Pirates Wins, But Not The Big Record

It will break the biggest opening Memorial Day weekend record, but the third “Pirates” sadly seems to have scored the silver in this month of record breaking openings falling far short of not just Spidey 3’s $150m opening, but the first Pirate sequel’s $135m opening haul.

Reports coming in indicate the film will settle with a $126.5 million take (incl. $14m from Thursday night previews) for the first three days of the holiday weekend, making it the fifth highest opening weekend of any film in history – and easily topping last year’s $102 million haul by action sequel “X-Men: The Last Stand”.

Yet in the past few weeks, which has seen records dropping like flies thanks to “Spider-Man 3” & “Shrek the Third”, the number seems the smallest bit deflating. Disney execs from the get go seem assured they wouldn’t break Spider-Man 3’s haul, but there was hope that the first three days of business would top “Dead Man’s Chest”. It didn’t, and so headlines won’t be made sadly.

‘Pirates’ longevity remains in question as well. The film was the most critically maligned of the three, scoring a 47% approval rating & 5.7/10 average score amongst critics over at Rotten Tomatoes (79% and 7.1/10 for ‘Pearl,’ 54% and 6/10 for ‘Chest’). At Metacritic, ‘End’ scored a 52% metascore & 5.7/10 user rating (64% and 8.9/10 for ‘Pearl,’ 53% and 6.6/10 for ‘Chest’).

Nevertheless business is booming not just for the Mouse House, but the other two big juggernauts of the month. After 24 days “Spider-Man 3” just passed $300 million, after 10 days “Shrek the Third” passed $200 million. Newcomer “Bug” washed out with a mere $3.3 million in fourth place.

All others fell along expectations bar nearly four-month old comedy “Wild Hogs” seeing a surprise 158.6% jump in business from last week despite losing screens. The John Travolta-led road movie has earned a stellar $162.9 million in its theatrical run so far.