Fueled by foreign moviegoers, Disney’s 3D Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
opened to $346.4 million at the worldwide box office to grab the fourth-best global bow of all time, as well as the biggest international opening ever. On Stranger Tides
grossed a massive $256.3 million overseas, nearly three times the $90.1 million earned in North America.
Disney had hoped for a $100 million opening at the domestic box office but took solace in the fact that On Stranger Tides
still scored the top debut of the year (Universal’s Fast Five was the previous crown-holder with $86.2 million). Tracking had always suggested that the movie would open in the $80 million to $100 million range domestically.
Thanks to the 3D tentpole, domestic box-office revenue was up 12 percent from a year ago. On Stranger Tides
was an expensive proposition for Disney, costing $250 million to produce before a hefty marketing spend.
The movie’s stellar opening overseas reinforces the glowing clout of the international box office, where On Stranger Tides
came in ahead of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
($236 million), Spider-Man 3
($230.5 million) and the previous Pirates
film, At World’s End
Those three movies all opened north of $100 million domestically, so in terms of global grosses, they still pace ahead of On Stranger Tides
in terms of best overall opening. Half-Blood Prince
opened to $393 million, Spider-Man 3
with $381 million and At World’s End
to $357 million.
In North America, At World's End
debuted to $114.7 million in May 2007, well more than the $90.1 million grossed by On Stranger Tides
Domestically, On Stranger Tides
drew a B+ CinemaScore rating, indicating that moviegoers liked the film despite generally poor reviews. The majority of Friday’s audience was older than 25 (54 percent), and 54 percent were male. Couples made up 53 percent.