Pirates’ sequel cost skyrockets to $300 mn

MUMBAI: Disney’s latest venture, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, is scheduled to open worldwide on 25 May 2007, but the film is yet to be finished and the budget is continuing to skyrocket, according to www.Hollywood.tv founder Sheeraz Hasan.

“It’s a race to the wire for all the special effects. But in its current state, it’s quite spectacular,” Hasan quote sources as saying. Disney still plans to open the film in every territory by Memorial Day, yet no word has been given about mainland China, where Disney executives hand-delivered a print to the censors to avoid piracy, says Hasan. Meanwhile, the rush to finish the film is adding to the budget, which is now said to be at more than $300 million.

Another problem that has surfaced is that the movie is said to be as long, if not longer, as Pirates 2, which had a running time of two hours, 25 minutes. “I don’t think it’s locked yet, but it’s at least as long as Pirates 2, Hasan adds.

However, in its favour is the fact that Pirates 3 rounds out the story arc begun by the previous two films. The second sequel did well at the box office, even though critics and moviegoers weren’t that entirely happy with it, says Hasan.

Disney will market At World’s End as the final instalment of a trilogy, which to date has brought in added theme park revenues. Dead Man’s Chest too had brought in unprecedented crowds to Disneyland’s newly upgraded Pirates Of The Caribbean attraction. Other Disney parks around the world are going to be revamping their ride as well, claims Hasan.

The premiere for Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End is set for 19 May 2007 at the same venue as last year’s Dead Man’s Chest. The outdoor theatre, with its giant screen built on water, is located between New Orleans Square and Tom Sawyer’s Island, although it is not known yet whether the film’s stars Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley or Geoffrey Rush will be attending the event, says Hasan.