Disney's watery alternative to a superhero-saturated summer shocked the moviegoing world with a record $135.6 million at the box office in its first three days, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc.
Of course, we're talking about the not-so-little movie that could: “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest,” which not only made 2002's “Spider-Man” debut walk the plank (beating it by $20.8 million), but hit itself over the head with the plank by beating its predecessor, “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,” which took in $46.6 million over its opening weekend in 2003.
Most unbelievably, the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced “Pirates” even beat “Aquaman”!
“Aquaman,” of course, made a huge splash earlier this summer, by beating Spidey's 3-day record, which it held for just a few weeks (Of course, for those in the “Entourage” know: “Aquaman” is a film figment of that HBO's show's imagination, based on a guy whose only real power is talking to tuna).
But just why did “Pirates” take in such a big sack of loot?
Access' intrepid movie mind, Scott Mantz, thinks he knows the reasons.
“Rising ticket prices play a major part, but so does the fact that ‘Dead Man's Chest’ was released in more theaters,” Scott said. “But it's also 30 minutes longer than ‘Spider-Man,’ which means that theaters can't show the movie as often throughout the day.
“In a small way, those factors kind of cancel each other out. So what can I say, everyone just wanted to get back on the ride!”
Mantz definitely gives Depp credit for the boffo box office since it was his portrayal of a boozy buccaneer that set the film on its high seas sail.
“His charming, irresistible, Oscar-nominated performance as Captain Jack Sparrow is the reason why the first film was so much fun, and as a result, he's now the biggest star on the planet!” Scott said. “Bigger than Tom Cruise, bigger than Tom Hanks!”
But, Johnny still has a wee way to go to catch up with today's modern pirates, most of whom can't be romanticized like the pirates of old.
Current worldwide losses due to piracy in the most highly-trafficked waters are estimated at $13 to $16 billion per year, according to Wikipedia.
That's about $35 million a day. “Pirates” hit the $55.8 million mark on its opening day, but Jerry's kids would have to keep that up 365 days per year to beat out the real pirates.
Looks like Johnny might have to start selling off some of that rum.