The Reject ReportWhat the hell does that even mean?

Of course, you’ll have plenty of time to contemplate that phrase for all it’s worth, as the Reject Report this week is going to be a little lean this week. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides hits theaters far and wide, and that’s it, folks. No one dared step up to the May 20th date for counter-programming, because, really, how do you counter-program Johnny Depp? You don’t. That’s how.

Even the limited releases this week don’t have anything noteworthy to brush upon. So shiver those timbers, and when you find out what that means, let me know.

BIG HITTERS

It’s been a pirate’s life for Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer for nearly eight years now. The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise has gone from surprise success to out-and-out dominance at the box office. They look to make it a four-peat with On Stranger Tides, and their expectations look to be met with countless amounts of tickets, standard, 3-D, and IMAX.

The Curse of the Black Pearl opened to $46.6 million in 2003, a surprise at the time, but that’s nothing compared to what the next two installments would generate. Dead Man’s Chest opened with a $135.6-million weekend in 2006 and At World’s End made $114.7 million its opening weekend in 2007. It’s four years later, and the buzz may have died down a bit in that time. On Stranger Tides is sure to have an awesome weekend. However, when dealing with the Pirates of the Caribbean series, anything short of record-breaking could be construed as a disappointment. Nine films have opened in May to more than $100 million in their first weekend, At World’s End included. On Stranger Tides will have a hard time getting very high on that list, and it may not even chart. With the space between films, the annoyance felt by many based off the last film, and the early negative buzz going in – more so than any of the previous films – it could even debut short of the $100-million mark.

Still, that’s going to be an impressive opening for a film Disney claimed was going to be smaller in scope than last two films. Needless to say, come Monday, Johnny Depp will still be an A-list star, Jerry Bruckheimer will still be the most powerful man in the universe, and Disney will be eye-balling 2013 dates for Pirates 5.

The On Stranger Tides trailer might not impress you, but what’s sure get you giddy is this tour through the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland. Enjoy:

FAMILIARITIES

Everything else out this weekend will be looking way up at the Pirates from Thor on down. The most notable shift this weekend will probably be Priest which is likely to have a 60% drop or higher. Everyone else will have their standard 35-50% drops, and everything will line up pretty much where they were last weekend. There could be a shake-up, though. Bridesmaids could have enough people going back for seconds that it overtakes Thor in the #2 slot. In fact, every day this week has had Bridesmaids pulling in more money than the Summer blockbuster. Either way, it’ll be a close race for the weekend.

LITTLE OPENERS

Opening in limited release are Midnight in Paris opening in New York and L.A.; 35 and Ticking opening in Washington, DC, Baltimore, and Atlanta; Louder than a Bomb opening in New York City; The Lion of Judah opening in select cities; Bloodworth opening in select cities; and Cost of a Soul opening in select cities.

Here’s how the weekend is shaping up:

  1. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides – $95.9m NEW
  2. Thor – $18.9m (-45.5%)
  3. Bridesmaids – $16m (-38.7%)
  4. Fast Five – $11.8m (-42%)
  5. Priest – $5.8m (-61%)
  6. Rio -$5.9m (-27.2%)
  7. Jumping the Broom – $3.5m (-49.6%)
  8. Something Borrowed – $3.4m (-48.8%)
  9. Water for Elephants – $2.7m (-34%)
  10. Soul Surfer – $1.3m (-25.3%)

The Pirates‘ charge will bring the total domestic box office to $165.2 million, the biggest weekend so far in 2011. Of course, it won’t be the last big weekend we have for the rest of the Summer. With Cars 2, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2, it’s going to be a cavalcade of monster openings between now and August.

We’ll be back on Sunday to go over the weekend numbers.

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