By Todd Cunningham
Disney on Tuesday put "Pirates of the Caribbean 5" on hold.The next installment in the franchise from producer Jerry Bruckheimer and star Johnny Depp had been scheduled to be released on July 10, 2015.
The franchise has been a huge moneymaker for Disney, with the first four films having taken in $3.7 billion worldwide, and insiders say the studio is now hoping for a 2016 launch.But Bruckheimer and Depp misfired badly on this summer's megaflop "The Lone Ranger," resulting in a $190 million write-down for Disney, and the actor's box-office clout isn't what it once was.
While the "Pirates" movies and "Alice in Wonderland" have been moneymakers, "Dark Shadows," "The Rum Diary" and "The Tourist" are a few of the underwhelming projects starring the quirky actor in recent years.
Disney's summer 2015 schedule had been crowded. On Monday, the studio shifted its Edgar Wright Marvel movie "Ant-Man" from November to July 15. It also has Avengers: Age of Ultron set for May 1 and Pixars Inside Out slated for June 19.
While the domestic returns on the "Pirates" films have been declining, foreign grosses have risen significantly. Back in 2011, "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" brought in $241 million in the U.S., the lowest of any film in the series. But its $802 million foreign haul was the best of any of the films, and gave it a $1.04 billion global total.
There is reason for Disney to get the film right, because the effects-heavy "Pirates" movies are major investments. The production budget for "On Stranger Tides" was $250 million.
Related stories from TheWrap:
'Lone Ranger' Fallout: Jerry Bruckheimer May Lose Final Cut on 'Pirates 5' (Exclusive)
Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer Blame Critics for 'Lone Ranger' Flop (Video)
Why the Failure of 'Lone Ranger' May End Golden Age of Hollywood Producers (Video)
Depp has never been about making blockbusters. He has always stated that he takes roles that are challenging for him to do. It seems that he actually likes to ACT in his roles and not take roles that are a mirror of who he is in real life.
Some people like his roles and some don't. He has too much money to care.
Are you kidding me? Do these people even know what they're doing? It's not the actor, it's the script!
These were just bad scripts! No one could have saved them. People love the Pirates movies! And now they're questioning it? I think they need to question the people in charge!
It is time for us to make up some new legends that we can carry into the future with us, instead of wallowing in worn out fantasies with used-up icons. We are stuttering culturally, our mumblings becoming less revealing, less intelligible, and staler with every retelling. When a society runs out of ideas and can only repeat the same old stories over and over again until they have become meaningless, then we have become prisoners to our own lack of imagination and stifled creativity. We are like bored inmates who return to the same old slop bucket everyday to suck on tasteless familiarity because we know of nothing else. But we are neither nourished nor sustained.
We have worn out James Dean and Marilyn Monroe... we have worn out rock, hip-hop, reality TV, and broadcast news... we have worn out fast food, cars, manufactured celebrities, and Kardashians. We have worn out flying saucers and space aliens. We can think of nothing new. Unless we snap out of it, we will enter the cultural "death-zone"... but not on the peak of a summit: rather, in a pit filled with worn-out garbage.