Pirates of the Caribbean:
The Curse of the Black Pearl

Release Date: July 9, 2003

It's a pirate movie.  It's rated Arrrrrrr.

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This is one of a series of Disney movies based on some of their theme-park attractions. The Country Bears and The Haunted Mansion are among others.

There is little information out about this film, but we know about the basic premise. It involves rescuing a ship from the clutches of a band of pirates who are trying to reverse an ancient curse. But this could change very easily. The script has already gone through a couple of rewrites.

The director, Gore Verbinski, has previous experience with the family movie genre. He was at the helm of the film Mouse Hunt. The movie is being produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, so expect some intense action scenes and a big budget. We'll keep you updated as more details become available. (Marty Doskins/BOP)

July 3, 2003

Ahhhh, Bruckheimer and Disney--two great tastes that taste great together. Well, maybe "great taste" is matter of some debate, depending on how much you enjoy watching things blowing up and whatnot. But regardless of whether you like his movies, producer Bruckheimer has generally had an excellent track record of turning even the most dodgy of cinematic sow's ears (*cough*Kangeroo Jack*cough*) into money-lined silk purses for his studio partners. Bruckheimer knows how to bring the big production values to a project, and since he and Disney have had such a lucrative partnership over the years, all he generally needs to do is get on the phone and tell them where to send the money trucks. Consequently, as soon as we heard that Bruckheimer was involved with Pirates of the Caribbean, we knew that we weren't dealing with the low rent, used-Hyundai variety of Disney movie (a la Deuce Bigelow or Snow Dogs), but rather, the more flashy, built to impress, Porsche class (a la Pearl Harbor or The Rock).

Furthermore, now that we know a little bit more about Pirates of the Caribbean, it's actually looking quite promising. You've got the always fun Johnny Depp, who's talented, dashing and not prone to taking himself too seriously. You've got rising star Orlando Bloom best known for roles in Lord of the Rings and Black Hawk Down. And for the hetero boys and sapphic girls, you've got everyone's favorite sexy tomboy beanpole, Bend It Like Beckham's Keira Knightley. Although this isn't even close to the highest profile product opening in July, early buzz seems generally positive.

As far as the plot goes, Depp plays Captain Jack Sparrow, a "gentleman rogue pirate." Early in the story, Sparrow's ship, the Black Pearl, is stolen by his old enemy Captain Barbossa (played by frequent hambone Geoffrey Rush) and his motley crew. (Sadly, not the kind of motley crew that is prone caterwauling about Dr. Feelgood and making home-made porn with former Baywatch actresses, though I suppose both groups share a similar fashion sense and have a similar affinity for rum, booty and shouting at the devil). After Barbossa uses the Black Pearl to attack a harbor town and kidnap the governor's daughter, Elizabeth (Knightley), it's Sparrow and Will Turner (Bloom) to the rescue. Jack Davenport, best known as Steve on BBC's popular sitcom "Coupling" plays Elizabeth's obligatory snooty, sneering fiance who is inevitably doomed to get completely spanked by our plucky working class heroes by the third act.

Lastly, in an encouraging development for all of you Clash of the Titans fans out there, because of a pesky curse that's been inflicted on Barbossa and the crew, it appears that we're going to get some decent swashbuckling skeleton fight sequences. And really, what movie couldn't use a few more of those? (Calvin Trager/BOP)

Vital statistics for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Main Cast Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley
Supporting Cast Geoffrey Rush, Jonathan Pryce, Lee Arenberg, Mackenzie Cook, Jack Davenport
Director Gore Verbinski
Screenwriter Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Jay Wolpert
Distributor Walt Disney Pictures
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site http://disney.go.com/disneypictures/pirates/index.html
Rating PG-13
Running Time 143 minutes
Screen Count 3,269
Also see Kim Hollis reviews the film
David Mumpower reviews the film
Calvin Trager reviews the film
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture

Comparison films for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Adjusted Opening
Total BO
Adjusted Total
Lord of the Rings, The: The Two Towers 12/20/0261.50 63.94 3622 16980.00 16980.0 340.48 353.99 4.89
Lord of the Rings, The: The Fellowship of the Ring 12/21/0147.21 50.38 3359 14055.00 14428.1 313.84 334.96 6.06
101 Dalmatians 11/29/9633.50 45.70 2794 11990.00 15733.5 136.19 185.80 3.02
Flubber 11/28/9727.15 35.66 2641 10280.00 12990.0 92.97 122.13 2.59
Waterworld 7/28/9521.17 29.34 2268 9334.00 12445.3 88.25 122.33 4.17
102 Dalmatians 11/22/0019.89 22.25 2704 7355.00 7914.5 66.90 74.84 3.36
Hook 12/13/9113.52 19.36 2197 6154.00 8478.2 119.65 171.37 8.59
Blow 4/6/0112.44 13.27 2249 5535.00 5681.9 52.94 56.50 4.26
From Hell 10/19/0111.32 12.08 2305 4911.00 5041.4 31.60 33.72 2.79
101 Dalmatians 7/12/9110.28 14.72 1777 5785.00 7969.8 60.83 87.12 5.92
Chocolat 1/19/013.09 3.29 658 4701.00 4825.8 71.31 76.10 19.93
Cutthroat Island * 12/22/952.37 3.28 1619 1464.00 1952.0 9.91 13.73 4.18



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