Many thought Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worldâ€™s End wouldnâ€™t be able to open as wide as Spider-Man 3 did three weeks ago, considering that sequel and Shrek the Third are still playing in theaters. Wrong!
â€śAt Worldâ€™s Endâ€ť will open in 4,362 theaters domestically, 110 more than previous record-holder Spider-Man 3. Many theaters will start playing the film at 8 p.m. tonight and some will even run the movie 24 hours a day.
Released by Walt Disney Pictures, â€śAt Worldâ€™s Endâ€ť now aims to snatch back the record for best debut it lost this month to Spider-Man 3, the Sony Pictures blockbuster that pulled in $151.1 million over opening weekend.
That debut shattered last summerâ€™s record of $135.6 million set by Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Manâ€™s Chest.
The length of â€śAt Worldâ€™s Endâ€ť â€“ two hours, 47 minutes â€“ will be a hurdle, limiting the number of screenings theaters can fit in each day. The movie runs about 15 minutes longer than â€śDead Manâ€™s Chestâ€ť and nearly half an hour longer than Spider-Man 3.
â€śAt Worldâ€™s Endâ€ť also faces stiffer competition than Spider-Man 3, which had no other big movies to contend with when it opened May 4. Besides Spidey, Shrek will also be competing with â€śAt Worldâ€™s Endâ€ť for audiences.
Along with the higher theater count, â€śAt Worldâ€™s Endâ€ť has the advantage of opening over the Memorial Day weekend, which should boost its Sunday grosses since moviegoers have the day off Monday.