The unstoppable Pirates on top of the world

Mumbai: Having broken many records already in its first weekend the unstoppable Pirates are invading new grounds every passing day. Already a record crushing blockbuster, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest has grossed $62.2 million in its second weekend, raising its 10-day total to 258.2 million. The film has comfortably positioned itself as the year’s top-grossing film, zooming ahead of X-Men: The Last Stand which has taken in $232 million in eight weeks. This is the largest ten-day start of any film in history and the fastest any movie has cracked the quarter-billion dollar mark thrashing the old records which were both set last summer by Star Wars Episode III. The final Jedi sequel amassed $236.9M in its first ten days and jumped to $255.6M in its eleventh day. It’s now almost certain that Pirates 2 is successfully on its route to become one of the biggest grossing films of all times. Following positive audience and critical response, an epic run is definitely ensured for the rest of the summer ahead.

The Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley starrer film has outperformed both of the two new releases in its second weekend by more than $40 million each, securing yet another record. The film’s second weekend gross was so strong that its Saturday night take of an estimated $24 million was actually bigger than the three-day totals for both Sony Pictures’ Little Man (debuting at $21.7 million) and Universal Pictures’ You, Me and Dupree (debuting at $21.3 million). Pirates caused Superman Returns to fall a huge 58.5% from its opening weekend and X-Men 3 lost 60% of its previous week gross. The US Boxoffice trade experts are left pondering whether Superman Returns can recover any ground after taking a drubbing from “Pirates” last weekend. The Warner Bros.’ revival of the 1970s and ’80s franchise has grossed $149.6 million till last weekend.

But despite the strength of this weekend’s top three pictures, the frame still paled in comparison to the comparable weekend last year. Though 2005 was mostly a down year at the US boxoffice, that weekend marked the debut of Warner Bros. Pictures’ Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and New Line Cinema’s Wedding Crashers . Those two films’ respective grosses of $56.2 million and $33.9 million, coupled with strong holds from other films in the top five, including Fantastic Four, War of the Worlds and Batman Begins saw a top 12 number of $155.7 million, compared with an estimated $148.2 million for this weekend.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest also managed to cake walk to the numero uno spot internationally for the second consecutive weekend. It now looks all set to surpassing Finding Nemo to become the biggest overseas smash in the Walt Disney Co. history. The weekend tally for Dead Man’s Chest was an estimated $58 million from 3,363 screens in 24 territories all across the globe. The total tally grossed overseas is now stands a cool $125 million in just two weeks.

Though the film faced a sizable 54% drop from its record-breaking opening weekend, it has still managed to hold its own when compared to major blockbusters. The second weekend declines for the summer’s other big-budget blockbuster hits were larger including 56% for The Da Vinci Code, 59% for Superman Returns , and 67% for X-Men: The Last Stand. In just ten days, Dead Man’s Chest has quickly become the top-grossing film of 2006 and now sits at number 34 on the list of all-time domestic blockbusters ahead of Monsters, Inc. which grossed $255.9M in 2001.

The Pirates are all set to unleash on Indian grounds on coming Friday, 21 July. Vikramjit Roy, PR & Acquisitions, Sony Pictures is very optimistic about the film’s mega success continuing in India. Sharing his excitement he says, “The buzz is increasing here day by day. Its release here is being widely anticipated by fans of all groups. It is going to have a much wider reach this time. Since we are releasing it in three other languages apart from the original English version, the fan following of the Pirates is definitely bound to multiply. The film is being dubbed into Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. The definite success here will surely add on to its worldwide dream run.”

Top Grossing Movies for 2006 till date

1. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest – $256m
2. X Men 3 – $231.3m
3. The Da Vinci Code – $213.3m
4. Cars – $205.5m
5. Ice Age: The Meltdown – $194.1m
6. Over the Hedge – $149.8m
7. Superman Returns – $149.7m
8. Mission Impossible III – $133m
9. The Break Up – $114.3m
10. Click – $105.9m

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Abhijit Mhamunkar

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