Sunday, July 09, 2006

"Pirates" Grosses Record $132 Mil In First Three Days

Aaarghhh! "Pirates" crushed the three-day record of "Spiderman" (and the three and a half day record of "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith" by grossing a record $55.5 mil single day total on Friday, $44.7 mil on Saturday (making it the first movie in history to gross $100 mil in two days), and an estimated $32 mil today. That's $132 mil in three days -- and how many people are saying, "Where the hell is the rest of the movie?" (It's truly a cliffhanger; it's more like watching half of one really long movie than watching a film with another episode to come in the future.)


Joe said...

Can you explain the phenomenal success of this franchise? I just don't understand how it can be such a huge commercial success.

Michael in New York said...

People love pirates! As always, a combination of things -- none of them having to do with critical acclaim (neither the first nor the sequel has gotten much praise -- unlike, say, Spiderman and its massive hit sequel). "Pirates" certainly looked like a dog, based as it was on a theme park ride. But Pirate/swashbuckling movies had virtually disappeared from the screen despite their long-time presence in countless hits (and what were light sabres but swords), so they had the advantage of being unique AND being in a widely popular genre. Plus Orlando Bloom was coming off one of the biggest hits of all times, guys got to look at Keira Knightley, and girls and guys go to look at Johnny Depp. Depp gave the film a cachet, since he's spent his career avoiding impersonal blockbusters. And his performance was genuinely exciting -- a real tighrope walk of silliness, camp, cowardice, and keith Richards. He deservedly got an Oscar nomination. Without him the film is nothing. It opened solidly and then great word of mouth kicked in making it a true smash hit worldwide. The DVD did tremendously too. The marketing campaign for the sequel was usefully low-key -- just the skull and crossbones and people knew what was coming. And personally, I think it's a little better than the original.