Box Office Wrapup: Pirates Sails to Huge Debut

by | May 24, 2011 | Comments

Johnny Depp and his jolly pals seized control of the North American box office with the adventure tentpole Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides which registered the year’s biggest opening while internationally the latest Captain Jack saga commanded much more power smashing records with the largest overseas opening of all-time. Most holdovers suffered large drops, however the hit comedy Bridesmaids took advantage of sensational buzz to post a fantastic hold putting it on track to break the $100M mark.

 

Disney scored its first number one hit of the year with the fourth installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean series which opened with an estimated $90.1M from an ultrawide launch in 4,155 theaters for a mighty $21,685 average. The PG-13 pic was the first in the franchise to be presented in 3D and the grosses were also helped by a record launch in 256 IMAX locations which charged as much as $20 per ticket. Opening on the lower end of industry expectations, Tides enjoyed the biggest opening of 2011 beating the $86.2M of last month’s Fast Five which was only in 2D but did include IMAX sales. But moviegoers were cautious with their dollars as less than half of the Tides weekend gross came from 3D screens with more opting for the 2D version.

 

The Tides bow was down 22% from the $114.7M debut of the last installment, At World’s End. But that figure was part of the long Memorial Day holiday session and the film was the cliffhanger finale after 2006’s massively successful Dead Man’s Chest. Widely disliked by many critics and fans, End prompted many moviegoers to skip the new chapter which also featured a new director in Rob Marshall and new cast members Penélope Cruz and Ian McShane while bringing back fan favorites Geoffrey Rush and Depp who stands to collect one of the largest compensation packages in Hollywood history since ticket buyers would not show up without him. Reviews were mostly negative and a moderate B+ CinemaScore grade suggests that the road ahead should be on par with what tentpole sequels normally see.

 

[rtimage]siteImageId=10243451[/rtimage]
Starting out the weekend, Friday took in $35M including $4.7M from Thursday night’s post-midnight shows. Saturday dipped by only 8% to $32M – good for a poorly-reviewed fourth chapter of an action series – and Sunday is estimated to drop by only 28% to $23.1M.

 

What Tides lost out on domestically, it more than made up for in international waters which have always been friendly to this franchise. Since attacking its first wave of markets on Wednesday, the new Pirates grossed a stunning $256.3M over five days overseas setting a new all-time record by beating the five-day $236M launch of 2009’s Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. 3D and IMAX certainly helped as did several star-studded red carpet premieres in Cannes, London, Madrid, Munich, and most importantly Moscow. Russia, which is fast becoming one of Hollywood’s most important overseas markets, led all international territories with an eye-popping $28.6M over five days (an all-time industry record) which already is more than what the last Pirates did there during the entire life of its run. Look for more action tentpoles to plan premieres in the Russian capital.

 

Another emerging market that was red hot was China where Tides opened to a robust $20M in three days which again is already better than the local lifetime take of the last Pirates which co-starred Chow Yun-Fat. Russia and China delivered the top two overseas openings for Tides beating out the usual big three – Japan, Germany, and the U.K. – which contributed $18-20M each during their respective debut periods. Significant film industry growth in Russia and China since 2007 when the last Captain Jack flick opened is now being taken advantage of.

 

Globally, Tides hauled in a massive $346.4M since Wednesday making it the fourth largest worldwide launch of any film behind Half-Blood Prince ($394M) and the 2007 threequels Spider-Man 3 ($381.6M), and At World’s End ($357.2M). It should be noted that these figures include openings on different days in different countries so they are not for the exact same time periods.

 

Clearly, Disney was looking at the world and not specifically the U.S. when developing and marketing On Stranger Tides. The first three Pirates saw an increasing share of the global gross come from overseas from the 53% of Curse of the Black Pearl, to the 60% of Dead Man’s Chest, to the 68% of At World’s End. Tides, which cost a reported $250M to produce, will likely see more than 70% of its worldwide haul come from outside North America and another global tally north of $900M could certainly result.

 

The wedding comedy Bridesmaids officially became a sleeper hit thanks to its incredible second weekend hold. Kristin Wiig’s raunchy R-rated pic dipped by only 20% and collected an estimated $21.1M lifting Universal’s ten-day tally to a robust $59.5M. The sophomore gross was more than what most expected from the first weekend. The decline was less than those seen by past leggy R-rated comedies like Wedding Crashers (24%), The 40-Year-Old Virgin (24%), and The Hangover (27%). Instead, the Bridesmaids drop was identical to the decline seen by 2003’s Old School which made 49% of its overall total in the first ten days, though it was earlier in the year when college students were in school during weekdays. The Wiig pic has the benefit of having a major holiday next weekend so it could be on course to finish with at least $125M giving Universal its third $100M+ grosser in two months after Hop and Fast Five.

 

[rtimage]siteImageId=10243449[/rtimage]
Rival action films fell sharply against Pirates which stole away numerous 3D and IMAX screens. Paramount’s Thor dropped 55% in its third frame to an estimated $15.5M giving the super hero saga $145.4M in 17 days. The street racing sequel Fast Five raced past the $500M worldwide mark this weekend thanks to terrific business overseas. Domestically, the Universal hit grossed an estimated $10.6M, down 48%, pushing the 24-day sum to $186.2M. Overseas markets kicked in an additional $25M this weekend putting the offshore tally at $320M bumping the global gross to a stellar $506.2M.

 

[rtimage]siteImageId=10243448[/rtimage]
Finishing in fifth was the 3D toon Rio with an estimated $4.7M, down 44%, for a $131.6M total for Fox. Sony’s supernatural thriller Priest collapsed in its second weekend tumbling 69% to an estimated $4.6M giving the vampire pic $23.7M in ten days. A $30M final seems likely.

 

[rtimage]siteImageId=10243447[/rtimage]
A two-pack of wedding comedies followed. Off 48%, Jumping the Broom grossed an estimated $3.7M for Sony while Something Borrowed fell 50% for Warner Bros. Totals are nearly identical after 17 days standing at $31.3M and $31.4M, respectively.

 

The Fox romance Water for Elephants placed ninth with an estimated $2.2M, down 49%, giving the Reese Witherspoon film $52.4M to date. Rounding out the top ten was Lionsgate’s comedy Madea’s Big Happy Family which dropped 55% to an estimated $1M for $51.8M overall.

 

Making a spectacular debut in platform release was Woody Allen’s latest romantic comedy Midnight in Paris which opened in the number twelve spot nationwide despite playing in only six theaters. The Sony Classics release collected an estimated $579,000 for a jaw-dropping average of $96,500. Starring Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Kathy Bates, and Adrien Brody, the PG-13 film opened only in four New York houses and a pair of Los Angeles sites and earned glowing reviews from critics. All theaters had multiple screens offering up to 20 showtimes daily. Midnight expands to 29 more theaters on Friday for the holiday weekend including markets such as San Francisco, Chicago, Minneapolis, Boston, and Washington D.C.

 

[rtimage]siteImageId=10243450[/rtimage]
The top ten films grossed an estimated $156.8M which was up 11% from last year when Shrek Forever After opened in the top spot with $70.8M; but down 7% from 2009 when Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian debuted at number one with $54.2M over the Friday-to-Sunday portion of the Memorial Day holiday session.

Tag Cloud

Premiere Dates Broadway Disney streaming service Mudbound TV politics PlayStation SDCC FX kaiju casting teaser Superheroe Syfy japanese Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt award winner ID LGBT Showtime Warner Bros. Chernobyl Nominations IFC Films spinoff Film supernatural razzies spy thriller VH1 USA Network emmy awards batman pirates of the caribbean harry potter worst mission: impossible Brie Larson comic books 2019 Marvel Television Sony Pictures kong movie DC streaming service BET golden globes The Walt Disney Company Photos CBS robots 007 book game of thrones films Mary poppins a nightmare on elm street zero dark thirty Starz toy story Sneak Peek The Walking Dead anime The Academy Logo 4/20 71st Emmy Awards Endgame OWN kids Netflix ABC Family satire comedies TIFF Peacock renewed TV shows justice league nbcuniversal E! mockumentary Polls and Games Sundance TV Box Office unscripted asian-american prank spanish Musicals dramedy Classic Film Action richard e. Grant LGBTQ Spike king kong IFC Fall TV TCA Winter 2020 Comic Book vampires Holidays 21st Century Fox Opinion hist YouTube Red women Best and Worst Extras crime documentaries rt archives Vudu DirecTV AMC sitcom Winners series Superheroes CNN PBS San Diego Comic-Con adaptation Netflix Christmas movies SXSW Film Festival Interview Chilling Adventures of Sabrina james bond Exclusive Video Freeform BBC America GLAAD docudrama Certified Fresh streaming spider-man Captain marvel jamie lee curtis comics Year in Review Christmas WarnerMedia Apple television Ovation VOD war Turner Classic Movies ghosts Cosplay 2015 superhero ratings die hard serial killer canceled rom-coms crime thriller The Witch theme song Biopics child's play FXX Lifetime Christmas movies Fox Searchlight FX on Hulu Discovery Channel cancelled TV series reboot Set visit Alien dark critics indiana jones Oscars Acorn TV docuseries witnail Cannes Holiday Adult Swim Disney mutant composers boxoffice breaking bad zombie Hulu Infographic RT History Drama Anna Paquin crossover natural history comiccon Fox News cancelled television FOX Rocky Hallmark Ghostbusters CW Seed TCA Awards blaxploitation blockbuster YouTube Crackle foreign stand-up comedy Song of Ice and Fire medical drama elevated horror ESPN aliens Country GoT cancelled Britbox ABC Signature sports social media zombies transformers dragons Comedy blockbusters hidden camera HBO Go Legendary DGA Spectrum Originals documentary Tubi Heroines halloween Creative Arts Emmys scorecard Television Academy Marvel venice Cartoon Network Pixar Academy Awards jurassic park Grammys all-time space directors Toys romantic comedy Paramount Network Travel Channel Baby Yoda cancelled TV shows First Look Sci-Fi diversity Nat Geo best crime drama Columbia Pictures sag awards Emmys HBO New York Comic Con independent Marvel Studios Rom-Com Television Critics Association deadpool Amazon Prime Video miniseries Comedy Central VICE 99% Schedule A&E See It Skip It American Society of Cinematographers A24 black nfl cartoon Disney+ Disney Plus President stop motion stoner sequel Black Mirror Turner Mindy Kaling historical drama Kids & Family Writers Guild of America spain Funimation DC Comics screen actors guild X-Men twilight disaster video obituary NYCC TCM TV Land children's TV Stephen King concert MSNBC monster movies classics rotten superman political drama The Arrangement Arrowverse Emmy Nominations Awards Tour Lucasfilm Food Network based on movie biography Trivia what to watch godzilla Apple TV+ WGN Tomatazos National Geographic ITV Podcast Western science fiction joker Family CMT 45 criterion History archives free movies quibi Pop Video Games Marathons golden globe awards Crunchyroll revenge Avengers E3 OneApp Awards HBO Max movies Comics on TV rotten movies we love Mary Poppins Returns Teen Women's History Month 72 Emmy Awards 2018 finale Mary Tyler Moore thriller Pet Sematary halloween tv scary movies remakes canceled TV shows TruTV telelvision hollywood franchise BET Awards Spring TV Election Fantasy psychological thriller Disney Plus hispanic Thanksgiving cooking toronto tv talk Reality Competition 20th Century Fox christmas movies The CW TV One NBC CBS All Access singing competition werewolf Quiz Disney Channel Pride Month nature dogs sequels versus First Reviews anthology cars Walt Disney Pictures Black History Month true crime RT21 Mystery fresh australia name the review cats boxing MCU spanish language video on demand worst movies Rocketman TLC period drama TBS adventure Amazon Pop TV Amazon Prime indie Countdown SundanceTV chucky popular parents Star Trek animated Trophy Talk Reality TCA Bravo 24 frames APB Music Tarantino Paramount Plus green book strong female leads BAFTA screenings Tumblr Dark Horse Comics laika travel binge Shondaland dc universal monsters Summer fast and furious doctor who Watching Series DC Universe discovery game show Super Bowl ABC Star Wars Lifetime Hear Us Out latino news Nickelodeon Horror 2017 2016 Sundance Now facebook El Rey Amazon Studios GIFs BBC One south america talk show Paramount 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Masterpiece BBC ViacomCBS Animation cops Shudder Musical festival Apple TV Plus Esquire Calendar technology PaleyFest psycho 2020 reviews Elton John romance Character Guide cults The Purge Trailer comic TCA 2017 2021 Martial Arts MTV Red Carpet Sundance cinemax police drama YouTube Premium TV renewals slashers french Winter TV football trailers Epix Universal festivals Rock TNT dceu Ellie Kemper Hallmark Christmas movies italian YA Pirates Lionsgate USA Valentine's Day Binge Guide