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June 30, 2006

Pirates: Stronger than Kryptonite?

Superman vs. Jack Sparrow: Who will win?

Gamblers Place Bets On Pirates 2

-now I won't be seeing Superman until the 11th as I'm waiting for a VES Screening over @ Pixar, but I will be seeing Dead Man's Chest on the 7th!!! So matey's my prediction is in order that I will be seeing these flicks, Yaooorrrr winner is Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest.

(prnewswire.com) According to the latest betting trends from Sportsbook.com, bettors are expecting Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest to eclipse Superman Returns, the season's first major release, at the box office. More than 97% of bets have been wagered on Pirates 2 to gross more than $90 million during its opening weekend, compared to just over 23% of bets wagered on Superman Returns, opening today, to earn more than $89.5 million during its opening weekend.

The first Pirates movie grossed more than $305 million in the U.S. and today, industry experts are predicting even higher box office returns for the sequel.

By Scott Bowles, USA TODAY

In Superman Returns, the Man of Steel faces Lex Luthor, world peril and Kryptonite.

But his biggest challenge may come from Johnny Depp.

That's because Hollywood is still waiting to crown its big-screen king of summer. And with earlier contenders falling by the wayside, the industry buzz is whether Superman, which opened Wednesday, or Depp's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest will be the box-office titan of the season, and probably the year. Pirates cost an estimated $200 million to produce; Superman cost $250 million.

Early money is on the swashbuckler.

Thus far, no film has dominated summer. Though several movies came out of the gate quickly, including The Da Vinci Code and X-Men: The Last Stand, none has approached $300 million, the gold standard for a summer smash.

Last summer, Star Wars, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith racked up $380 million and was the biggest movie of the year. The year before that, it was Shrek 2 with $441 million.

"It's been a very blah summer so far," says Brandon Gray of Box Office Mojo. "There's no Shrek, no Star Wars, no Finding Nemo. We need something to invigorate audiences."

His bet is on Pirates, out July 7. Gray says the first Pirates, which made $305 million in 2003, built an appetite unrivaled by any other movie.

Gray says ticket sales for the sequel should surpass the original, "and it could very well be the biggest movie of 2006. It's the only one that really stands out."

Early tracking has been so strong that some analysts say it could challenge Spider-Man's record $114.8 million opening in 2002.

"Pirates has become a cultural phenomenon for a young generation," says Chad Hartigan, a box office analyst for the industry-tracking firm Reelsource.

The bow in Superman's quiver, Hartigan says, may be the July Fourth holiday. "He's iconic, all-American and people are off work and out of school. If the movie gets good word of mouth, it could surprise everyone."

Paul Dergarabedian of Exhibitor Relations says that the race could be a tortoise-and-hare matchup. He expects Superman to be buoyed over the long haul by strong reviews, while Pirates will open quickly out of the gates.

Dergarabedian says each could ultimately claim bragging rights. "Superman is so iconic worldwide, he could be the biggest hit internationally, while Pirates may be the biggest movie in the U.S."

And he says Hollywood executives are relieved to be having this argument over the one last year. "Last summer, we were talking about when the box office slump would end. This is a lot more fun debate."



Posted by dschnee at June 30, 2006 3:11 PM