Pirates of the Caribbean producer Jerry Bruckheimer has indicated that possibilities for a sixth Pirates movie may hinge on how well Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales performs upon its home release. Dead Men Tell No Tales received generally weak reviews and underperformed at the domestic box office, becoming the first Pirates film not to crack the $200 million mark in the U.S. Worldwide the film has grossed $792 million, ranking it fourth-highest in series history, well behind the last three installments.
Coming six years after the fourth installment in the series, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales adheres to the basic Pirates formula: Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow gets into various scrapes that he survives in amusing fashion, and is ultimately pitted against some supernatural force arising out of the sea, in this case Javier Bardem’s vengeful Captain Salazar. Series regulars Geoffrey Rush, Keira Knighley and Orlando Bloom all make return appearances, while new younger cast-members Kaya Scodelario and Brenton Thwaites climb aboard too.
Originally it was reported that Pirates 6 would film back-to-back with Pirates 5, but after the fifth film’s somewhat disappointing box office returns, some wondered if Disney would go ahead with any further plans for the franchise. In an interview with Yahoo! Movies, series producer Jerry Bruckheimer indicated that plans for Pirates 6 could still go forward if Dead Men Tell No Tales does well enough in its home release:
“Well, I hope we can continue to make it, but you know we’ve been having so much fun just promoting this one right now that we’ll just have to wait and see. Hopefully it’s very successful on DVD as the other ones have been. Then hopefully we’ll sit down and see where we go.”
Bruckheimer also addressed charges that Dead Men Tell No Tales was a box office failure, arguing that the film would have grossed $1 billion worldwide if today’s currency exchange rates were the same as in 2011 when On Stranger Tides cracked the $1 billion mark. Bruckheimer slammed negative media reports about the film’s performance:
“The media likes to run with the reviews and we didn’t get great reviews, so they like to say it didn’t do well. But god it’s at what, $790 [million] now? It’s amazing.”
The soft returns for Dead Men Tell No Tales became part of a larger narrative about overall “franchise fatigue,” a phenomenon that seemed to set in big-time this summer at least in the United States. Looking at the lower box office returns for franchise movies like Transformers: The Last Knight, The Mummy and Alien: Covenant, it’s hard to reach any conclusion other than audiences losing interest in some long-running series and longing for more original fare.
Still, it appears Pirates 5 could have a future despite its waning box office performance. The Pirates films have always been strong performers in the physical media sales department, with the last three racking up a reported $734 million in DVD and Blu-ray sales. Dead Men Tell No Tales will be available via digital download on September 19th and on Blu-ray on October 3rd, and Jerry Bruckheimer and company will be keeping their eyes on the sales numbers to determine whether there is any financial incentive for them to continue the long-running Pirates of the Caribbean series.
Source: Yahoo! Movies
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