FROM MTV MOVIES: While "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" opened to $90.1 million this weekend, showing the franchise has perhaps sprung a leak domestically in its fourth installment, the new film set a five-day international opening record of $256.3 million.
Disney is reportedly convinced this latest "Pirates" could pass the $654 million international total for 2007's "At World's End." The takeaway from all this box-office chatter is we likely haven't seen the last of the swashbuckling series.
In fact, development on a fifth film is already under way, with a draft of a script from Terry Rossio, who also penned "On Stranger Tides," in the hands of Disney execs and both director Rob Marshall and producer Jerry Bruckheimer signaling their interest in returning to franchise. The question, however, is whether or not star Johnny Depp will reprise his role as Jack Sparrow.
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FROM MTV MOVIES: Pirate Jack Sparrow's latest box-office booty was something of a mixed bag.
Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," featuring Johnny Depp's return to the unconventional sea captain role that added blockbuster power to his already formidable artistic credibility, broke international box-office records and enjoyed the highest opening of the year in America over the weekend, though it fell short of the franchise's previous two sequels both critically and commercially.
The first "Pirates of the Caribbean" flick, 2003's "The Curse of the Black Pearl," was a hit with critics, but each of its three sequels has been met with increasing disdain. "On Stranger Tides" has hit a franchise low, with just 34 percent of critics approving of the picture, according to movie-review site Rotten Tomatoes.
The new "Pirates" movie's $90.1 million domestic take (which includes an extra boost from higher-priced 3D showings) was much less than the respective $115 million and $135 million openings of the previous sequels, though the film's $256.3 million international bounty overtook that of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," which set the previous overseas all-time box-office record in 2009.
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FROM MTV MOVIES: To truly understand the global success of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise — because who, honestly, can wrap his head around a figure as large as $2.7 billion, the series' worldwide box-office haul? — one might do well to pay attention to the slightly smaller figure of Johnny Depp's paycheck for playing Captain Jack Sparrow.
"It must be kind of nice for him to know that he can revisit this every two or three years and be paid more than the national debt of most countries," new co-star Ian McShane joked to the Los Angeles Times during an interview in Cannes last week.
OK, so McShane is exaggerating just a tad, but the point is that over the course of three films (even though the last two had decidedly mixed reviews), the "Pirates" films have managed to stay remarkably popular — especially considering they're based on a hokey, '60s-era amusement-park attraction. The newest installment, "On Stranger Tides," shows little sign of a dent in that "Pirates" popularity, despite once again facing a mixed critical assessment. Its two-day international gross stands at almost $44 million, and domestically, it's expected to reel in around $100 million over opening weekend.
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Haters, get ready to hate: I believe it's time for the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise to sail firmly into Geoffrey Rush's hands.
No disrespect intended towards Captain Jack Sparrow whatsoever — I love the character to pieces and imagine that we'll be seeing a lot more of him in the coming years — but I'm equally enamored with Rush's comparatively underrated Barbossa, and I think we're at the point where the formerly dead pirate needs to get his hands on the franchise. I'll give you five reasons why after the jump.
Like so many other big budget movie adventures of recent years, "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" is sailing into theaters on the increasingly trendy wave of 3-D. But unlike the vast majority of these post-conversion blockbusters, "On Stranger Tides" sports a key difference: this one was shot from the ground up in 3-D.
"We shot it in 3-D," director Rob Marshall told MTV News of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" filmmaking process. "It wasn't converted. It wasn't done on a soundstage against a green screen. It's all very real."
Yes, very real indeed — a real pain in the you know where, if Marshall's recollection of shooting the film is any indication.
Captain Jack Sparrow isn't one for romance. After all, the man has bigger things on the mind, like chasing down cursed treasure chests and winning back his precious Black Pearl — or, in the case of "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," finding his way to the Fountain of Youth.
That doesn't mean he can't stop for a little squeeze on the side, of course, perhaps one that even gives him some deeply troubling "stirrings" in the depths of his heart. Indeed, Sparrow's fiercest foe in this latest adventure is not the dreaded Blackbeard or the familiar Barbossa, but the seductive Angelica, the woman in his past who got away… or, to hear her tell it, he pushed away.
The chemistry between Sparrow and Angelica boils to a bubble from their very first scene together, and producer Jerry Bruckheimer credits that electric dynamic to the real-life friendship between Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz.
"Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" sets sail in a week and a half from now, but you don't have to wait until May 20 to start getting excited about Captain Jack Sparrow's fantastic voyage back into theaters. Yesterday, I showed you MTV's re-cut version of the "Pirates" trailer, this time with enough Lego toys to fill out an armada. Pretty fun stuff — not to mention incredibly impressive, if I do say so myself, and even more so when you realize just how eerily similar our Lego trailer is to the actual "Pirates" preview.
See? Like I said, impressive! Big tip of the cap to MTV's Matt Harper and Brian Jacks for their hard work on this one. And I'm not the only one recognizing their efforts — indeed, "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" director Rob Marshall has seen our Lego trailer, and he was similarly blown away by what he saw.
Over the course of three (soon to be four) "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies, we've seen the likes of Captain Jack Sparrow, his merry band of pirate pals and even his most cutthroat foes battle their way through extraordinary circumstances involving undead privateers, legendary sea creatures and man-eating tribal warriors.
So, really, in the grand scheme of things — Sparrow versus the wonderful world of Legos? Piece of cake.
For your viewing enjoyment, MTV News has created a fantastic stop-motion recreation of the "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" trailer using — you guessed it — Legos! Every scene from the action-packed trailer comes back to life here, albeit in a significantly more yellow and blocky flavor than you're probably used to.
It won't be long now until Captain Jack Sparrow returns to the high seas, as "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" washes ashore on May 20, 2011. But director Rob Marshall's first time sailing with "Pirates" trades out old staples like the Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann love story in favor of a new adventure filled with zombies, mermaids and Blackbeard. Will it work? Will fans embrace the new landscape, or will they force this latest installment to walk the plank?
We'll get that answer in a few short weeks, but in the meantime, you can start forming your impressions based on four new video clips featuring scenes from "On Stranger Tides." Click the video above to see them all, and read more about them after the jump!
If there's one thing we haven't forgotten, mates, it's that Johnny Depp is Captain Jack Sparrow. But just in case you need a reminder of who this pesky pirate is and what he's capable of, he's more than happy to give you a show.
Yahoo premiered this first official clip from "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," sailing into theaters on May 20, just a few short weeks away now. It's been four years since Captain Jack last traveled through cinematic waters, but as you can see, he hasn't slowed down one bit.