– by Seth McDonald

 Captain Jack Sparrow and his crew of miscreants are set to once again plunder the box office. The fifth installment in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean, Dead men Tell No Tales, is ready to make port with a $90 million debut.

The franchise has always been a tough competitor at the box office with two of the films, 2006’s Dead Man’s Chest, and 2011’s On Stranger Tides, pulling in over $1 billion worldwide each.  Dead Man’s Chest, had an opening weekend of $135 million, with the third film, 2007’s At World’s End, opening to $114 million.

Does the $90 million dollar estimate for Dead Men Tell No Tales spell doom for its chances to hit exceed a billion dollars? Though it may seem low in comparison to what the earlier blockbusters in the franchise raked in, it shouldn’t worry fans or the studio. Excluding the first film in the series, Curse of the Black Pearl, On Stranger Tides had the lowest opening weekend of any film in the franchise, and still managed to cross the billion-dollar mark (due, in large part to its overseas cume). Dead Men Tell No Tales has an estimated budget of $320 million, and assuming that is a legitimate figure, the film would then need to hit at least $640 million to be considered profitable. An opening of $90 million could bring it well past that. 

While the film is sure to be a win for Disney financially, it could also likely be a return to form for the fans of the franchise. The trailer gives off a darker tone than the previous film, and calls back to the first movie, Curse of the Black Pearl.  

After sitting out the fourth movie, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightly have returned to reprise their roles of Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann. Johnny Depp will again play the eccentric rogue Jack Sparrow, with Geoffrey Rush returning to play Sparrow’s eternal nemesis and friend, Captain Barbossa. Javier Bardem will come aboard to play the film’s villain, Captain Salazar. Bardem and Depp have previously worked together in 2000’s Before Night Falls.

It will be interesting to see how Bardem’s ghostly Captain Salazar and Depp’s almost cartoonish Sparrow play off of each other, and how it will differ from the relationship of Sparrow and previous villains Davy Jones and Blackbeard.

Others joining to the cast include, Kaya Scodelario, Brendon Thwaites, and David Denham.

The movie is co-directed by Espen Sandberg and Joachim Rønning, with Jeff Nathanson delivering the screenplay from a story co-written by Nathanson and franchise veteran Terry Rossio.

Pirates of the Caribbean : Dead Men Tell No Tales hits theaters May 26, 2017.

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