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Thursday, July 13, 2006

Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man's Chest Review

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

Directed by Gore Verbinski
Starring: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Bill Nighy, Keira Knightley and Stellan Skarsgard
Rating- PG-13
Running Time: 2 hours and 31 minutes

Website :

Jack Sparrow, Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann are back in another swashbuckling, high-seas pirating adventure from Disney. With Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley all reprising their roles from the original box office sensation Pirates of the Carribean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003).

In this - the second installment of the franchise we are introduced to two pivotal characters and a mythical ship called THE FLYING DUTCHMAN. The characters are Will Turner's father played by Skarsgard and Davy Jones, the nefarious captain who is half-man, half-octopus and pretty much all-evil. Sparrow owes him a debt and Turner and Swann can not get married if Sparrow is still at bay.

Sure, it's a complicated plot and a lot of the resolution of that plot requires more suspension of disbelief than you might have pre-considered, but the craftsmanship of this huge $250 million dollar budgeted film is marvellous to the eyes and ears. Depp's performance as Sparrow is slightly stale - perhaps we've seen it before or perhaps his role in this film is more central and less supporting, so the plot points hinge on him revealing where the action leads instead of providing the laughs.

In fact there aren't many laughs from Sparrow at all. Most of the laughs come from British comic actors Mackenzie Crook (which some might know from the British TV show THE OFFICE) and Kevin McNally (veteran actor).

The romance is also put on hold as we to a large part await further resolution for this film in the final installment which is to be called Pirates of the Carribean: At World's End - due out in theaters next Memorial Day (2007).

Therefore, think of your $10 ticket as an installment payment for a 1 out of 2 part adventure that will cost you $20 (plus popcorn etc) for 5 total hours of entertainment for Parts 2 & 3 of this trilogy. In other words- $4 an hour. Is this movie or are these 2 movies - which cost a combined $500 million to make - worth $4 a hour worth it to view- Sure they are.

And as a result the box office has been incredible. The very first day of release- July 7th was a Friday and the total box office for that day smashed the un-breakable mark of $50 million in a day- coming in at $55 million. This was more than Star Wars 3's first day (a Thursday) and people who watch Star Wars are SUPER GEEKS! This means that more people- more non-geeks went to see this movie in 1 day than ever before (24 hour period since this also includes midnight and 3 AM showings).

To top this off, Pirates 2 took in a total of $134 million in the three day weekend period. This was more than Spider-Man and more than the fictional Aquaman (from Entourage) could rake in. This is so much that the studio UNDER-estimated it's weekend total on Sunday by saying they had taken in $132 million (this never happens- Studios usually inflate their take by a small percentage - but here they under-shot by $2 million- because they probably couldn't believe how huge their film was).

To top off this huge weekend more records were being broken on the first Monday- the film scored $18 million dollars- beating all non-holiday, non-openers for a Monday by more than $6 million. Tuesday was even more impressive when Pirates 2 raked in $14 million squashing THE OMEN's record Tuesday opening (6/6/06) of $12 million dollars and becoming the #1 movie on a Tuesday of all time. Yesterday, Pirates 2 didn't slow down and scored $14 million as well.

What does this mean? This movie is a locomotive. Now, all the people who weren't going to see it right away- are. And the notoriety from the huge opening will propel further interest. The most fascinating question people are asking is- how big will the 2nd weekend drop be. A 50% drop still means the film will do $77 million this coming weekend. They kept all of their 4,133 screens and this could mean disaster to upcomng films such as LITTLE MAN, YOU, ME AND DUPREE, MY SUPER EX-GIRLFRIEND and LADY IN THE WATER.

Pirates 2 already crushed Superman and it's potential to decimate all comers is a reality that many are poised for. Everyone knew the film's numbers would be big, but not this big. The only winners in the face of such competition might be smaller films and art-house films. Films such as INCONVENIENT TRUTH and perhaps the upcoming LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE might be opportunities for film-goers to go see films at art-houses or with a message and avoid the huge lines that Pirates 2 is attracting.

And now the moment you've been waiting for....

The rating...

2.5 stars