Box office mark for ‘Pirates’

Film on track to beat previous entry in Japan

“Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” has become the first foreign pic to top ¥10 billion ($82 million) at the Japanese B.O. this year, distrib Walt Disney Japan has announced.

Released on May 25, the movie needed 53 days to reach the milestone and is on track to beat previous franchise entry “Dead Man’s Chest,” which finished with $82.1 million last year.

Cume is even more impressive given that “Dead Man’s Chest” was released in July, at the peak of the summer B.O. season, while “At World’s End” bowed in May, when its target aud was still in school.

It will be blown out of the water by “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” which bows on 950 screens in Japan today.

“Potter” scored $9.6 million in sneak preview screenings over three days, beginning on Saturday, compared with $7.6 million for similar three-day sneaks for “Dead Man’s Chest.”

Based on these numbers, distrib Warner Bros. Japan predicts that the fifth “Potter” pic will haul in $122 million. The last series entry, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” made $110 million following its November 2005 release.

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