Pirates of the Caribbean 3: On Its Way to $1 Billion

August 28, 2006–“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest” scored its eighth straight weekend victory at the foreign box office with $17.8 million at 7,387 playdates, lifting its international cumulative to $554.7 million, thus surpassing the US returns. The worldwide take to $962.3 million.

The sequel is within a few days of passing “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone” (at $976.5 million) as the third highest worldwide grosser of all time. And it could hit the $1 billion mark by the end of next weekend, joining “Titanic” ($1.83 billion) and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” ($1.13 billion) as the only pics with 10-figure worldwide cumes.

Thanks to respectable holdovers plus a record-setting Greek launch, BVI's “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest” took in nearly as much as the combined grosses of the next two pics, UIP's “Miami Vice” and BVI's “Cars.”

“Dead Man's Chest” has kept overall late-summer foreign biz humming, finishing well above leading pics in the same frame last year (“The Island” with $9.7 million) and 2004 (“The Village” with $10.2 million).

“Chest” took its top grosses from France with $3.2 million at 750, down 40% in its sixth frame, and from Greece with an all-time best opening of $2.6 million at 195, 25% ahead of previous territorial record-holder, “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.”

“Chest” also saw solid grosses from its fifth German frame with $2.3 million at 680, its sixth Japanese weekend with $2.2 million at 585, its third Spanish sesh with $2.1 million at 788 and its eighth U.K. weekend with $1.1 million at 450, down 33% and lifting the Brit cume to $91.5 million. The sequel also managed to generate the top launch of 2006 in war-torn Lebanon with $100,000 at 65 engagements.

The eight straight victories by “Chest” represent the longest winning streak of this century, topping the seven consecutive frames won by “Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl,” which grossed $653 million worldwide in 2003. Its final major foreign opening comes Sept. 15 in Italy.