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May 23 2011

Fourth Pirates Film Disappoints at the Box Office

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger TidesIt’s a sad day when Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides making $90 million in its opening weekend is somewhat of a disappointment.

The fourth installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series has gone to show that there is definitely a law of diminishing returns when it comes to some sequels.  Opening on a whopping 4,155 screens, the film brought in $90.1 million this weekend, a $21,685 per-screen average, which is nothing to crow about.  Adjusting for inflation, the attendance was way off for this entry in the series, but the true test will be how it holds up in the coming weeks.

Oddly enough, according to Box Office Mojo, the film did really well in the foreign markets, bringing in $256.3 million, and setting records in multiple countries for an opening weekend.  Despite the lower than expected domestic opening, the franchise still has some life in it, and a fifth film in the series seems almost guaranteed when you count in home video sales and television rights.

In the interesting realm this weekend, Bridesmaids held on to second place, bringing in $21 million this weekend, only dropping 19.8% from its opening weekend.  A normal drop in the second weekend is more in the range of 50%, so it looks like this all female comedy may have the makings of a sleeper comedy hit, especially when you factor in its $32.5 million budget.

Thor fell to third place, bringing in $15.5 million, bringing its total to $146 million domestically.

In fourth place was Fast Five with another $10.6 million, bringing its total to $186.2 million, and it became the most successful of the series as of this past week.  The Fast and the Furious series has shown that some series can go on to be even bigger as it goes on,which makes the Pirates of the Caribbean performance this weekend that much more stark in contrast.

Some days the mysteries of the film industry are just astounding.



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