Pirates Versus Superheroes…And The "Pirates" Won!

$132 Million. One-Hundred And Thirty Two Million Dollars. Think about it.

That's how much "Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" took in this past weekend at the box office, setting a record for the fastest time a film has hit $100 million (only two days) and blowing away "Spider-Man's" seemingly untouchable box office record of $114.8 million over an opening weekend. This second installment in the "Pirates" franchise benefited from strong word of mouth, family friendly appeal, and a huge following of fans who discovered the film on DVD.

Oh wait, there's a superhero movie at the box office too, isn't there?

"Superman Returns" was trounced by "Pirates," whose opening day of $55 million was greater than the former's entire opening weekend. The Man Of Steel managed to take in an estimated $21.9 million at the box office this weekend, coming in at a respectable second place, but leaving the film with $142 million in 12 days of release, a number that Johnny Depp and his crew of vagabonds should eclipse in a day or so. While "Superman Returns" was dealt a deadly 58% drop in it's second weekend at the box office, it's still tracking ahead of "Batman Begins," the original "Pirates Of The Caribbean," and "Lord Of The Rings: Fellowship Of The Ring," the latter two of which went on to do over $300 million domestically at the box office.

As stated before, it's necessary to keep in mind that "Pirates" is a sequel and has benefited from building an audience over the last few years. The first film in the trilogy did numbers slightly lower than "Superman Returns" in the same time period, and a more fair box office comparison can be made when the next Superman film debuts in theatres.

It's no surprise that "Pirates" was number one this weekend, though the actual numbers blew away many estimates, but next week should prove interesting for both films, as "Little Man" and "You, Me, & Dupree," both lighthearted comedies, debut at the box office. "Pirates" will undoubtedly be #1 or #2, but "Superman Returns" will really get a chance to show its legs at the box office. Any sequel should benefit from the first film's popularity, but for now it seems the summer, and likely the entire year, belong to "Pirates." It also makes Orlando Bloom the winner of the "Most Likely To Man Tons Of Money Off A Franchise" award, as his last trilogy was an art house series of films called "Lord Of The Rings."

For those really into early speculation, just think about how the box office will look next July, with "Spider-Man 3," "Transformers," and the third "Pirates" film all set to debut in the same month. Three venerable properties will take center stage and we, for one, cannot wait to see the results.

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