Johnny Depp sailed to glory at the North American box office on Sunday with his latest
Pirates of the Caribbean
movie, but the family adventure failed to match the performance of its predecessor last year.
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
sold an estimated $126.5 million worth of tickets during the Friday-to-Sunday portion of the U.S. Memorial Day holiday weekend, distributor Walt Disney Co. said on Sunday.
The three-day tally compares with the $151 million record set four weekends ago by
erasing the old mark of $135.6 million established last year by the second film in the
Dead Man's Chest.
The tally for the latest
film includes sales from Thursday evening previews. Disney declined to detail that sum Sunday, but earlier in the weekend, it had provided an estimate of $14 million.
did, however, break the four-day (Friday-Monday) Memorial Day record with a day to spare. The old mark of $123 million was set last year by
X-Men: The Last Stand.
earned $176.7 million from 102 markets, Disney said.
Depp returns, as Capt. Jack Sparrow, as do co-stars Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley. Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, on whom Depp modeled his slurring, boozy character, makes a cameo as Sparrow's father. All three films were directed by Gore Verbinski.
Critics were largely unenthused by the latest film, but their words of warning are often ignored when it comes to big-budget popcorn extravaganzas. Meanwhile, incumbent North American champ
Shrek the Third
slipped to No. 2 with $51 million, a week after opening to $122 million. Its 10-day haul rose to $201 million. The animated comedy was produced by DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. and released by Viacom Inc.'s Paramount Pictures.