Walt Disney Co. studio execs just might be planning on a big-screen version of "It's a Small World" since the latest flick based on a Disneyland attraction bested all other films at the box office this past weekend.
"Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl," starring Johnny Depp, took in about $46.4 million in the three-day period from Friday to Sunday, according to studio estimates. But since the swashbuckling movie opened on Wednesday, its total of $70.4 million brings it over the halfway point in recouping its costs, which have been estimated at $120 to $140 million. (Click for photos from "Pirates of the Caribbean.")
Comic-book fantasy "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" came in at #2, exceeding studio expectations with a $23.3 million draw. The flick, which focuses on the adventures of Captain Nemo, Dorian Gray, Allan Quatermain and other literary all-stars, cost $70 million to produce. (Click for photos from "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.")
Last week's top film, "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines," fell to #3, with a weekend total of $19.6 million. The Schwarzenegger franchise flick lost about 55 percent of last weekend's gross ($72.5 million), though its $110.5 million total is more than half of what its predecessor "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" made in 1991.
Without the allure of fireworks and backyard barbecues to distract them, cinemaniacs flocked to the movies more this week than they did last. Overall ticket sales of the top 12 films were up 7.3 percent this week from the previous week. Revenue was also up 3.4 percent from the same week last year.
The rest of the weekend's top 10 includes "Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde," placing fourth in weekend sales, with $12 million ($62.9 million after two weeks); this year's biggest movie, "Finding Nemo," at #5, with $8.2 million ($290.8 million, seven weeks); "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle" at #6 with $7.3 million ($81.7 million, three weeks); "Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas" at #7 with $4.6 million ($19 million, two weeks); "28 Days Later" at #8 with $4.3 million ($28.4 million, three weeks); "The Hulk" at #9 with $3.7 million ($124.7 million, after four weeks); and "The Italian Job" at #10 with $2.8 million ($88.9 million, seven weeks).