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Fourth 'Pirates of the Caribbean' tops $1 billion in ticket sales

July 4, 2011 |  2:00 pm


Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise has once again unlocked a treasure chest for the studio.

"On Stranger Tides," the fourth film in the popular movie series starring Johnny Depp as a swashbuckling pirate, passed the $1 billion mark at the global box office Saturday, according to an estimate from Disney. Since its release in May, the movie has sold $1.01 billion in tickets worldwide, passing the big milestone this weekend in Japan.

The movie is the second "Pirates" movie to gross over $1 billion, as the second installment in the franchise, "Dead Man's Chest," collected $1.07 billion in 2006. The third film, "At World's End," fell just short of the milestone, ending up with $963.4 million in 2007.

International revenue continues to be important for American films. When "On Stranger Tides" opened May 20, it collected a softer-than-expected $90.2 million in the U.S. and Canada but broke international records with its $256.3-million opening from more than 100 foreign countries.

Since, an astounding $774 million of the overall bounty for "On Stranger Tides" -- whose production and advertising cost Disney more than $400 million -- has come from outside the U.S. and Canada. The movie is now the third-highest-grossing film ever at the international box office as well as Disney's biggest international release. The film raked in the most in ticket sales in Russia and China, where it was Disney's highest-grossing film ever released in both countries.

"On Stranger Tides" is the eight film in history to hit $1 billion in ticket sales and the fourth Disney film to do so, joining the likes of 2010’s "Alice in Wonderland" and "Toy Story 3."

[Correction, 9:36 a.m.: An earlier version of this post mistakenly said that "On Stranger Tides" was released in April.]

-- Amy Kaufman

Photo: Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz star in "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides." Credit: Disney