The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise had become so popular that Dead Men Tell No Tales‘ box office haul of almost $795 million was viewed as a major disappointment, which it was in comparison to the previous three entries. Second outing Dead Man’s Chest became just the third movie in history to reach a billion dollars globally, while fourth installment On Stranger Tides gave the swashbuckling series the distinction of becoming the first property to spawn two members of the ten-figure club.
In fact, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth, Jurassic Park, Batman, Fast and Furious, Despicable Me, Transformers and Harry Potter are the only franchises that can boast at least two billion dollar hits, and the latter only reached that milestone when The Sorcerer’s Stone was re-released in China this summer.
Clearly there’s still a lot of money on the table, which is why Disney are so keen to continue sailing the seven seas without Johnny Depp, who was dropped as Jack Sparrow over two years ago, although the fans are still furious about it. A sixth entry in the main timeline and a spinoff hailing from Margot Robbie and Birds of Prey writer Christina Hodson are in the works, that much the studio has confirmed, but insider Daniel Richtman now claims that the Mouse House are developing up to four new outings in the franchise.
Of course, there are already a lot of people that don’t have any interest in seeing one Pirates of the Caribbean blockbuster without Depp’s involvement never mind four, and while Richtman offers no further details, the wisest decision from Disney would be to wait and see how the first movie of the post-Johnny era fares from a critical and commercial perspective before committing to any more.