TMZ

Our TV Shows

Got a Tip?

Call TMZ at (888) 847-9869 or Click Here

Disney's "Pirates 2": Yo-Ho-Hum

7/17/2006 7:11 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Oren AvivFor the second time this year, I've felt a bit duped after leaving a blockbuster. I suppose I have no one to blame but myself for walking the plank: I totally bought into the hype around Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean," a film that was "tracking as big as anything in history" per Nikki Finke's "Deadline Hollywood Daily" column.

And with good reason: After the unqualified success of the first film, you, me, and everyone else I knew was hot to see it. Disney spent $140 million on the first film, and managed more than $650 million worldwide with it. Having admitted to spending $225 million on this one (which in English likely means you can add $25 million to that figure) one's timbers shivered to think what awaited us in theaters this time.

Unfortunately: A sea dog.

Don't get me wrong: From a box office perspective, "Pirates" is an unqualified hit. But I suspect that "Pirates of the Caribbean 3" will wind up more akin to "Matrix: Revolutions" than "Titanic."

Per the Hollywood Reporter: "'Dead Man's Chest' ...continues to exceed expectations. The Jerry Bruckheimer-produced/Gore Verbinski-directed film has now earned $258.2 million, setting a record as the highest 10-day grosser. The record tops 'Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith's' 10-day number of an estimated $236.9 million, set last year."

Having spent the entire two and a half hours of "Pirates 2" yawning, with my micro-naps interrupted by a thunderous score, I wonder what the drop-off will be next weekend. And in particular the week after that, when all those who couldn't get into a screening during opening weekend finally do see the film, and leave deafened and bored out of their skulls and cross bones.

More than anything, though, I marvel at the skill of Oren Aviv, the Disney marketing chief whose promotion is detailed so carefully in today's New York Times.

Aviv's elevation comes, as the Times' Laura Holson points out, "despite a major reorganization of its live-action movie division, which will alter the way Disney movies are made and marketed" - and a time when Disney has slid from first place in box office (in 2003) to fifth.

Again, don't misunderstand me: Aviv's promotion is richly deserved, for no doubt he is the architect of Disney's decision to emphasize only certain parts of its marketing data to the industry press - i.e. Nikki Finke report of tracking "as big as any film in history." That is, the studio was careful to let it be known that everyone wanted to see a sequel, but equally scrupulous in not emphasizing that everyone who'd screened said sequel was in love with it. (Because, let's be honest, they weren't. At least, no one in the theater I was in was laughing.)

Meanwhile, though, Aviv has an even tougher boat to row: People can always be whipped up into a foamy frenzy to see the sequel to a great movie. It's considerably harder to excite them into parting with $10 bucks to see the sequel to a snore.

COMMENTS

No Avatar

1.

Brenda Sites    

I thought that Pirates of the Carribean Dead Man's Chest was a wonderful movie. My son was glued to his seat, so excited to be there. Captian Jack didn't let me down and judging my the reaction of the audience everyone loved it! I'm looking forward to number 3.

2931 days ago
2.

PJ    

I thought this movie was great, both my kids loved it. Everyone did a great job, especially Johnny Depp. I think why everyone is so fascinated with Jack Sparrow is Depps performance is so great, the audience forgets who is acting the part, and the character takes on a life of it's own. When will critics learn that we don't care what they say. Remember how the critics hated It's A Wonderful Live and it has become a treasured holdiay movie.

2931 days ago
3.

Rebecca Russell    

As an avid fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride as well as the first film, The Curse of the Black Pearl, I flew to California to attend the opening weekend of Dead Man's Chest.

The audiences at the Downtown Disney AMC and at the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood were laughing, standing in their seats cheering, and at certain points, some fans were quietly weeping. It was one of the most engaging film openings I've ever attended.

I hope you'll join us next year at the El Capitan for POTC3. Seeing the film from a fans point of view might change your mind.

Wishing you warm winds and smooth sailing,

Bootstrap Beck

2931 days ago
4.

Rebecca Russell    

As an avid fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride as well as the first film, The Curse of the Black Pearl, I flew to California to attend the opening weekend of Dead Man's Chest.

The audiences at the Downtown Disney AMC and at the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood were laughing, standing in their seats cheering, and at certain points, some fans were quietly weeping. It was one of the most engaging film openings I've ever attended.

I hope you'll join us next year at the El Capitan for POTC3. Seeing the film from a fans point of view might change your mind.

Wishing you warm winds and smooth sailing,

Bootstrap Beck

2931 days ago
5.

sumias sweetback    

the movie was boring and wierd

2931 days ago
6.

Susan    

I loved the movie and can't wait for the 3rd one. It kept me glued to my seat and it didn't seem like 2 1/2 hours.

2931 days ago
7.

Marquis    

It's true. Most critics love real 'bore-fests'. Take last year's Oscar nominees. I saw most of them. Crash was a snore, where all the characters fit in to stereotypes. Walk The Line was a true snooze fest, wishing I could leave the theater half-way. Sure he's a legend, but jeez. Most of the nominees weren't even heard of until after the Oscars. The only two movies i've EVER liked from the Oscars, were 'The Chorus', and 'The Triplets Of Belleville'. Both were French. It sure tells alot about the U.S.'s movies, doesn't it?

Grow up. A great movie doesn't always have to make you think too long.

2928 days ago

Around The Web