Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales has finally crossed the one-half billion dollar mark at the box office this weekend. Dropping sail fourteen years ago with Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, the franchise has been a huge moneymaker for Disney, accumulating a treasure chess worth nearly 3.7 billion worldwide. After eight years of chronicling the travails of the bumbling, drunken sea captain, Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), the Pirates series docked in 2011 – only to be revived last month with Dead Men Tell No Tales with Javier Bardem on deck as Captain Jack’s ghostly nemesis Captain Salazar. Unfortunately Dead Me Tell No Tales dropped a precipitous 74% in Wonder Woman‘s first frame, marking the first time the franchise has lost so much in so little time. Luckily, overseas markets propped up the film with a $275M infusion of cash, compared to the mere $114M the film garnered here at home. But if Dead Men has any hopes of breaking the billion-dollar mark, as did On Stranger Tides (2011) and Dead Man’s Chest ((2006), it’ll have to do it soon as The Mummy, Despicable Me 3 and Spider-man: Homecoming are all the horizon, searching implacably for the billion dollar bounty.
My take: The franchise has lost its freshness, people want something new, and the comic book cinematic industry is going full steam. Word of mouth and critical review on Wonder Woman punched a hole in Dead Men‘s sales, sending the ship and her entire crew to Davy Jones’ Locker. So I see some weakness in the franchise. Next bout, Disney might want to choose a better release date, in the summer,opposite easier fare, because from here out, it looks like the sun might be setting on the once-stately, now creaking, series.