Way To Go Everybody: 'On Stranger Tides' Now One Of The Top Ten Worldwide Earners Of All Time

by Kevin Jagernauth
June 21, 2011 8:23 AM
33 Comments
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As much we like to bemoan the lack of originality in Hollywood, and the increasingly dull and safe choices that Johnny Depp continues to make, it's news like this that is a sober reminder that there is a whole other legion of people who go to the movies who could give two shits about artistic integrity or being spoonfed the same tripe over and over. And it's pretty much the reason why the fourth water-logged entry in a tiring franchise is making history.

The people have spoken and "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" has now entered the top 10 highest earning movies worldwide of all time. Currently sitting at $956 million and counting, any fears that the opening of the film was "soft" have been relieved by the gangbusters business the movie has done overseas. While it has taken in just over $220 million in the United States, it has earned an astonishing $735 million everywhere else and is pretty much poised to join the billion dollar club in the near future. The film currently sits in the 10th spot of the all-time list, but is within striking distance of 'At World's End,' which sits in the number nine slot with $963 million.

And while Depp has played it cool on any sequels for now, stressing he wants the director and story to be right (though the movies are still big jumbled messes), the showing of 'On Stranger Tides' proves that, more than ever, audiences want more adventures of Captain Jack Sparrow. In fact Terry Rossio is already on board to write the script for a 'Pirates 5.' And really, it seems to be a mere formality of telling everybody where and when to show up for the next movie to get rolling.

"Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" is still in theaters, making mad bank and it likely won't be the last time we see Depp swish and sway across the world's many oceans. [BoxOfficeMojo]

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33 Comments

  • Fuzzy | June 22, 2011 8:15 AMReply

    Oh my god - a bad film made a lot of money? really? ... WHO CARES! It is a fundamental element of human civilization that the majority of our species are mindless ignorami who lap this drivel up - nothing will ever be gained by getting all snarky about it. Just relax and get on with your life...

    Besides, the fact that most people don't appreciate artistic integrity makes it all that much better for those who do. (uh-oh... does this make me pretentious?)

  • ska-triumph | June 22, 2011 7:15 AMReply

    Thrilling, visceral "discussion" here.

    A lighter note: Any takers on whether the new/last Transformers and new/last Harry Potter will do in that worldwide B.O. list next to the Jack Sparrow saga?

    I welcome all of you/us to talk about the crossroads of branded properties, merchandising, VFX spectacles, and good storytelling - yet again.

  • Gabe Toro | June 22, 2011 2:50 AMReply

    It is true: I absolutely do not go to movies to be entertained. I HATE entertainment.

  • jj | June 22, 2011 2:45 AMReply

    “that doesn’t mean shit. catering down to a marketing demographic is nothing admireable”

    "And yet it makes money and it has fans all over the world. What ever personal problem you might have with that fact, its still a fact."

    and still your facts have nothing to do with my argument. I have no problem with pirates 4 making mad money as I don't have a problem with bankers making mad money through subprime lending, but I don't have to respect and in the case of pirates 4 especially not on a artistic, cultural or personal entertainment level.

  • rodie | June 22, 2011 1:11 AMReply

    I think a lot of the snark and angst that comes out of blogs like Playlist when a film like Pirates 4 make so much money is that it is frustrating because it's such a missed opportunity, in a way. Sure, it's just entertainment, but there have been and will be in the future, films that are super entertaining and at the same time well-written and thought-provoking for adults.

    It's not a zero-sum game. Movies can have a heart and a brain. I'm sure the set designers, costumers, make-up and effects people on Pirates 4 are top notch and all did their best work, which is of a very high quality, but obviously this film is lacking in the script department, and that's a valid thing to critique regardless of the film's intended audience.

  • Paul | June 22, 2011 1:09 AMReply

    John M, if you don't know what the quote “Art is subjective" means, then you're an Idiot.

    As for Pirates 4, it did what it set out to do and made a lot of money in process. The people who are crying over that and the fact that the movie has its fans should truly get a life.

  • hmm | June 21, 2011 12:07 PMReply

    Alice was an original story but served as a sequel to the book. Todd was a horror musical, and yes it not only was one of his best performances, but it was something new and fresh.

  • John M | June 21, 2011 11:43 AMReply

    "And BTW, what’s so “dull and safe” about taking on Sweeney Todd, Alice in Wonderland, Dark Shadows, and Jack Sparrow?"

    Hm, for starters: none are original stories, except POTC, which is based on a kiddie ride.

    Back atcha: what's remotely daring about taking on any of these? Is it because they're kinda gothy? That's it, isn't it: it's the eyeliner.

  • John M | June 21, 2011 11:39 AMReply

    "Art is subjective, those who think that they are better than those who don’t feel the same as they do are the real fools."

    This is a remarkably lucid run-on sentence. Thanks, Gloria! Best of luck with that tenure position!

    But yes, please, everyone, let's think of the children. Let us not steal away their Jack Sparrow joy.

    And Gloria, seriously, don't kid yourself: "arthouse film" probably isn't a normal weekend option for you. Be honest with us. Just be honest. That's all we ask.

    THE CHILDREN!!!

    Looking forward to the breathless defenses of ZOOKEEPER when it makes a bazillion dollars. It's entertaining--leave it alone!

  • Gloria | June 21, 2011 11:10 AMReply

    "that doesn’t mean shit. catering down to a marketing demographic is nothing admireable"

    And yet it makes money and it has fans all over the world. What ever personal problem you might have with that fact, its still a fact.

    "People need to stop making excuses for a quality of a film based on this is something fun for the kids to see."

    And film snobs should not have a heart attack and attack people because they like a certain film.

    Art is subjective, those who think that they are better than those who don't feel the same as they do are the real fools.


    And i rather sit through a Pirates movie than sit through a bad art house film.

  • Erica | June 21, 2011 11:09 AMReply

    What apologists? How many actors produce a wicked character that becomes a worldwide icon, and how many movies reinvigorate a genre the way POTC did with pirate films? I love all the POTC movies, and the latest was a fun romp that the mixed groups I saw it with enjoyed, with only one hold-out. Nobody wanted their money back. So bring 'em on, including POTC 5, 6, 7. It's no different than a series of books revolving around a set of characters, nothing "tired" about it.
    And BTW, what's so "dull and safe" about taking on Sweeney Todd, Alice in Wonderland, Dark Shadows, and Jack Sparrow?

  • Blue Steel | June 21, 2011 10:41 AMReply

    The writer is not saying it needs to live up to some arthouse standard. He saying that it needs to live up to the standard of being a good movie. Besides the first Pirates movie, the rest are bad. People need to stop making excuses for a quality of a film based on this is something fun for the kids to see. Kung Fu Panda, the other dreamwork animated films ,and every single Pixar movie are made specifically for kids. Those movies in terms of story, dialogue, and character development run circles around the Pirates movies and still entertain kids and their families.

  • jj | June 21, 2011 10:38 AMReply

    "The pirates series is successful because it offers kid-friendly action adventure, and kids really like it. God forbid children are entertained and their parents have something to take them to…again"

    that doesn't mean shit. catering down to a marketing demographic is nothing admireable. the term kids movie today means "retarded shit for toddlers". you're making the old argument of "brains out, have fun". I still like to use my brain while being entertained, same goes for kids. it's a matter of respect.

  • howson | June 21, 2011 10:14 AMReply

    @Kathleen

    I just think you guys choose to ignore a huge demographic of movie-goers...kids. I've never seen the Pirates movies, but I respect that most families don't obsess over box office and Hollywood and are just looking to be entertained on a weekend. That doesn't mean they belong to a "legion" who enjoys "tripe" and hates art.

    Not every movie needs to be meet whatever your "well-crafted pieces of cinema art" standards are, and if people want to enjoy a stupid pirate movie, or laugh at Kevin James getting hit in the groin, there is nothing wrong with that. That's what movies are for, entertainment.

    The pirates series is successful because it offers kid-friendly action adventure, and kids really like it. God forbid children are entertained and their parents have something to take them to...again, it's not geared towards a film buff cinema art crowd so I don't see the need for a film buffs to act so offended by it's existence...

  • Mr Jones | June 21, 2011 9:56 AMReply

    "If we can’t expect and hope for better art, than we don’t deserve it."

    What we don't need is someone attacking fans of a movie because they feel it did not deserve to make money.

  • Kathleen Walsh | June 21, 2011 9:44 AMReply

    Oh my god, who are all these Pirates apologists? It's a shitty movie with a dumb story. Do you see how every writer on this site praises those tentpole films (Super 8, X-Men) that are actually well-crafted pieces of cinema art and storytelling? That's what we care about. Not the sheep going to see Johnny Depp in Keith Richards drag cashing a paycheck to make a payment on his private island's mortgage. Entertaining and profitable movies can and should be well made. If we can't expect and hope for better art, than we don't deserve it.

  • Mr Jones | June 21, 2011 9:40 AMReply

    ". Something making a lot of money does not equal artistic merit."

    But it does mean that people did like the movie enough to see it right? The same people you're blaming for letting this movie make the money it did.


    2. "We have nothing against big budget movies or being entertained—in fact, we’re big fans of “Super 8” and if that movie made a billion dollars we’d be thrilled."

    So that's your problem. How hypocritical of you.

  • Simon | June 21, 2011 9:37 AMReply

    Seriously, does anyone feel the fourth installment holds up to even the chaotic but at least epic At World's End?

  • hmm | June 21, 2011 9:33 AMReply

    "The pirates franchise is the prime example of a lack of artistic integrity and rehased mainstream crap"


    By all means tell me where these Pirates stories have been done before.

  • howson | June 21, 2011 9:32 AMReply

    But seriously, who does Nicolas Winding Refn think should play Aquaman in a movie that doesn't exist?!

  • Simon | June 21, 2011 9:31 AMReply

    The problem with Pirates isn't that it's entertaining, it's that it's not. It's truly dull. Stop all the whining already, don't read if you're not interested in what the writer has to say. If you only want your own thoughts reflected, read your own blog. Retarded.

  • Kevin Jagernauth | June 21, 2011 9:26 AMReply

    1. Something making a lot of money does not equal artistic merit.

    2. We have nothing against big budget movies or being entertained -- in fact, we're big fans of "Super 8" and if that movie made a billion dollars we'd be thrilled.

    The end.

  • The Playlist | June 21, 2011 9:23 AMReply

    Well said, Chris. Way to be reductive Howson.

  • howson | June 21, 2011 9:21 AMReply

    this post reminds me of how whenever there is news on an Adam Sandler movie breaks, this site and others get all up-in-arms as if it is an affront to mankind.

    The bottom line is, every movie in the market can't be catered to your individual hipster tastes, and movies like this get made because people like them. And if someone likes them, then that doesn't mean they "give two shits about artistic integrity" it just means they liked a movie. It's really that simple.

  • Christopher Bell | June 21, 2011 9:19 AMReply

    For the last time, movies can be entertaining but there's no excuse for stupidity.

  • Mr Jones | June 21, 2011 9:16 AMReply

    Artistic integrity? Has the arrogant author of this article serious? Pirates 4 is about to make a billion dollars world wide. If he thinks that's bad, he's a moron.

  • howson | June 21, 2011 9:14 AMReply

    @Nik Grape

    I totally get not liking the movie...but not every movie has to be "arthouse" and who are you to judge integrity? A LOT goes into making a movie...sure, the studio is just trying to make money...but you know what? A ton of people work on a movie like Pirates. I'd say the people who work on visual effects, stunts, costumes, casting, lighting, all work hard to do their best and work with integrity.

    I am totally OK with people snarking on and hating movies, or wonder why people like them, but I don't get the need to wish for financial failure for everything you personally dislike - these movies entertain a lot of kids and provide a ton of jobs, so I don't get the problem with them. You guys act like the success of the "Pirates" franchise is bad for films and cinema, when it's the exact opposite.

    It's not an either/or scenario, where the studio greenlighting a "Pirates 5" is doing it instead of, or at the expense of some "integrity" filled movie.

  • The Playlist | June 21, 2011 9:06 AMReply

    WOW, dude works in the film bizzness. SHUT THE SITE DOWN! SHUT IT DOWN!

  • Tony | June 21, 2011 9:04 AMReply

    "The author of this article has a right to his opinion and many from the film business would agree with him. "

    I work in the film business and i would kill to have a movie that makes as much money as Pirates 4 did. I don't know what reality you live in but the author of this article has no clue on what he is talking about and neither do you.

  • Nik Grape | June 21, 2011 9:01 AMReply

    The author of this article has a right to his opinion and many from the film business would agree with him.

    The pirates franchise is the prime example of a lack of artistic integrity and rehased mainstream crap. When someone recognizes this in a movie it stops being entertaining and start being frustrating.

    The fact that you and others think this drivel is entertainment is your right but it's also just your opinion, much like Playlist's opinion (again, shared by many) that it's sad to see this kind of movie make this amount of money..

  • Gloria | June 21, 2011 8:53 AMReply

    I think the author of this crappy article should be reminded that people go to the pirates films to be entertained. If you have a personal problem with that, get out of the film business.

    Glad Pirates 4 did the money it did. Can't wait for Pirates 5.

  • Nik Grape | June 21, 2011 8:42 AMReply

    I feel a little more saner every time I remind myself that my dollars did not contribute to this shite.

  • howson | June 21, 2011 8:40 AMReply

    "a sober reminder that there is a whole other legion of people who go to the movies who could give two shits about artistic integrity or being spoonfed the same tripe over and over."

    Hey pretentious one, some people enjoy popcorn action movies and pirates. It's really not a problem. Maybe for your kid's birthday party you can take him and all his friends to see "Blue Valentine," but just because someone enjoys a summer movie doesn't mean they don't care about "integrity" it just means they can be entertained for 2 hours without nitpicking everything to death.

    I've never seen a "Pirates" movie, they look retarded, but if people enjoy them, good for them. I have no problem with people have fun at the movies.

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