Pirates: Dean Man’s Chest (2006): Commercial Records

“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” broke many records over the weekend. Disney’s theme park sequel opened to an astounding $132 million, $17 million ahead of the previous three-day weekend record set by “Spider-Man.”

It even beat the four-day weekend title previously held by “X-Men: the Last Stand,” which took $122.9 million over Memorial Day Weekend.

On Friday, its $55.5 million gross was the biggest single day ever. By Saturday, its $100.2 million take was the biggest ever two-day gross and made pic the first to break the $100 million barrier in 48 hours. Saturday’s $44.7 million gross was $100,000 off from the best-ever Saturday gross of $44.8 million, drawn by “Shrek 2” in 2004.

Despite playing at 4,133 theaters, “Pirates” averaged $31,945 per play, the biggest ever for a film in wide release.

“Pirates” led the way to a record breaking weekend for the industry of $217 million, according to Nielsen EDI, ahead of the previous record of $188 million, set in June 2004, when “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” opened.

Online ticketers Fandango and MovieTickets.com both set single-day sales records on Friday thanks to “Pirates.”

Establishing itself as the blockbuster of the year, “Pirates” has already grossed more than “Superman Returns” did in its first 10 days and “X-Men: the Last Stand” in its first five.

“Pirates” played virtually evenly to all audience segments as matinees were packed with families and latenight shows with adults.

According to exit polling by Fandango, women came out of “Pirates” with a more positive opinion of the film. But approximately two-thirds of both genders said they would “definitely recommend” the picture.

With no more tentpoles left this summer, the film seems to have a relatively wide berth to keep playing. Even if it falls at a normal rate for a blockbuster of around 50% per frame, it should easily surpass the $305 million domestic of the original 2003 “Pirates.”

Last weekend’s blockbuster bow, “Superman Returns,” which fell a sizable 58% on its second frame to $21.9 million. After 12 days, the cume is far from spectacular, $141.7 million.

“The Devil Wears Prada” fell a more modest 43%, coming in at No. 3 with $15.6 million. Fox’s female-targeted counterprogrammer has already grossed a surprisingly strong $63.7 million.

Sony’s “Click” fell 40% to $12 million and became the seventh Adam Sandler film to pass $100 million.

In limited release, Warner Independent Pictures opened Richard Linklater’s “A Scanner Darkly” to a very healthy $406,000 at 17 theaters, averaging $23,882 per play. The sci-fi adaptation expands to 190 screens next weekend.