The most recent Pirates of the Caribbean film probably wasn't one of the summer movies that you look back on now as being particularly memorable. However, as the film's producer points out, the movie was actually a much bigger deal than you may have been thinking. While the domestic box office total for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales did not set any records, Jerry Bruckheimer is now noting that when you look at the global box office, the movie was huge. Not only that, the only thing that kept it from being one of the biggest movies in the franchise had nothing to do with the box office total, and everything to do with current exchange rates. According to Bruckheimer...
I think it did phenomenal. I mean, you're talking about the fifth [film] in the series in a down market, and the American dollar is so strong that we're getting less returns from foreign. This movie would've [made] a billion dollars had it been back in the same financial [situation as On Stranger Tides], but we lost 27 percent of our money just by the conversion rate... But god it's at what, $790 [million] now? It's amazing.
It's actually just short of $792 million at this moment, which makes it the seventh highest grossing movie of 2017 globally. Jerry Bruckheimer's point about currency conversion having an impact on the total is a good one that most people probably don't take into account. Nearly 80% of Pirates 5's box office total came from outside North America, meaning that while we read everything in dollars, most of the currency that was actually spent was something else. If the value of the dollar had been different, the value of the money spent could have been worth more dollars, increasing the box office take without having a single additional person buy a ticket.
Jerry Bruckheimer tells Yahoo that he thinks Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales would have broken a billion dollars if it had come out in the same economy as Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. The previous Pirates movie is the second highest grossing in the franchise with a global take of over $1 billion, while Dead Men sits at second from the bottom.
When looked at globally, and movies are truly a global business now, it can't really be argued that the Pirates franchise isn't doing just fine. The movie made plenty of money, even if it didn't make as much as other installments. What this means, beyond being good news for Disney shareholders, isn't clear. The film left itself open to another installment but we haven't heard if anybody at Disney is really considering such a thing. Clearly, the audience is there, and if the economy changes, it could perhaps mean another billion dollar entry in the series if another film comes out in a few years.