‘Pirates’ sets new Memorial Day mark: $142 mill.

Captain Jack, Shrek, Spidey have film biz hoping for big summer
May 29, 2007

LOS ANGELES — ''Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End'' hauled in $142.1 million to commandeer the record for best Memorial Day weekend debut, capping a huge month that puts Hollywood on track for record summer business.

Disney's third ''Pirates'' adventure fell far short of the best three-day opening ever, the $151.1 million haul for ''Spider-Man 3'' three weeks earlier, according to studio estimates Monday.

Yet ''At World's End'' cruised past last year's record for best four-day Memorial Day opening, $122.9 million for ''X-Men: The Last Stand.''

The $115.1 million that ''At World's End'' drew from Friday to Sunday was well behind the $135.6 million premiere last summer of its predecessor, ''Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest,'' the second-biggest debut ever.

Chuck Viane, Disney's head of distribution, said ''At World's End'' had been a longshot to break top box-office records.

The movie runs two hours, 47 minutes, about 15 minutes longer than ''Dead Man's Chest'' and almost half an hour longer than ''Spider-Man 3.'' That limited the number of screenings theaters could fit in.

''Dead Man's Chest'' and ''Spider-Man 3'' also opened amid lighter competition, while ''At World's End'' was up against ''Spider-Man 3'' and ''Shrek the Third.''

''This is probably the most competitive Memorial weekend ever if not one of the most competitive weekends all time. It speaks volumes for how well we did,'' Viane said.

The combination of ''At World's End,'' ''Shrek the Third'' and ''Spider-Man 3'' lifted Hollywood to a record Memorial Day weekend with overall revenues of $265 million, topping the previous high of $247 million set in 2004. AP

BOX OFFICE Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters.

1. Pirates $142.1 mill.

2. Shrek the Third $69.1 mill.

3. Spider-Man 3 $18 mill.

4. Bug $4.2 mill.

5. Waitress $4 mill.

6. 28 Weeks Later $3.3 mill.

7. Disturbia $2.4 mill.

8. Georgia Rule $2.38 mill.

9. Fracture $1.6 mill.

10. Wild Hogs $1.4 mill.

Source: Media By Numbers LLC

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