In June 2010 filming began on a new Pirates of the Caribbean movie but will audiences still have the same appetite to see Johnny Depp returning to play Captain Jack Sparrow? The first three Pirates movies made over one billion dollars from North American audiences but it is interesting to note that the second movie in the series, “Dead Man’s Chest”, made the most of all three films. Why is that?
When the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie came out in 2003 it was a summertime hit. The movie ended its run with an impressive box office figure of $305 million dollars. Realizing that it had a new franchise on its hands, Walt Disney Pictures immediately ordered two more Pirates of the Caribbean movies to be filmed back to back and released one year apart. The first sequel was “Dead Man’s Chest” which came out in the summer of 2006. That movie made $406 million dollars, $100 million more than the first movie did. But when the third movie came out one year later, “At World’s End”, only grossed $309 million dollars, barely $4 million dollars over what the first Pirates movie made. Why?
One of the theories is that sequels only seem to do better when there is more time spread out between them. This allows audiences to not get accustomed to seeing the same characters over and over again in too short of a time. Back in the golden age of movies Hollywood made sequels very quickly, with some installments appearing several times a year. But this was before the creation of home video and television which now allows people to watch more movies in the comfort of their homes.
The new Pirates of the Caribbean movie is scheduled to arrive in the summer of 2011. That would make it 4 years since the third movie, “At World’s End”, which is a longer time than the gap between the first movie and the second Pirates movie. That is a good indication that people will have missed the Captain Jack character and the new movie could reach the same high grosses as the second movie did.