When word of a “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie began to swirl in the early 2000s, many were understandably skeptical. Thanks to blunders like 1995’s “Cutthroat Island” and the general lack of interest in pirate-themed media, the success of such a feature came into question prior to its release. When it inevitably premiered, however, most of those worries swiftly dissipated. “Curse of the Black Pearl” gave fans action, adventure, comedy, and an unforgettable Klaus Badelt score, and they absolutely loved it. The film earned nearly $655 million at the box office — the lowest gross of the series to date.
Even though “Curse of the Black Pearl” kicked off the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series in grand fashion, all of its sequels have financially outperformed it. Its direct continuation, 2006’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,” blew it out of the water with a whopping $1.06 billion gross, followed by “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End,” which earned $960 million, in 2007. Four years later, “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” took in $1.04 billion, though 2017’s “Dead Men Tell No Tales” came close to “Curse of the Black Pearl” when it took home $794 million (via The Numbers).
Overall, the fact that “Curse of the Black Pearl” is the lowest-earning “Pirates of the Caribbean” flick isn’t a bad thing. It shows that interest in the franchise only grew since its inception and more people were willing to prove it with their wallets. Should we get more adventures on the high seas at the cinema in the coming years, it’ll be interesting to see how they fare at the worldwide box office.