"Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" Makes $126 Million at Box Office

Johnny Depp sailed to glory at the North American box office on Sunday with his latest "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie, but the family adventure failed to match the performance of its predecessor last year.

"Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" sold an estimated $126.5 million worth of tickets during the Friday-to-Sunday portion of the U.S. Memorial Day holiday weekend, distributor Walt Disney Co. said on Sunday.

The three-day tally compares with the $151 million record set four weekends ago by "Spider-Man 3," erasing the old mark of $135.6 million established last year by the second film in the "Pirates" franchise, "Dead Man's Chest."

The tally for the latest "Pirates" film includes sales from Thursday-evening previews. Disney declined to detail that sum Sunday, but earlier in the weekend, it had provided an estimate of $14 million.

"Pirates" did, however, break the four-day (Friday-Monday) Memorial Day record with a day to spare. The old mark of $123 million was set last year by "X-Men: The Last Stand."

Internationally, "Pirates" earned $176.7 million from 102 markets, Disney said.

Mark Zoradi, president of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Marketing and Distribution, said he was "not a bit" disappointed by the North American tally, given the tough competition.

Depp returns, as Captain Jack Sparrow, as do co-stars Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley. Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, on whom Depp modeled his slurring, boozy character, makes a cameo as Sparrow's father. All three films were directed by Gore Verbinski.

Critics were largely unenthused by the latest film, but their words of warning are often ignored when it comes to big-budget popcorn extravaganzas.

Meanwhile, incumbent North American champ "Shrek the Third" slipped to No. 2 with $51 million, a week after opening to $122 million. Its 10-day haul rose to $201 million. The animated comedy was produced by DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. and released by Viacom Inc.'s Paramount Pictures.

"Spider-Man 3" followed at No. 3 with $13.7 million in its fourth weekend. Its total stands at $303.3 million. The superhero franchise was released by Columbia Pictures, a unit of Sony Corp.

Source : Reuters
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