Last week was pretty easy to call; anyone who didn't think Shrek the Third would reign triumphant must have something against ogres of color. Our winners, each with perfect predictions, were bubba8193 (again!) and Mario. Congrats, guys. Your auras of superiority are in the mail.
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
What It's About: Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) is trapped in Davy Jones' locker at the World's End, dead (or "dead") and insane; Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley), feeling guilty for abandoning him, leads the rescue brigade; Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) wants to free his father from his debt to Davy Jones; and Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) (who was dead, but is feeling much better) is antsy about the East India Company, which -- using Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) as its pawn -- is threatening to end the pirates' way of life forever. The motley crew heads to Singapore, where Sao Feng (Chow Yun-Fat) possesses not just the maps to the World's End but also the power to convene the Brethren Court of Pirate Lords.
Why It Might Break the Record: Last summer's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest set a box office record with an opening take of $135 million; this summer the title shifted to Spider-Man 3 ($151 million). Seeing as how the blockbusters seem to be setting new records practically every week, why shouldn't At World's End be any different? On top of that, this installment, which has all the members of the franchise returning, is something of a finale to the series ... even if it isn't (based on Depp's recent comments) actually the end.
Why It Might Not Break the Record: At 168 minutes, and with so many plotlines (some would say too many), it's not for the casual viewer. The length also limits the number of times per day that a theater can show the film; Spider-Man 3, if you're keeping score, was 139 minutes long. (Cranky old lady rant: Whatever happened to the days when two hours was considered long? Anyone? Anyone?)
Prediction: $168 million