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Pirates Pillage the Box Office

May 23rd, 2011

We had a reason to celebrate this weekend as On Stranger Tides had the best opening of any film so far in 2011, even if it was a little weaker than expected. This helped the overall box office grow nearly 20% from last weekend to $167 million, which is 12% higher than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2011 is still behind 2010 by $3.65 billion to $4.13 billion, but the gap is down to 11.6% and the box office is moving in the right direction.

On Stranger Tides did open in first place over the weekend, but I don't think there were many people who were seriously doubting that would happen. On the other hand, its opening weekend haul of $90.15 million was substantially lower than the previous two installments of the Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise. Only The Curse of the Black Pearl opened with less, and it was blessed with strong reviews and long legs. This installment only managed 33% positive reviews and there's almost no chance it will top $300 million after an opening like this. True, it does have Memorial Day long weekend to boost its run, but it also has a lot of competition to deal with, plus there's the Sequel Effect. It should still show a large profit by the time it hits the home market, so don't feel bad for the studio, but I don't know what will happen to the franchise in the future.

Suddenly the path to $100 million looks a lot easier for Bridesmaids. During its second weekend of release, the film dipped just 20% to $20.88 million for a total of $59.34 million after two. It does have competition for R-rated comedy dollars next weekend, but it will also have the holiday to boost its numbers. Plus you can't discount those reviews and its track record so far. By this time next week, it should have more than $80 million in the bank, and it should hit the century mark before school holidays officially start.

It seems that direct competition hurt Thor more than expected and it was on the low end of Thursday's predictions. It still pulled in $15.46 million over the weekend for a total of $145.36 million after three. Its going to start shedding theaters, but it could still stick around long enough to match original expectations.

Fast Five is a few weeks away from the $200 million milestone. This past weekend it earned $10.58 million to give it a total of $186.17 million after four weeks of release.

Priest barely hung on to a spot in the top five with just $4.75 million. That was 68% lower than its opening weekend, giving the film $23.83 million after ten days of release. With a per theater average of under $2,000, it might see its theater count decimated on Thursday, and it might not reach $30 million in total.

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Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Thor, Priest, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Fast Five, Bridesmaids