DVD places the loot in 'Dead Man's Chest'
By Thomas K. Arnold, Special for USA TODAY
The third chapter of the Pirates of the Caribbean saga, At World's End, is eight months away from theaters.
That's a long time to wait to find out how Johnny Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow escapes the jaws of the kraken.
Industry observers expect the DVD of the year's biggest movie to easily be the year's top seller, beating another Disney title, The Chronicles of Narnia, which was released before Easter and sold more than 11 million DVDs in the USA alone.
"It's definitely a repeatable movie that people will want to own," says industry analyst Tom Adams of Adams Media Research. He predicts sales of 12 million to 13 million for Dead Man's Chest.
The sequels only fuel renewed interest in the movies that came before. During Dead Man's summer theatrical run, the DVD of the original Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl shot back into the top five on the national DVD sales chart nearly three years after it was released.
"That's likely to happen again with the DVD release of the second one," Adams says.
The Dead Man's Chest DVD will come out in both a single-disc edition ($30) and a two-disc collector's edition ($35).
Both DVDs have bloopers and commentary from writers Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, who also are writing the upcoming movie.
The collector's edition also comes with 10 featurettes, including a profile on Depp, an inside look at the movie's premiere on Disneyland's Main Street, a photo diary from producer Jerry Bruckheimer, a feature on how Disneyland's popular Pirates of the Caribbean attraction became the basis for a movie and an extensive making-of documentary.
For the DVD, Bruckheimer worked to be sure the special features give audiences something fresh.
"We wanted to give people more than they saw in the theater, a little insight into the filmmaking process," he says.
For the making-of featurette, "a documentary filmmaker followed us around during the prep work, and you'll see things that went wrong, as well as the joy of the first day of filming, which is really nice."
Bruckheimer says work on the third installment in the franchise is progressing nicely.
"We shot a lot of Chow Yun-Fat's stuff already, and we should finish the principal actors by the beginning of November, so we are quite a ways into it."
The third film is expected to open May 25, on Memorial Day weekend.
And by Christmas 2007, expect a DVD release and a boxed set of all three films.