Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

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Pirates of the Caribbean:
Dead Men Tell No Tales
Official epic artwork poster
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer
Screenplay by Jeff Nathanson
Story by
Based on
Starring
Music by Geoff Zanelli
Cinematography Paul Cameron[1]
Edited by
Production
company
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release date
  • May 11, 2017 (2017-05-11) (Shanghai)[2]
  • May 26, 2017 (2017-05-26) (United States)
Running time
129 minutes[3]
Country United States
Budget $230[4][5]–320 million[a][6][7][8][9]
Box office $794.9 million[4]

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (released outside the US as Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge)[10] is a 2017 American swashbuckler fantasy film. It is the fifth installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series and the sequel to On Stranger Tides (2011). The film is directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg from a script by Jeff Nathanson, with Jerry Bruckheimer serving again as producer. Johnny Depp, Kevin McNally and Geoffrey Rush reprise their roles as Jack Sparrow, Joshamee Gibbs and Hector Barbossa, respectively. Javier Bardem, Brenton Thwaites and Kaya Scodelario join the cast as Armando Salazar, Henry Turner and Carina Smyth. The film also features the returns of Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley as Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann, following their absence from the previous film.

The filmmakers cited the series' first installment, The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), as inspiration for the script and tone of the film.[11][12] Pre-production for the film started shortly before On Stranger Tides was released in early 2011, with Terry Rossio writing a script for the film. In early 2013, Jeff Nathanson was hired to write a new script, with Depp being involved in Nathanson's writing process. Initially planned for a 2015 release, the film was delayed to 2016 and then to 2017, due to script and budget issues, before being released on May 26, 2017, after 6 years of development hell. Principal photography started in Australia in February 2015, after the Australian government offered Disney $20 million in tax incentives, and ended in July 2015.

Dead Men Tell No Tales was released in conventional, Disney Digital 3-D, RealD 3D and IMAX 3D formats on May 26, 2017, ten years and one day after the release of At World's End (2007). The film received negative reviews. Some critics thought the series had run its course, while others considered the film an improvement over its predecessor.[13][14] While it was the second-lowest grossing installment of the series, the film grossed $794 million worldwide against an estimated budget of $230[4][5] to $320 million.[6][8]

Plot[edit]

Henry Turner, the twelve-year-old son of Will Turner, boards his cursed father's ship, the Flying Dutchman, informing his father that the mythical Trident of Poseidon can break the curse that binds Will to the Dutchman and only allows him to step on land once in a decade. Henry intends to recruit Captain Jack Sparrow to help find it, but Will believes the Trident cannot be found and orders Henry to leave. Will and the Dutchman then disappear into the sea, but Henry vows to find Jack Sparrow and the Trident.

Nine years later, Henry is a sailor in the British Royal Navy and is arrested for mutiny when he sails his ship into the supernatural Devil's Triangle. They encounter the wreck of the Silent Mary and are attacked by its ghostly crew led by Captain Salazar. Salazar and his crew kill everyone aboard except Henry, who is given a message to deliver to Jack: Salazar is coming for him.

In Saint Martin, a young astronomer and horologist named Carina Smyth is sentenced to death for witchcraft but escapes custody and briefly crosses paths with Jack. Jack and his crew try to steal a bank vault but accidentally drag the entire bank with them; they lose the fortune before crashing the building at the town's exit and escaping. Jack's crew abandon him, having lost faith in Jack after suffering years of bad luck. Depressed, Jack trades his magical compass for a drink. However, this betrayal of the compass frees Salazar and his crew from the Devil's Triangle. Carina learns Henry is looking for the Trident's location and offers to help him using a diary left by her unknown father. Carina and Jack are both captured and face execution, but are saved by Henry and Jack's crew, setting sail on the Dying Gull. Carina deciphers clues that the stars will lead to an island where the Trident is hidden.

Meanwhile, Captain Barbossa hears from his pirate crew that the revived Captain Salazar has killed several pirates at sea; he learns from Shansa, a sea witch, that the Trident could lead him to a new "treasure". Barbossa and his crew set off to find the Trident, until Salazar and his crew appear and destroy Barbossa's fleet. Barbossa manages to talk his way out of being killed by offering to help him find Jack. Salazar agrees to this and tells Barbossa that he once hunted pirates for the Spanish Navy, but a young Jack tricked him into sailing into the Devil's Triangle, cursing his crew. Salazar pursues the Dying Gull, forcing Jack, Henry, and Carina to flee to an island while fighting off Salazar's cursed sharks, discovering that Salazar's crew cannot go on land. After saving Jack from a forced marriage, Barbossa allies himself with Jack and provides him his compass, obtained from Shansa. He uses the Sword of Triton to restore the miniaturized Black Pearl, trapped in a bottle by Blackbeard, to its original size. They all continue their journey to the Trident's island, with Barbossa taking command of the Pearl once more. During the voyage, Jack and Barbossa realize Carina is the latter's long-lost daughter. Barbossa tells Jack that he had left her at an orphanage with his diary so she could live a better life, and refuses to tell her the truth so she will continue to believe her father was an astronomer. Jack attempts to use the secret to blackmail Barbossa, but fails.

Approaching the Trident's island, the Pearl evades a British Navy warship, which is destroyed by the Silent Mary before the Pearl runs aground on the island. Jack, Barbossa, and Carina use the island's magic to open a path to the Trident's spot on the ocean floor, parting the ocean. Salazar captures Henry and possesses his body in order to walk on the ocean floor and seize the Trident. Once he does so, Henry is given his body back and decides to shatter the Trident, breaking all curses upon the sea and restoring Salazar's crew to life. However, the divided sea begins to collapse in on itself. The Pearl lowers its anchor to lift them to safety, but Salazar pursues them, still hell-bent on killing Jack. Carina realizes that Barbossa is her father when she spots a tattoo on his arm identical to the diary's cover. Barbossa sacrifices himself to kill Salazar, allowing the others to escape alive.

Some time later, Henry and Carina reach Port Royal, where Will appears, free from the Dutchman. His wife, Elizabeth, appears moments later and the Turner family reunites. Henry and Carina begin a relationship as well. Jack watches from the Pearl in disgust before sailing away into the horizon, having been accepted by his crew as their captain once again.

In a post-credits scene, Will and Elizabeth are sleeping in their bed together, when their room is entered by the silhouette of an apparently resurrected Davy Jones. Just as Jones raises his clawed arm to strike at them, Will awakens and the room is empty. Assuming Jones's appearance to be a nightmare, Will goes back to sleep, oblivious to the presence of barnacles on the floor amid a small puddle of seawater.

Cast and characters[edit]

Johnny Depp
Geoffrey Rush
Orlando Bloom
Keira Knightley
Top to bottom: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley, who reprise their roles from the previous films as Jack Sparrow, Hector Barbossa, Will Turner, and Elizabeth Swann, respectively. Bloom and Knightley return to the series after not appearing in 2011's On Stranger Tides.
  • Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow:[15] The eccentric but noble pirate captain of the Black Pearl on the hunt for the Trident of Poseidon, which bestows control over the seas. According to co-director Joachim Rønning, in this film Jack has "lost his mojo" and has a smaller role. Rønning wanted to focus on relatable characters as in the first film "where Jack is not the [lead ... but] comes in and crashes the party every now and then",[16] and so make use of Depp's "comedic genius".[17] The film examines Jack's backstory, with the young Jack portrayed by Anthony De La Torre,[18] whose face was replaced by a CGI replica of Depp as he looked in 21 Jump Street and What's Eating Gilbert Grape.[19] Rønning felt de-aging Depp was tricky against the canon of the franchise.[20]
  • Javier Bardem as Captain Armando Salazar: A powerful and psychotic undead pirate-hunter of the Spanish Navy who was trapped in the Devil's Triangle. After escaping, he seeks the Trident to wipe out all piracy and exact revenge on Jack.[1] Bardem set out to imbue the character with "a rage based on dented pride", owing to his spectacular fall from a high-ranking commander of a Spanish fleet to being betrayed and trapped in hell by Jack.[21] It took three hours a day to apply the make-up which Bardem referred to as having "cold chicken breasts" glued to his face.[22]
  • Geoffrey Rush as Captain Hector Barbossa:[23] The one-legged pirate captain of the Queen Anne's Revenge, former captain of the Black Pearl, and Captain Jack's rival-turned-ally. Barbossa has become extremely wealthy since the previous film, with Rush referring to him as a "corporate pirate", having amassed a fleet of ships under his command and encrusted his peg-leg with jewels.[24]
  • Brenton Thwaites as Henry Turner:[25][1] The son of Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann-Turner, who tries to reconnect with his father and struggles to break a curse that is preventing him from doing so.[26] The directors were keen to draft a new protagonist relationship with Henry and Carina, stating that "in the middle of a big action scene, you need to be able to lean on the characters and find the heart of that story, and channel the characters' vulnerability". Rønning noted that identity is a major theme in the film and to Henry and Carina's story arc: "they are on a similar quest and find common ground in looking for who they are".[17] Lewis McGowan portrays a young Henry.[27]
  • Kaya Scodelario as Carina Smyth (née Barbossa):[1] A headstrong, altruistic astronomer. Scodelario explained the character's motivation and role saying, "she is an academic, she's fighting for the right to study at university because women couldn't at that time."[28] For the directors, it was important to "modernise it with Henry and Carina, Kaya, especially brought that with her. She's a modern woman."[16] Scodelario worked with scriptwriter Jeff Nathanson to ensure the character was unique to the series[21] and not a copy of Elizabeth Swann.[29] She said that female characters often "fall into two camps; they are either pretty and perfectly put together or completely insane. Carina has definitely got a little bit of both."[21]
  • Kevin McNally as Joshamee Gibbs:[1] Captain Jack's loyal friend and first mate.
  • Golshifteh Farahani as Shansa:[1] A sea-witch and ally of Captain Barbossa.
  • David Wenham as Lieutenant John Scarfield: The second antagonist of the film and a British Royal Navy officer, who commands the HMS Essex.[30]
  • Stephen Graham as Scrum:[1] A member of Jack Sparrow's crew and former member of Blackbeard's crew.
  • Martin Klebba as Marty:[31] A member of Jack Sparrow's crew.
  • Giles New and Angus Barnett as Murtogg and Mullroy: Former Royal Marines turned pirates, who serve as Barbossa's right-hand men on board the Queen Anne's Revenge.[31]
  • Orlando Bloom as Captain William "Will" Turner Jr.: A blacksmith-turned-pirate who was transformed into the Captain of the Flying Dutchman at the end of At World's End. Speaking in late 2014 about his possible return to the franchise, Bloom stated that he would love to portray a character outside of his usual role types as a good-looking hero, alluding to the make-up requirements for Davy Jones.[32]

Additionally, Keira Knightley briefly appears at the end in a non-speaking role as Elizabeth Swann,[33] Will's wife and Henry's mother. Adam Brown, Danny Kirrane, and Delroy Atkinson appear as members of Jack's crew. In the prison scene, Paul McCartney briefly appears as Jack's paternal uncle, Uncle Jack.[34][31][34][34][35][36] Alexander Scheer plays a young Captain Edward Teague in a flashback sequence, while Keith Richards' likeness (as Jack's father) was also used.[37] A silhouette of Davy Jones, one of the series' former villains, was seen in the post-credits scene, but his portrayer Bill Nighy revealed to not have been informed about the character's appearance.[38] Pablo and Chiquita reprised their role as Jack the Monkey.

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

Shortly before the release of On Stranger Tides in 2011, the cast and crew of the fourth film were told to set aside time in the near future, because Walt Disney Pictures intended to shoot a fifth and sixth film back-to-back.[39] However, it was later stated that only a fifth film was in the works. Terry Rossio was writing a script for a fifth film without his partner Ted Elliott.[40] Rob Marshall was rumoured to return to direct,[41] but he declined after he chose to direct Into the Woods[42] (2014) and The Thin Man[43] (both Disney projects starring Johnny Depp). After Marshall passed on the project, many directors were rumored to direct the film, including Gore Verbinski.[44] Having directed the third film, Verbinski stated that he was not interested in returning to the franchise.[45] The eventual shortlist had Fredrik Bond, Rupert Sanders, and the Norwegian film duo Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg.[46]

Rossio's script draft was ultimately rejected, and the writer stated that a major reason was a female villain that made Johnny Depp "worried that would be redundant to Dark Shadows, which also featured a female villain."[47] In January 2013, Disney hired Jeff Nathanson to work on a script.[48] Rønning and Sandberg signed to direct the film on May 29.[49] They spoke highly of Nathanson's "funny and touching" script[11] which convinced them to accept the project, Rønning believing that the script was "all there" but needed scenes to "carry the tradition of Gore Verbinski, bring the emotional core and big action set pieces".[17] In August, Rønning and Sandberg revealed that the title of the fifth film would be Dead Men Tell No Tales[50] and confirmed that they were working on the film.[11] However, the following month producer Jerry Bruckheimer said, "We have an outline everyone loves but the script is not done," explaining that the release would be postponed beyond summer 2015.[51] In April 2014, Depp had been invited to collaborate with Nathanson on the script, believing it would be the last of the franchise and wanting to end it right.[52]

The film was postponed until Disney felt secure to greenlight it.[53] The studio questioned Depp's bankability following the financial losses of The Lone Ranger in 2013,[54] and the screenplay's first drafts were not approved by Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn, who was concerned about the finished product.[55] Bruckheimer revealed that script and budget issues were behind the delay, and that Nathanson was at work on a second attempt based on a well-received outline, saying they needed a script and budget everyone would approve.[51] After the script was accepted the film was officially green-lit by Disney in July 2014, with a planned release on July 7, 2017.[56]

Rønning and Sandberg had been chosen to direct based on their Academy Award-nominated high-sea film Kon-Tiki and their ability to work with a limited budget.[51] Geoffrey Rush argued that the pair brought "Euro sensibility to traditional Hollywood franchise thinking"[57] while Orlando Bloom believed that they'd "recaptured the simplicity and charm" of the original film.[58] The directors were inspired by the first film, The Curse of the Black Pearl,[11] stating that the original is thrilling but above all a comedy with heart, and wanted to reinvent the "structure and the dynamics between the characters". In addition to recapturing the best of previous franchise installments, the directors had the works of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton in mind when crafting the tone of the film.[17] The pair wanted the film to be the "most emotional" of the series and also to explore the roots of Jack Sparrow.[59] Kaya Scodelario said that the producers wanted to take the franchise back to its origins, with a story that gave characters a conclusion while opening new possibilities.[12]

Many of the crew members were new to the franchise, replacing those who had served on the previous four films. Apart from directors Rønning and Sandberg and writer Nathanson, new crew included director of photography Paul Cameron, production designer Nigel Phelps, visual effects supervisor Gary Brozenich, special effects supervisor Dan Oliver, supervising stunt coordinator R. A. Rondell, stunt coordinators Thomas Robinson Harper and Kyle Gardiner, makeup and hair designer Peter Swords King, executive producers Joe Caracciolo Jr. and Brigham Taylor, film editors Joel Cox, Gary D. Roach and Roger Barton and composer Geoff Zanelli. Costume designer Penny Rose returned after providing the costumes for all four previous films, along with executive producer Chad Oman.[1][60][61]

Casting[edit]

Speaking at the On Stranger Tides press launch in Cannes, Depp said he would play the role so long as it is popular with the public.[62] In August 2012 news surfaced that Depp had signed for the fifth film, earning A$90 million to reprise his role.[15] As with the fourth film, Depp was involved in scripting and planning Dead Men Tell No Tales.[52] Geoffrey Rush had commented on returning as Hector Barbossa in the fifth installment, saying "If they keep shapeshifting this character, absolutely" and implied that he might return as the villain.[63] He said that Barbossa's megalomania "could explode in horrific ways".[64] In December 2014, Rush confirmed his return for the fifth installment, where Barbossa and Jack were "at the heart of it and there's a whole new set of story lines".[23] In late 2011, about four years after choosing not to return for the fourth installment, Orlando Bloom stated that he would like to return for the fifth film if he was offered.[65] On May 11, 2011, Naomie Harris expressed her desire to return as Tia Dalma if they called her.[66] Several weeks after Disney officially green-lit the film, Bloom stated that there were "discussions" about his return to the franchise in September 2014.[67] Bloom further commented in December 2014, that while he was not sure whether he would return, there were talks. He also indicated that Disney could do a soft reboot with the franchise and focus on Will Turner and his son.[32] After months of speculation and after filming wrapped up, Bloom's participation was confirmed at Disney D23 on August 15, 2015.[68]

On December 2, 2013, it was reported that Christoph Waltz was in talks to appear as the film's main antagonist,[69] but he later declined. The villain was eventually portrayed by Javier Bardem,[70] who signed in 2014 to portray Armando Salazar, who in early scripts was referred to as Captain John Brand.[1] Bardem's wife, Penélope Cruz, who portrayed Angelica in the fourth installment, stated that she would most likely not reprise her role because the studio had not approached her.[71] Australian actor Brenton Thwaites entered talks for the role of Henry in late November 2014,[72] after Disney chose him over Taron Egerton, George MacKay, Mitchell Hope, Ansel Elgort and Sam Keeley.[73] In mid-January 2015, he stated that he was to travel to Australia for the film in February, disclosing that his role was indeed that of Will Turner's son, struggling to break a curse to meet his father.[26]

The shortlist of actresses for the female lead consisted of Gabriella Wilde, Kaya Scodelario, Alexandra Dowling, Jenna Thiam and Lucy Boynton. On January 24, Jerry Bruckheimer announced via Twitter that Scodelario had won the role.[74] In July, her character was revealed to be called Carina.[75] In earlier drafts of the script the name Carina Smyth appeared as Barbossa's daughter, a love interest of Sparrow's and an astronomer accused of being a witch.[76] Scodelario confirmed that the character was an astronomer and that "she's a totally different character" to Elizabeth Swann, and also confirmed that Smyth will be Henry's love interest instead of Jack's.[29][77] Kevin McNally confirmed his return as Joshamee Gibbs via Twitter in late January.[78] Shortly after on-location pre-production opened in Australia, Disney issued a casting call to local agents for actors from all age and experience levels to apply for roles and as extras in the upcoming film, with casting also open in the US.[79] Adam Brown, Delroy Atkinson, Danny Kirrane were revealed as cast members shortly before filming.[34] Martin Klebba confirmed his return as Marty via Twitter days before filming began.[80] On February 17, 2015, Stephen Graham revealed that he will reprise his role as Scrum.[81] On September 24, 2015, a YouTube video was uploaded stating that Giles New and Angus Barnett would reprise their roles as Murtogg and Mullroy.[82] Director Joachim Rønning's two children appear in the film as extras.[83]

Keith Richards expressed interest in reprising his role as Captain Teague.[84] As Richards was unavailable, Depp texted an invitation to Paul McCartney to play Jack Sparrow's uncle (also named Jack).[85]

Additionally, Greg Ellis expressed interest in reprising his role as Theodore Groves, despite his character's apparent death in the previous film, suggesting the possibility that Groves survived.[86] Apart from this declaration, reports that a deceased Navy officer will star in the film had sparked many rumors regarding the possibility of the return of James Norrington (portrayed again by Jack Davenport), who died in the third film.[87]

Both Lee Arenberg and Mackenzie Crook commented on the possibility of returning as Pintel and Ragetti. Arenberg confirmed in several interviews that, despite wanting to return to the fourth film,[88] he hoped to reprise his role as Pintel.[89] In an interview on November 7, 2014, Crook confirmed that he had received a call of availability from Disney for the film, although stated that he was uncertain about whether he wanted to reprise his role.[90] Crook declined to reprise his role ultimately, in order to focus on his television series Detectorists.[91] He said he felt "pangs of nostalgia" when the cast and crew filmed the film without him.[92] Furthermore, shortly before filming started, Arenberg announced on Twitter that he would not reprise his role as well, despite having been interested in doing so.[93] In early 2017, there were rumors that Keira Knightley was back to the franchise for a cameo scene despite Knightley saying in 2011 that she wasn't coming back to any future films. On April 18, 2017, the international trailer was released, confirming Knightley's participation.[94]

Filming[edit]

Depp on set in Queensland in June 2015

Directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg originally mentioned that shooting would take place in Puerto Rico and New Orleans,[95] and Bruckheimer had previously mentioned that there might be a sequence in Louisiana.[96] However, a spokesman for Australian Arts Minister George Brandis confirmed that the fifth installment was set to shoot exclusively in Australia after the government agreed to repurpose $20 million of tax incentives originally intended for the remake of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, thus edging out Mexico and South Africa as filming locations.[97] According to Australian film industry sources, on location pre-production started in late September 2014 and its cost would be around $250 million.[98] Filming would take place exclusively in Queensland, Australia, being the largest production to ever shoot in the country. Village Roadshow Studios and the Whitsunday Islands were officially confirmed as filming locations.[99] On January 1, 2015, The Rainbow Gypsy, a 15-year-old replica of an 1897 Scottish bawley, sailed into the Gold Coast for an extensive refit, including a new bowsprit and reconfigured decks and cabins for filming as the Dying Gull, a single-masted ghost ship. Its captain and owner, Kit Woodward, was a rigger on the film.[100]

Filming commenced on February 17, 2015.[1] Ship scenes were filmed in front of a giant outdoor greenscreen in Helensvale,[101] while a film set in the form of a village was built in Maudsland.[102] Because the greenscreens were so tall they blocked sunlight, containers with inflatable bluescreens mounted on top were added to the set to allow light to creep in.[103] While an initial draft of the script featured six ships, the end product had eleven vessels; to cut costs most of these were partial constructs later enhanced by computer graphics, with some built atop an hydraulic rig to mimic the movement of seafaring while on land. The camera crew also made extensive use of drones to capture immersive views at sea without resorting to aerial footage or cranes.[19][104]

Filming moved to Doug Jennings Park on The Spit from March 30 to June 15 for water-bound scenes.[105] However, due to extreme sea sickness among the cast and crew from the "big swells" at The Spit, filming moved to Raby Bay for calmer waters.[106][107] Scenes were shot at Byron Bay on June 1. Locals made up more than 75 percent of the 850-plus crew then working on the film.[108] After much speculation about whether Orlando Bloom would return, Bloom arrived at the Gold Coast in late May to reprise his role as Will Turner.[109][110] Scenes featuring a skeleton of a sperm whale that had been constructed were shot at Hastings Point from June 21 to 23.[111]

A number of issues and controversies set back the film during its production. The biosecurity laws in Australia posed problems regarding the capuchin monkeys that portray Hector Barbossa's pet monkey Jack, because the animals are regarded as a category 1 pest and call for strict requirements and a 30-day quarantine.[112] Further controversy erupted from animal rights activist groups, who urged Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt to reject the entry application, arguing that the long air-flight would affect their health and that their performance was unnatural and would create demand for illegal wildlife trade.[113] One of the monkeys caused further disruption when it wandered off set at Movie World and bit the ear of a make-up artist on another production.[114] Crew and cast members were forced to cover the camera lenses on all mobile phones with duct tape to prevent the film from being pirated before its release. To prevent fans from interfering with the production, secret filming locations used the production name of "Herschel" to hide the fact it was the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean film.[115] Following the attempt of an armed man trying to bypass security, the already tight security was increased.[116]

On March 10, 2015, Depp was injured off set and had to be flown to the United States for surgery.[117] Due to his absence, filming stalled completely and 200 crew members were forced to stand down for two weeks after finishing all they could do without Depp.[118] Filming was set to resume "on or about April 20"[119] and Depp returned to set on April 21.[120] In June, Kaya Scodelario was injured on set along with a stuntman.[121]

Most of the cast and crew had finished on July 8, and a wrap party was held on July 11.[122] Filming then moved to the Whitsundays for the final shots.[75][123] On July 21, 2015, Rønning announced that filming had wrapped after a 95-day shoot.[124] After nearly a year in post production, reshoots and additional photography was conducted in Vancouver, Canada from March 24 to April 13, 2016 under the production title "Herschel Additional Photography".[125]

The entire film was filmed in IMAX for an expanded 1.9:1 aspect ratio, giving IMAX screenings of the film 26% more picture on the screen.[126]

Music[edit]

This was the first film in the series that Hans Zimmer did not compose the music for. Instead, the main composer is one of his protégés, Geoff Zanelli, who worked on the previous four installments in the franchise.[127] Zanelli said that Zimmer "redefined the sound of the entire genre" and considered it it a great accomplishment to have worked with him and Bruckheimer. He used this experience with the franchise to build a new sound for the film.[61] The film's soundtrack was released on May 26, 2017.[128]

Post-production[edit]

Work on the film concluded on April 19, 2017.[129] Eight companies handled the film's 2,000 visual effects shots, with 150 of them consisting only of computer graphics. The primary vendor was Moving Picture Company (MPC), which employs the film's overall effects supervisor Gary Brozenich.[103] Among MPC's work were Salazar's undead pirates, whose on-set footage was mostly replaced by CGI to achieve missing body parts and floating hair and clothing. Brozenich stated that what was kept of the original actors was "their run, gait and faces." To provide reference for the floating parts, which were meant to resemble a perpetual drowning state, a stuntman in full costume and wig was filmed underwater in a swimming pool performing various actions.[19]

Atomic Fiction handled the scenes of St. Martin, turning the few blocks of buildings built on set into more than 600 CG buildings surrounded by a jungle environment combining references from both the Caribbean and Thailand, and enhancing through CGI both the guillotine on which Jack Sparrow is nearly executed and the bank from the heist scene, that was meant to look as if its foundations were drug through the ground instead of sliding on the surface.[130] Along with sea footage filmed in both the Australian sets and Key West, Florida, there was extensive usage of water simulations, with the artists using the Beaufort scale to ensure the waves and wind realistically matched.[103]

Release[edit]

Dead Men Tell No Tales had its world premiere at the Shanghai Disney Resort on May 11, 2017.[2] In several countries, the film was released as Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge, including English-speaking countries.[131] It was released at cinemas in Italy[132] and Norway on May 24[133] and in the United States, Canada, and China on May 26.[134] It is the first Hollywood feature to be released in the United States for the new panorama-like ScreenX format; it played in two locations in the U.S.—CGV Buena Park and CGV Cinemas—both in Los Angeles, California. Additionally, it played in 81 screens at select theaters in Korea, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Turkey and Indonesia. The film also played in 4D on 373 4DX screens worldwide.[135] It is Disney's third wide release of the year following Beauty and the Beast and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.[136]

Marketing[edit]

A robust marketing effort helped promote Dead Men Tell No Tales.[137] The film was first showcased at the Disney D23 Expo 2015 where Depp appeared in costume as Jack Sparrow and the film's logo was revealed with Orlando Bloom confirmed to be starring in the film.[138][139] Elizabeth Rudnick was self-confirmed to novelize the film, and described the film as bringing back "sensibility" while returning Jack Sparrow to "all of his swaggering glory".[140] Another book is set to be released by Disney, a tie-in prequel expanding the backstory of the character of Carina Smyth, titled Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales – The Brightest Star in the North.[141] The film was showcased at the Walt Disney Content Showcase in Africa in 2016 where concept art, story details and on-set images were previewed.[142]

The first teaser trailer was released on October 2, 2016, during Fear the Walking Dead and showcased Armando Salazar hunting for Jack Sparrow, who is shown on a wanted poster.[143] On January 27, 2017, Disney uploaded an eight-second motion poster to their official Instagram account for the release of a TV spot of the film during Super Bowl LI.[144] Disney then released a 30-second television teaser at Super Bowl LI, with an extended version released online set to Johnny Cash's "Ain't No Grave". The trailer was considered to be the "big" trailer of the event and was the most-viewed trailer of all the films advertised at the halftime show. A new teaser poster was released with the trailer. Both teasers received a highly positive reaction from audiences.[145][146] The official trailer was released on March 2. Another trailer was released on March 25.[147] The first 30-second TV spot was released on March 31. On April 21, at Disney Parks and on the four Disney cruise ships, Disney previewed a sneak peek of the film.[148] With the release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 on April 28 in the UK, Disney premiered a 5-minute extended sequence of the film in front of the Marvel film.[149][150]

Home media[edit]

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales was released on digital download by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment on September 19, 2017, and on Blu-ray, Ultra HD Blu-ray and DVD on October 3.[151] It was the top home-media release in its first week, with the Blu-ray version accounting for 78% of sales. The release also brought previous films in the franchise back into the Blu-ray top 25, with 2011's On Stranger Tides at No. 12, 2007's At World's End at No. 19, and 2006's Dead Man's Chest at No. 20. The original film, 2003's Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, landed at No. 23.[152]

Hacking incident[edit]

In May 2017, the film was allegedly stolen by a group of piracy hackers, who demanded a large sum of money from Disney in order for them not to distribute the unreleased film. The company refused to do so and worked with the FBI in order to get the identity of the group.[153] Disney CEO Bob Iger reported that hackers did not steal their movie.[154]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales grossed $172.6 million in the United States and Canada and $622.3 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $794.9 million, against a production budget of $230 million.[4]

The film had a worldwide opening of $271.4 million from 55 markets, with $24 million coming from 1,088 IMAX screens.[155] The film's six-day opening gross pushed the franchise gross past the $4 billion mark.[156] Despite being the lowest-grossing film of the series in the US by nearly $70 million, the film became the highest-grossing entry of the Pirates franchise internationally when going by modern foreign-exchange rates, passing On Stranger Tides, which grossed $593.4 million at current rates.[157] Despite weak US totals, Deadline.com noted the film should turn a net profit of around $280 million after factoring together all expenses and revenues.[158]

North America[edit]

In April 2017, early projections had the film grossing $115 million over its four-day Memorial Day opening weekend.[159] In early May, projections were adjusted to $90–100 million, which was again lowered to $80–85 million, with a chance of hitting $100 million, by the week of its release.[160] It was released in 4,276 theaters, of which over 3,100 were 3D, including 400 IMAX locations, over 500 Premium Large Format locations, 170 D-Box locations, 10 4D auditoriums and three venues featuring the ScreenX three-screen format.[161] It opened Friday, May 26, 2017, and earned $23.4 million on its opening day, including $5.5 million from Thursday night previews. Its opening day was the lowest of the franchise.[162] In total, it grossed $63 million over three days, and $78.5 million over four (Friday–Monday), finishing first at the box office ahead of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and fellow newcomer Baywatch.[163][164] On a three-day basis, the film did 31% less than On Stranger Tides did over its first three days in 2011, after adjusting for inflation, and on a four-day basis, it was down 34% from At World's End and overall is the second-smallest debut of the franchise after the first film.[165] Despite the film registering the highest test score in the series,[166] the opening came in well below initial expectations, which was attributed to Johnny Depp's diminishing returns and his depreciating public image amid his personal problems, the wave of negative reviews from critics (mainly on Rotten Tomatoes), franchise fatigue, and the problem of Memorial Day weekend failing to attract considerable moviegoers in the past years. Although the film's opening was below predictions, it wasn't considered a fatal failure and was better than Disney had for its last few Memorial Day releases (Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Tomorrowland and Alice Through the Looking Glass).[5][167][168] Studio executives said they were pleased with the movie's opening, both in the US and abroad.[156] Its opening further helped Disney push past $1 billion in the US to record the second-fastest time a studio has reached that mark in the US, second only to Disney's own record from 2016 when the studio surpassed $1 billion in early May.[169]

After dropping by 73% on its second Friday, the worst Friday-to-Friday drop in the series, the film fell by a total of 65% in its second weekend, also the worst of the series, grossing $22.1 million.[170] As a result, it finished in third place, after newcomers Wonder Woman ($103.3 million) and Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie ($23.9 million).[171] It made $10.7 million in its third weekend, $9 million in its fourth and $5.2 million in its fifth, respectively, finishing 4th, 6th and 7th at the box office.[172][173]

Outside North America[edit]

Internationally, where it is marketed as Salazar's Revenge in many countries, the film was released day-and-date with its North American debut in 54 markets (91% of its total marketplace, except Japan, where it debuted on July 1).[174] Preliminary reports had the film opening to $150–175 million, but possibly overperforming depending on major markets, most notably China.[161][175] While its Chinese run benefited from the Dragon Boat Festival—a lucrative moviegoing period—from May 28–30 and from International Children's Day (June 1),[176][177] the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing had a deteriorating effect on certain European markets, and eased moviegoing admissions across the continent over the film's opening weekend.[178] From Wednesday to Friday, it registered an opening of $208.8 million. Around $14 million of that came from IMAX screenings, the second-biggest international IMAX opening in May only after Captain America: Civil War.[155] Similar to its US plunge, it earned $73.8 million in its second weekend, thus falling to second place behind Wonder Woman.[179]

It recorded the biggest opening day of the year in several markets including Germany ($3.6 million), Austria, France ($2.3 million), Finland, Sweden, Belgium, Thailand ($400,000), Indonesia, Malaysia and the Netherlands ($900,000, the second-biggest Disney opening, behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens), while Russia opened with $4 million, the fifth-biggest ever.[178][180] In terms of opening, Russia posted the biggest opening of all time with $18.4 million ($18.6 million including previews) while South Korea ($11.5 million), France ($9.1 million), Germany ($8.3 million), Mexico ($6.9 million), the UK ($6.1 million), Brazil ($5.6 million), Italy ($5.5 million), Australia ($4.4 million), Spain ($4.4 million), Indonesia ($4 million), Taiwan ($3.6 million), India ($3 million) and Argentina ($3 million) recorded the top openings.[155][169][181][182]

In China, where the film had its global premiere, it earned $21.3 million on its opening day, the fourth-biggest Disney opening day in the country. It had an 87% marketshare and had already surpassed the entire earnings of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.[183] Earning a total of $67.9 million, it registered the third-highest three-day for any Disney title, only behind Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Age of Ultron and a much-higher opening than the U.S.[155] The film did extremely well in IMAX, earning $9 million from 401 screens from Friday to early Monday bookings. The robust opening has been attributed to the Dragon Boat Festival, Depp's star power, the ubiquity of the franchise, the impact of the Shanghai Disneyland Park, and good word of mouth with a score of 7.5/10 on reviews aggregator Douban and 8.7/10 on top mobile-ticketing platform Weying.[184][185]

The final market for the film to be released in was Japan (July 1), where it opened at number one, achieving the highest-grossing opening for a Western film of the year, earning $9.25 million over the July 1–2 weekend.[186] It remained at the number-one spot at the box office for three weeks.[187]

The biggest earning markets so far are China ($172.3 million), followed by Japan ($59.5 million), Russia and the CIS ($40.7 million, the second-highest-grossing, film behind Avatar), Germany ($31 million), France ($28.7 million) and U.K. ($25.1 million).[188] It is the highest-grossing film of the series internationally by modern-foreign exchange rates.[189]

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 30% based on 239 reviews and an average rating of 4.7/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "neither a change in directors nor an undead Javier Bardem is enough to drain this sinking franchise's murky bilge."[190] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 39 out of 100 based on 45 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[191] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A−" on an A+ to F scale, while comScore reported filmgoers gave an 82% overall positive score.[165]

Mike Ryan of Uproxx criticized the convoluted plot and overabundance of characters, resulting in a film that was "practically incoherent."[192] Writing for Rolling Stone, Peter Travers called the film "bloated, boring, repetitive and draining" and gave it one star out of four.[193] Ignatiy Vishnevetsky of The A.V. Club wrote that the film echoes the first three of the franchise "in which Johnny Depp's louche and campy Jack Sparrow played second banana to an insipid love story... the two romantic leads [...] succeed only in making the shortest movie in the series seem just as long as the rest."[194] A. O. Scott of The New York Times said of the film, "Its pleasures are so meager, its delight in its own inventions so forced and false, that it becomes almost the perfect opposite of entertainment."[195] Michael O'Sullivan of The Washington Post remarked that the film was "loud, overstimulating and hard to take in all in one sitting".[196] Mick LaSalle of San Francisco Chronicle found the film to be "a jumble of half-baked impulses" that had been forced into a played-out franchise.[197]

Richard Roeper of Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 3 out of 4 stars, saying: "Dead Men works well enough as a stand-alone, swashbuckling comedic spectacle, thanks to the terrific performances, some ingenious practical effects, impressive CGI and a steady diet of PG-13 dialogue peppered with not particularly sophisticated but (I have to admit) fairly funny sexual innuendo."[198] Pete Hammond of Deadline.com praised the film, calling it "the most entertaining installment," giving credit to Rønning and Sandberg for creating a "rollicking good time". He praised the visual effects, particularly Salazar and his crew, arguing that it should be in line to receive an Academy Award for Visual Effects. He also gave high praise to Bardem for being able to create such a "fully dimensional villain" under the layers of make-up and CGI, and Depp for keeping the film and franchise going.[199] Leah Greenblatt of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a 'B', praising the fun nature of the film and its visuals, calling it "gorgeously detailed swashbuckling nonsense," but wished that the script had taken more risks instead of following the formula used in previous films.[200] Ashley Esqueda of CNET gave the film a positive review, arguing that it brought the franchise back to what made its first two installments so fun, and praised Depp's performance as "delightful as ever."[201] Brian Truitt of USA Today gave the film 3 out of 4 stars, saying "What was once a past-its-prime franchise seems to have found new life."[202] Mark Hughes of Forbes opined "Dead Men Tell No Tales isn't as good as the first three films, but it's better than the fourth", adding "it has mostly good performances, and a couple of great ones. It has fantastic visual effects, lots of humor that works, a lighthearted feel and sense of fun, and many terrific action set pieces".[203]

Accolades[edit]

The film was nominated for six Teen Choice Awards:

Sequel[edit]

On March 4, 2017, director Joachim Rønning stated that Dead Men was only the beginning of the final adventure, implying that it would not be the last film of the franchise and that a sixth film could be realized.[205] The post-credit scene of Dead Men shows Will Turner, Elizabeth Swann, and Davy Jones, revealing that Will and Elizabeth will be main characters again and Davy Jones will be the main antagonist in the sixth film.[206] In September 2017, producer Jerry Bruckheimer indicated that another Pirates sequel is still possible if Dead Men Tell No Tales does well in its home release.[207] In October 2017, the sixth film was confirmed and Kaya Scodelario said that she was contracted to return.[208] Shortly after, it was announced that Rønning is being eyed to return to direct the sequel.[209]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Two of the sources for the $320 million budget characterize this figure as "alleged" or "allegedly".

References[edit]

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External links[edit]