The box office results for the weekend of May 20th – 22nd has “Pirates 4” cruising to a comfortable takeover in both domestic and international territories. Pirates’ 3D raid was able to steal a ton of “Thor’s” thunder, but ended up playing nice with the “Bridesmaids.” Here are the studio estimates:

1. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides ($90.1 million)

2. Bridesmaids ($21.1 million)

3. Thor ($15.5 million)

4. Fast Five ($10.6 million)

5. Rio ($4.6 million)

6. Priest ($4.6 million)

7. Jumping the Broom ($3.7 million)

8. Something Borrowed ($3.4 million)

9. Water for Elephants ($2.1 million)

10. Soul Surfer ($1 million)

Analysis

“Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” dominating the box office upon its opening is hardly news at this point. Since it didn’t break the franchise opening record held by “Dead Man’s Chest” ($135.6 million in the U.S.), there’s really only a couple of noteworthy items to address here: This opening gross marks the third best for the Pirates franchise. The addition of 3D prices didn’t help much, and reviewers are encouraging people to just see the standard 2D version. Sticking with the lovely critics, the majority are not on board with this installment. Audiences on the other hand are stating that it is “alright” but “not as good as the first one.” This “Pirates” film came in with a trimmed budget – when factoring in the previous two sequels – of $150 million. No worries for Disney here though; when taking note of overseas totals, this flick has already grossed a monsterous worldwide total of $346 million.

With “Pirates” hogging all the attention this weekend, there really isn’t too much to analyze with the other respective top ten flicks. However, “Bridesmaids” only dropped a mere 20% from its inaugural voyage. The lauded R-rated comedy will be hanging around for a while, but look for a certain sequel to overshadow its box office might this Thursday. Then again, this said sequel, may actually help “Bridesmaids,” since it could have people wanting more of the similar material it has on display. (Come on, you should all know which movie I’m talking about).

“Thor” has now reached just over $145 million stateside. Not bad for a new franchise, but it isn’t rocking the summer season like some projected (including me).

“Fast Five” will become the first in the “Fast and Furious” franchise to eclipse the $200 million mark domestically in the next week or two. Currently, the 2011 box office king (for the moment) is now up to $186 million.

“Soul Surfer” continues its quiet run in the top ten with 7 straight weeks. Sony/Tri Star’s inspiring product sits at $40 million.

Coming in on Thursday is the battle of two vastly different sequels competing for exact opposite audiences. “The Hangover II” is hoping to capture the magic the original breakout hit had in 2009. Looking to capitalize on the highly sought out 3D animation market is “Kung fu Panda 2.” Both are entering in about the same number of theaters and reviews will be right here my fellow Shockers.

Report by Joe Belcastro

Quite the opening weekend booty

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By Joe Belcastro

Joe Belcastro is an established movie critic in Tampa, Florida. As a member of the Florida Film Critics Circle, most of his time is spent reviewing upcoming movies. He also covers news pertaining to the film industry, on both a local and national level as well as conducting interviews. To contact Joe Belcastro regarding a story or with general questions about his services, please e-mail him and/or follow him on Twiiter @TheWritingDemon.

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