Box Office Gold for Pirates

Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl easily stole the top spot at the North American box office over the weekend. The spooky swashbuckler, featuring visual effects by Industrial Light & Magic, has plundered an estimated $70.4 million since opening on Wednesday. Last week’s champ, Warner Bros.’ Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, fell to No. 3 behind newcomer The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen from Twentieth Century Fox.

League managed an estimated $23.2 million in the wake of the Disney theme park attraction turned blockbuster. The two PG-13 supernatural adventure films were vying for the same audience, but even the star power of Sean Connery and eye-popping digital effects from Cinesite, ComputerCafé, Pixel Magic, Tippett Studio and others proved no match for Johnny Depp and fellow scallywags.

Terminator 3, also featuring effects by ILM, crossed the coveted $100 million mark in its second week out. The sequel did around $19.6 million over the weekend to bring its cume to an estimated $110.4 million. MGM’s Legally Blonde 2 drops to No. 4, followed by Disney/Pixar’s animated comic adventure Finding Nemo, which has netted around $290 million and has managed to hold onto a top 5 spot for seven weeks.

Meanwhile, it’s still rough seas for another famous pirate. DreamWorks’ $60 million animated action/adventure yarn Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas only managed an estimated $4.6 million over the weekend for a seventh place finish and a cume of around $19.1 million after two weeks.