‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales’ joins ‘Fate of the Furious’ in proving that franchise sequels are easy money for film studios.
‘Pirates’ is sailing to $270.6 million at the international box office. That, combined with the $77 million it’s expected to pull in over the four-day holiday domestically, will put the film over $300 million globally during its opening weekend.
In China alone the movie will make an estimated $67.8 million. The third highest opening for any Disney movie is partially attributed to the opening coinciding with the country’s Dragon Boat Festival holidays.
The film saw the largest opening of all time in Russia with $18.1 million ($18.6 million including previews). The rest of the top five territories are Korea ($11.6 million); France ($9.3 million); and Germany ($8.4 million).
“Dead Men Tell No Tales” centers on Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow battling deadly ghost sailors, led by Javier Bardem’s Captain Salazar. Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg directed the film, which also sees the return of both Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley, who were absent from the fourth installment.
This weekend, a number of films are meeting or passing milestones both in the U.S. and abroad. Universal’s “Fate of the Furious” became the sixth film to earn over $1 billion overseas. Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” passed $500 million domestically putting it in elite company as well. With $783 million globally, Disney and Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” has surpassed the first “Guardians” movie’s total earnings. Disney in general is keeping the box office afloat — as of Friday, the studio became the first to have earned over $1 billion in 2017, reaching the milestone in near record time. The only time a studio has earned so much so quickly was Disney last year.
As much as we’re tired of sequels, we don’t blame the studios for making them. Money talks.