Pirates Set For Massive Debut

With its half hour longer running time and stiffer competition thanks to residual audiences for Shrek and Spidey, many think that “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” is unlikely to break the $151.1 million opening weekend box-office that “Spider-Man 3” landed.

Yet it’s fighting fit it seems. The Associated Press indicates the third “Pirates” will be released domestically in 4,362 theaters – 110 more than “Spider-Man 3” launched with.

With some 24 hour runs, an 8 p.m. Thursday night start-of-business included in the tally, and the Memorial Day holiday to take advantage of (more people out, bigger Sunday numbers), all eyes will be watching the estimates as they come in this weekend. I’ll keep you updated as they’re announced.