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