Coming out on top. The fourth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean series drew a five-day overseas gross of $256.3 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter, making it the biggest-grossing offshore debut of all time. The previous record was held by the sixth Harry Potter film. The monumental offshore numbers made up for the fact that its North America gross was $90.1 million -- making it the only Pirates film to make less than $100 million domestically. It was also the worst reviewed (though reviews for the franchise have been steadily declining, and everyone's getting too rich to care). Owen Gleiberman at Entertainment Weekly reviewed that "It's one real act of piracy is stealing away your excitement." And Tom Long at Detroit News reviewed, "It's never quite clear what the relationship between Jack [Johnny Depp] and Angelica [Penelope Cruz] is." Judging from their pictures, we'd guess: twins.
Woody Allen also set a career record with Midnight in Paris, which opened in six theaters in Los Angeles and New York to a per-location average of $96,468 — the best per-theater average in months. And unlike Pirates, Midnight can thank reviews for its windfall: even Allen skeptics like Kenneth Turan at the Los Angeles Times reviewed it as the director's "best, most enjoyable work in years."
Rounding out the middle. As Pirates was the only widescreen release this week (unsurprising, as who would want to compete?) the remaining films in the top five are something of a repeat from last week. Bridesmaids came in at number 2, falling only 21 percent to an estimated $21.1 million, enjoying the last of its heavy cash flow before The Hangover Part II arrives and sucks up all of its audience. Thor placed No. 3, declining 55 percent to $15.5 million, followed by Fast Five and Fox’s 3D cartoon Rio.
Dragging down the bottom. Allen's Midnight was the only reporting indie debut (slow week for new releases all around) and of the holdovers, films that were doing badly continued to tank. Mel Gibson's The Beaver expanded to more theaters, but to the same dismal results, averaging just $1,131 per theater, Indiewire reports. It's total so far is $581,643, truly pathetic compared to its cost of $21 million. Though with foreign sales it may ultimately break even, it may also break Gibson's career. Wonder if we'll miss him?
Also in underwhelming, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Natalie Portman's Hesher actually shrank in distribution (bad sign) and continued to gross a low per theater average of $2,657. Will Ferrell's Everything Must Go likewise stayed small with a $2,159 per theater average. We imagine Natalie Portman and Will Ferrell are getting nostalgic for studio films right about now.