There’s a reason the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise has survived for 14 years now. Despite the declining quality, these movies bring in the dough. And they better–the Johnny Depp fronted movies are some of the most expensive ever made.
The fifth Pirates of the Caribbean installment, Dead Men Tell No Tales, just launched on May 26. Johnny Depp returned as Captain Jack Sparrow, and Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom even put in their first appearances since the original trilogy ended. Javier Bardem joined the cast as the villainous Captain Salazar, while Geoffrey Rush reprised his role as Captain Hector Barbossa. Yes, there are a lot of captains listed here. But ever good Pirates fan knows you never leave the title off a name.
These are a lot of big star names, and they don’t come cheap. The budget of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales was reputed to be about $320 million. That’s going to take a lot of ticket sales to recoup. However, in its first weekend out of the gate, the flick already earned $324.9 million worldwide, so Disney probably isn’t wasting time worrying.
So far the franchise has managed to pull in over $1.3 billion. This doesn’t quite live up to the highest grossing movie franchise, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which has earned over $9 billion. Though Marvel is really more of a singular studio than a franchise, so we’re not sure that counts.