Weekend Box Office

Box Office Wrapup: "Pirates" Shatters Industry Records With $132 Million Take

by | July 10, 2006 | Comments

Box office records were shattered by Johnny Depp and his companions this weekend as the much-anticipated adventure sequel Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest exploded into theaters with the biggest opening weekend in Hollywood history. Former champ Superman Returns was hit hard and fell sharply in its second weekend. However, Pirates managed to expand the overall marketplace with most holdovers not suffering large declines. For the first time in box office history, the top ten smashed through the $200M mark.

Movie fans piled into their local theater to see the new Pirates sequel spending a jaw-dropping $132M in ticket sales, according to estimates, over the three-day Friday-to-Sunday period. It was the film industry’s largest debut ever beating the four-year-old record set by Spider-Man in May 2002 which launched with a $114.8M bow. Dead Man’s Chest averaged a stunning $31,945 from 4,133 theaters which was about even with the webslinger’s $31,769 opening weekend average from 3,615 locations.

Pirates broke a seemingly endless amount of other box office records over the weekend too. The PG-13 actioner set a new mark for opening days with its $55.5M Friday take beating the $50M Thursday bow of Star Wars Episode III from last summer. The high seas adventure also set new marks for Disney. The studio’s top debut had been 2004’s The Incredibles with $70.5M and its biggest live-action opening had been last winter’s The Chronicles of Narnia with $65.6M. Pirates debuted with about as much as those two hit openings combined. It also grossed more in its first three days than Superman Returns amassed in its first ten days.

The Friday gross included a stunning $9M in sales from Thursday night when theaters began their first shows at midnight. By comparison, the new Superman pic sold about $4M in night-before tickets for showtimes beginning earlier at 10pm. Upfront demand was intense for Pirates even though it was not a film based on popular literary material like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, or Spider-Man. Saturday saw an understandable drop of 20% to $44.6M and Sunday is estimated to fall 28% to $31.9M. The swashbuckling sequel also became the first film in history to cross the $100M mark in only two days.

Expectations going into the weekend were about as high as could be, but Pirates still surged past them. Dead Man’s Chest managed to reunite the cast and crew of the wildly popular 2003 megablockbuster including Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, director Gore Verbinski, and producer Jerry Bruckheimer. The first film opened on a Wednesday in July of that year and grossed $46.6M over the weekend and $70.6M over five days.

Stellar word-of-mouth carried it to the lofty $305.4M mark domestically and a fantastic $654M worldwide. That was enough to prompt the studio to move forward with two sequels. The concluding chapter, called At World’s End, is set to open over the long Memorial Day holiday weekend next May three weeks after Spider-Man 3 and just one week after Shrek 3. Look for some more industry records to get broken during that sensational month.

A number of factors contributed to the boffo bow of Pirates. Signing Depp, who is not known for doing sequels, was the first step. His compensation package was a worthy investment for the studio which now has a trilogy that could gross over $2 billion worldwide. Disney’s marketing was strong, but not over-the-top. The studio generated plenty of excitement without over-hyping the film. Reviews from critics were mixed, however audiences had their minds made up ahead of time anyway so they did not matter. Plus, Pirates had incredibly strong appeal with women which made the film play to a very broad audience. Disney reported that the opening weekend crowd was evenly split between men and women and connected with all age groups.

Also amazing about the opening of Dead Man’s Chest was that it soared to its incredible level even with all the competition already in the marketplace. Films opening in May or November ahead of all the other big summer and holiday releases can monopolize the box office and be the only game in town. But Pirates faced four other films that each sold over $10M in tickets this weekend. Those movies combined did a stellar $60M worth of business. By comparison, Spider-Man’s next four foes took in just $21M when it opened with none hitting double digit millions.

Pirates of the Caribbean also docked in other ports around the world this weekend planting its flag as the market champ in all of them. The United Kingdom led the way with a scorching $25M debut and was joined by $9M from South Korea, and $8.2M from Australia. Captain Sparrow looted an estimated $46.6M from only seven territories this weekend. Not wanting to battle the World Cup, Disney has spread its openings around the world throughout the rest of July. Robust grosses are expected once again this summer with the new Pirates tale hoping to make off with even more treasure than its predecessor.

After flying into the top spot over the extended Fourth of July holday weekend, Superman Returns took a beating in its second frame falling 58% to an estimated $21.9M. The drop was larger than sophomore declines seen in recent years by other big-budget action films opening on the Wednesday before this particular holiday session. Last year, War of Worlds fell 53% to $30.5M, 2004’s Spider-Man 2 dropped 49% to $45.2M, and 2002’s Men in Black II declined by 53% to $24.4M. The explosive opening of Pirates certainly took its toll on Superman since there was considerable overlap in the audiences for the two films.

After twelve days in theaters, Superman Returns has captured $141.7M and is running 14% behind the pace of War from a year ago which took in $165M over the same period on its way to $234.3M. Even last summer’s super hero film Batman Begins enjoyed a stronger sophomore weekend gross than Superman with a 43% drop to $27.6M. At its current pace, the Man of Steel might still be able to reach the $200M mark domestically, although it won’t be easy.

Given the enormous production budget of more than $240M for Superman Returns, international sales will be crucial to Warner Bros. on its road to profitability. The Clark Kent adventure took in an estimated $9.1M over the weekend from 14 markets falling by more than 50% from its $20M international opening last weekend. With an offshore cume of $35.4M to date, the worldwide tally climbed to $177M for Superman Returns. Now that the World Cup is over, the studio will release its super hero extravaganza this coming week in major markets such as France, Spain, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and the United Kingdom.

Moviegoers not interested in big-budget action adventures spent their money on comedies which filled up the next four spots. Meryl Streep led the funny flicks with an estimated $15.6M for her hit The Devil Wears Prada which dropped only 43% in its second weekend. It was a solid hold for the Fox title which has now grossed an impressive $63.7M in just ten days. Budgeted at $35M, Devil should power its way to the neighborhood of $110M.

Adam Sandler’s Click dropped 40% to an estimated $12M in its third weekend to raise its total to $105.9M making it the seventh $100M blockbuster for the comedian. After 17 days, the Sony film is running about even with the studio’s Sandler-Nicholson pic Anger Management which stood at $103.5M after the same amount of time on its way to a final cume of $135.6M. Click is enjoying solid mid-week business thanks to the summer play period so a final cume in the area of $140M seems likely. Sandler also joins Tom Cruise as the only stars with $100M+ hits in each of the last five years. Cruise’s streak spans the last seven years though, and Will Smith and Samuel L. Jackson will have the opportunity to match Sandler’s feat later this year.

Disney’s big non-pirate summer entry Cars followed in fifth place with an estimated $10.3M in its fifth lap. Off only 29%, the Pixar animated film once again enjoyed the smallest decline in the top ten and pushed its cume past the $200M mark to $205.5M. Overseas, Cars collected an estimated $14.6M to raise the international total to $65.1M and global tally to $270.6M.

Dropping 49% to sixth place was Paramount’s wrestling comedy Nacho Libre with an estimated $3.3M. The Jack Black pic upped its cume to $73.8M and looks to match the $81.3M of his 2003 hit School of Rock. The Lake House slipped 41% to an estimated $2.8M pushing its total to a decent $45.6M for Warner Bros.

Universal’s The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift took in an estimated $2.5M, down 45%, giving the street racing sequel $57.4M to date. Rounding out the top ten were the kidnapping actioner Waist Deep and the relationship comedy The Break-Up with estimates of $1.9M and $1.6M, respectively. Totals stand at $19.2M and $114.3M.

Opening in limited release with sparkling results was Richard Linklater’s animated drug drama A Scanner Darkly which bowed to an estimated $406,000 from only 17 theaters. The Warner Independent release averaged an encouraging $23,882 per location and played in eight markets. Keanu Reeves stars in the R-rated picture along with Robert Downey Jr., Woody Harrelson, and Winona Ryder who got to open a film on the same day as her ex-fiance Johnny Depp. His film was a bit bigger. On Friday, Scanner expands to about 190 theaters nationwide.

Miramax opened its soccer documentary Once in a Lifetime in one Manhattan exclusive engagement and grossed an estimated $12,225. The story of the New York Cosmos will widen in the coming weeks with the distributor hoping that World Cup fever will spark some interest with Americans.

One summer tentpole knocked another out of the top ten this weekend. Sony’s The Da Vinci Code grossed an estimated $1.4M, off 42%, and upped its sum to $213.3M. After a seven-week run in the top ten, the $125M religious thriller still held up well and looks on a course to finish with about $217M from North America. Internationally, Code has grossed a stunning $500M making it the biggest overseas blockbuster of 2006 so far.

The top ten films grossed an astounding estimate of $204M which was up a dramatic 50% from last year when Fantastic Four debuted at number one with $56.1M; and up a stunning 55% from 2004 when Spider-Man 2 remained in the top spot with $45.2M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Tag Cloud

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