While recouped its astronomical budget, the fourth movie took a risk that cannot afford to repeat. Like many blockbuster franchises, seemed too big to fail. After the sleeper hit success of the original 2003 movie, Disney took a big gamble on two back-to-back sequels that cost a whopping $225 million and $300 million respectively. This risk paid off as the second and third movies earned around a billion dollars each (with the second making $1.066 billion while the third earned $966 million).
However, this success could not possibly last for the series. While the franchise remained a box office success until , , the fourth movie in the series took the biggest risk regarding its ballooning budget. 2011’s cost a whopping $410 million ($378 million after the production’s tax credits were deducted). remains one of the most expensive movies ever made to this day, and the upcoming sequel can’t afford to repeat this.
Since needed to factor in star Johnny Depp’s salary, the expense of filming in 3D, and a messy production process that included changing directors, the sequel’s budget became the biggest in movie history according to a . Luckily, for the creators of 's comments on the sequel seem to imply that Depp may not return to the role of Jack Sparrow since the franchise’s creators want to introduce a new, younger cast. This could keep the sequel’s production costs from becoming untenable.
The budget of could balloon to such extremes because the sequel was seen as a surefire hit during its production. Indeed, this wasn’t an inaccurate assessment. earned over $1.04 billion at the box office, handily recouping its huge budget. However, now that Depp is not necessarily starring in the next sequel (as of February 2023, he is not even involved in the project), his star power can’t be factored into ’s potential success. If the next sequel , the movie risks losing faithful franchise fans (and, by proxy, box office revenue).
After the fifth movie made only $700 million at the box office, a budget of over $400 million could spell doom for the long-dormant series. However, if the creators ofhireDepp for only a supporting role or keep him out of the movie entirely, this would also allow the series to refocus on new characters and keep costs down. As such, could avoid the costly risks taken bywhile improving the prospects of the franchise as a whole in the process.