The past weekend made one fact abundantly clear (not that it wasn't already): Johnny Depp can open a movie. It is almost certainly the star power, and Depp's Jack Sparrow character, that is responsible in large part for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides' $90 million opening weekend box office. That's just here in the United States. The latest Pirates picked up an additional $256 million in overseas ticket sales, becoming the fourth-biggest international debut of all time.
Many reviews, including our own, pointed to Sparrow's newfound place as the movie's hero as one of the things wrong with the movie. That didn't deter anyone from taking in the latest in the Pirates franchise, back after a hiatus following 2007's At World's End.
Tides took the weekend's top spot easily, with the number two and three contenders Bridesmaids and Thor lagging behind at $21 million and $16 million, respectively. Thor hit U.S. theaters at the beginning of May, and has so far earned a total of $392 million worldwide. Pirates, with its $346 million after just one week is certain to top it.
The outstanding box office performance is nothing new for the series. The 2006 sequel Dead Man's Chest has the fourth-highest worldwide box office gross of all time, with slightly more than $1 billion, and At World's End trails it in the number nine spot, with $963 million. Tides' $90 million falls short of the $135 million Chest earned in its opening weekend, but the latest Pirates adventure is nonetheless on track for a healthy life in theaters.