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May 24, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Richard Greenfield

Analysts were doing some Monday-morning quarterbacking trying to figure out why Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides failed to produce the kind of bountiful revenue that the previous Pirates sequels had. To be sure, with $90.2 million domestically, the movie starring Johnny Depp outperformed every other film’s weekend opening this year. It also pushed the weekend total 12 percent higher than it was for the same weekend a year ago. The 394 theaters showing the movie in the IMAX format accounted for almost 19 percent of the film’s total gross — $16.7 million or a staggering $61,000 per screen. But at least one prominent analyst figured that it was precisely the high cost of seeing the movie in 3D or IMAX that slowed ticket sales over the weekend. BTIG Research’s Richard Greenfield on Monday noted that Non-IMAX 3D box office for Pirates was only $34 million, or 38 percent of the total. A year ago it accounted for 54 percent of Shrek 4‘s total. “To make matters worse,” Greenfield wrote, Pirates was “supposed to outperform in 3D given the “fanboy” demo focus, compared to the animated/family segment where 3D is burdened by young children not wanting to wear 3D glasses.” But Daily Variety speculated in its distinctive lingo today that since this was “the first “Pirates pic released in 3D, bizzers questioned whether auds, already comfortable with Johnny Depp in two dimensions, felt the need to shell out extra cash for the 3D conversion.”