Film franchises can be hard to sustain for a fifth installment, but Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” did not disappoint at CinemaCon on Tuesday night. While the crowd at the annual trade show in Las Vegas didn’t go so far as to give the film a standing ovation, the round of applause heard in the room made it clear that most in the audience felt the film met or exceeded their expectations. Directed by Joachim Rønning & Espen Sandberg, the film and hits theaters on May 26.
New, last-minute revelations helped build up excitement for the sequel, as Disney dropped a featurette early on Tuesday that confirmed what many fans had suspected, that the character of Henry (Brenton Thwaites) is in fact the son of Will Turner (Orlando Bloom).
“Dead Men Tell No Tales” finds a down-on-his-luck Captain Jack Sparrow with a group of deadly ghost pirates on his trail, led by a terrifying Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem). Sparrow’s only hope for survival is finding a powerful artifact, the legendary Trident of Poseidon, which gives its possessor complete control over the seas.
“Dead Men Tell No Tales” contains several additional revelations that shed new light on the backstories of various characters, including Sparrow, who makes a particularly hilarious entrance in one of the the opening scenes. What buoys the film more than anything, however, is the way it takes Captain Jack in new directions that don’t feel arbitrary or forced, but instead weave their way back into his own origin story.
Early reactions to the film on Twitter were quite positive.
— ErikDavis (@ErikDavis) March 29, 2017
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is a pleasant surprise. Continues the legacy, focuses on the characters and the world.
— Peter Sciretta (@slashfilm) March 29, 2017
The new Pirates of the Caribbean is a big step up from the lifeless 4. Back to the fun myth building, still miss Verbinski’s imprint.
— Eric Vespe (@EricVespe) March 29, 2017
As always, there was at least one dissenting opinion.
Everyone at cinemacon praising a Pirates of the Caribbean movie should be in prison
— FilmDrunk (@Filmdrunk) March 29, 2017
Disney’s first four “Pirates” movies grossed a combined $3.72 billion at the worldwide box office. The studio screened “Dead Men Tell No Tales” after a short presentation in which it showed almost no new footage from its upcoming slate, but announced that the sequel to 2012’s “Wreck-It Ralph” will be titled “Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2.” Disney’s distribution chief Dave Hollis also shared that “Beauty and the Beast” recently eclipsed $700 million at the box office.
Disney set a new record by taking in $7.6 billion in 2016, with four films that each crossed the billion-dollar mark: “Finding Dory,” “Captain America: Civil War,” “Zootopia” and “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” The live-action film “The Jungle Book” came in at $966 million.
Additional reporting by Anne Thompson.