground. Then again, I haven’t seen the latest one so my opinion might change.

    @Jenckles – yup, from the ads, it looks like Depp’s eager for them to yell cut so he could go Skype with the kids instead or grab a drink or something.

    • Liz Lemon

      I doubt Johnny will do another one, especially after the chaos that happened before this one was filmed.

    • Shannon

      Don’t bother seeing the latest one in the theater. My husband and I wanted to get out of the house so we decided to go see it and I thought it was just as bad as the third movie. AWFUL. The best thing about this movie was the trailer for the Green Lantern.

  • Jacob

    lol. I love how, according to tools like Jenckles, $90 million is a failure.

    What a douche.

    • Jenckles

      I’d rather be a douche then a person who does not know how to read (i.e. you!).
      Please point out WHERE in my post did I say that it is a failure? If you read the last sentence of my post, which I’m guessing you didn’t, I said that $90 million isn’t bad, but expectations weren’t meant. Obviously it did not fail since it had the biggest international opening ever. My point was that the audience in North America aren’t as excited about the new POTC. If it weren’t for 3D prices (which I know does not account for all the grosses), POTC 4 would be at $65-$70 million.
      So a piece of advice, read before you comment on another poster.

      • PJ

        I’ve read your post, Jenckles, and I also think you’re a tool.

      • mike

        I think expectations were met. That’s around what analysts were thinking it was going to make. And I’m sure the producers are not complaining.

      • PhilBeeNZ

        Speaking of reading comments first… I’m sure you really meant ‘expectations weren’t MET…”

      • Tom

        I know I didn’t watch it in 3-D and I know several other people who saw it and didnt watch it in 3-D. I think more saw this movie in 2-D seeing as most were aware that the 3-D conversion was done after the movie was completed which usually doesnt translate well..

      • rachel do you want the audience in North America are excited about the new POTC with all the bad reviews of the critics?..The movie is amazing,is better than the last and I said it before…POTC 4 collected $346,4 MILLIONS in 3 DAYS! that is a record!

      • Liz

        “Please point out WHERE in my post did I say that it is a failure?”

        Ummmm…right in the last sentence where you said it FAILED to meet expectations.

      • runner36 @Tom

        Actually Rob Marshall did film this one in 3D…it’s the first large scale movie on location to be filmed using the technology. EW posted that story last year when filming was taking place.

  • adam

    It’s pretty funny how some people are trying to color this as a disappointment. News flash: On Stranger Tides just scored the 4th largest opening weekend of all time worldwide with $346.4 million. Doesn’t sound too disappointing to me.

    • dee

      I agree. it seems like a lot to me. and yes compared to the others it’s less but considering how many people go to the movies these days I think that’s a lot..

    • jodipo

      exactly! This movie is a big hit, but of course some poeple are so stuck on themselves they cannot see past their noses. Because they dont liek the franchise means it is a failure. It could have made $150 million on opening weekend and they woudl have claimed it a failure because it made less than Avatar (which was a crap movie btw. Pretty, but stupid as hell)

  • Amy Silver

    I hope this is the last ever Pirates of the Caribbean movie even though the scene after the credits was arrogantly included for yet another sequel to be made. The entire film series has been awful – bloated, overlong, overloaded, overstuffed, pretentious films about a one-note character.

    • @Amy Silver

      And yet you saw this one opening weekend?

    • rachel

      @Amy Silver…shut up and go to see some cartoon

    • Brian

      That’s like saying you hope a restaurant closes that you keep eating at despite hating the food every time.

  • Jenna Gold

    It is unfortunate that Midnight in Paris, Bloodworth and Hard Breakers are only getting a limited release and that we won’t find out how they would have done commercially if released nationwide. They have interesting casts and it would have been interesting to see how smaller films for the main cast members would do commercially.

    • Joe

      I saw this copied and pasted on a Tree of Life article…these movies will eventually see wide release so just chill while the hype builds up. Especially Midnight in Paris, which did insanely well this weekend.

    • spd

      Why do you insist on posting the same statement every week in every column? Im not sure if its because you just want to seem like you know better then everyone else for knowing about independant or Woody Allen films, but you arent. Id say most people here are film fanatics and know about theses films already, so please stop posting this. Thanks

  • Hoffman

    It would be good if Johnny Depp does more dramas and plays more straight and normal characters. However, I have already given up on him from his poor choices in roles and projects and don’t expect him to.

    • sf781

      Jenna Gold also posts the same junk on other forums under the name of Hoffman. LOOOOSER! I’m guessing about 275lbs. and homely as they get. This is the only attention they get outside of being mocked by the people around her.

      • Korey

        Sf781, that’s a little harsh for someone who digs independent films.
        Jenna, most of those movies don’t make enough money to be released wide. This is why they get released in major cities. If the movie does well in those cities, the studio will expand the film to more theaters.

  • tomm

    Depp is in late 40’s and won’t be able to pull the ‘cute guy’ act anymore.

    He’s doing these for $$$ only, far from his image as a ‘hip, non-conformist’ image.

    • rachel

      Depp is in late 40’s and he is still cute ,he is gorgeous and you think he is doing this for the money..he has lot of money,he has his own island!!

      • Zeba

        I agree, I hardly see Vin Diesel and Paul Walker holding up as well several years from now. They are just action stars (at least Dwayne Johnson has comic timing). Johnny is not. He got great reviews for Public Enemies. He’s more than just Captain Jack Sparrow.

    • Darth Vaders Mistress

      thats a stupid thing to say. What are you an ” Ageist”. Harrison Ford is still one of the most sexiest guys in Hollywood and he is 45 yrs. my senior. And pushing 70. Johnny will be the same way, he is one of the most lusted after actors on Hollywood. As is his alter ego Jack. And a true actor and person does things out of passion not attention and money.

  • tom


    • Dominic

      I’m glad someone else considers Bridesmaids worth a mention. Pirates of the What?

  • del taco

    Pirates of the Carribean is dried up.
    Disney needs to turn another theme park ride into a film.
    “Peoplemover” The Movie !
    “Astro-Orbiter” The Movie !
    “King Arthur’s Carousel” The Movie !
    “Storybookland” The Movie !
    “Matterhorn” The Movie

    I should be a Disney executive.

  • Demond

    You have to admit that 90 million dollars is a great opening,but you also have to admit they are running this franchise into the ground.Johnny Depp did tell Disney to hold up on the fifth one.I thought they would have let this franchise lay low for ten years but Disney loves money.

    • aquarius64

      Agreed. People are going to get sick of this franchise at some point. Unfortunately Disney won’t stop until a “Pirates” movie completely tanks at the box offic. Go out while you’re on top.

    • PJ

      Wait…a movie studio loves making money? I don’t believe you.

  • deemon

    are you on crack? you cant compare sex and the city with bridesmaids. sex was based on a huge show with a built in fanbase that swarmed to see it on opening weekend… the drop on week 2 was unimportant. brides is terrific and will have small drops because it’s an unknown vehicle.

    • Chet

      Yeah I was wondering that myself. I guess because its the last all female ensemble movie to compare it to, but yes it’s not the same as comparing a sequel to another sequel or a highly anticipated action flick remake that everyone knows is coming out.

  • Tony

    LOL isnt here cuz he notices how much the World loves Crap

    • Buddymoore

      Haha. I’m at the point where I always look for his comment when I open the article. It feels like somethings missing when he’s not here.

  • Mike

    You would think this movie was an abomination the way people talk about.

    By no means is it great. It’s about on par with Thor and Fast Five, two similar movies that got much more praise despite being by-the-numbers as well.

    Depp and Geoffrey Rush actually are the best things about it, as it seems that they’re the only ones who really care to deliver a fun romp – unlike the director or the writers.

    Again, not going to buy the bluray, but it’s not the worst movie of the year either.

    • Ian

      Yup, freakin’ Rob Marshall is what killed this movie. What a hack! The “High School Musical” director would have delivered a better made movie than this guy. Yeesh! Never let this clown direct a movie again!

  • Demond

    @ aquarius64 I think they should have went with their original idea that they revisit the franchise in ten years if Johnny was willing and able.I was tired of Pirates when the third one came out.The only character you cared about in all the movies are Captain Jack.The rest of the cast is like blah.I only liked the first one.

    • Thom

      That method didn’t work out so well for Scream 4. To be fair though, Scream 4 was pretty bad regardless when it would have come out.

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