Readers Rank the Pirates of the Carribean Movies

After a solid opening weekend, Disney latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie, Dead Men Tell No Tales aka Pirates 5, has behaved like a sinking ship at the box office.  Lucky for Jack Sparrow that the Pirates franchise is a big performer overseas.  Thanks to strong international box office, the latest entry in the series has crossed half a billion dollars in global grosses in two weeks.  So you may want to brace yourself for Pirates 6 some time in the future.

Until that happens, let’s see how the readers ranked the first four Pirates of the Caribbean movies.

This may be a “first” in the Worst to First-Reader’s Rank series.  I’m not going to go back and double check, but I believe this is the first time that readers have completely agreed with my rankings.  That’s not to say that everyone agreed on the rankings, but the overall results mirrored my own.  Collectively, our rankings reflect a steady decline in quality from the first movie.

4. On Stranger Tides

Nearly 80% of readers picked the 2011 four-quel as the worst of the series (we didn’t bother ranking the new movie yet).  No one named On Stranger Tides as their favorite Pirates movie, but it did get a couple of second-place votes.

3. At World’s End

Just over 20% of you named At World’s End as your least favorite movie in the franchise.  That’s perfectly understandable given the disappointing ending to the original trilogy.  If nothing else, On Stranger Tides was shorter.  A couple of readers named At World’s End as their favorite movie in the series.  I can’t come up with a rationalization for that other than “different strokes”.

2. Dead Man’s Chest

One reader named Dead Man’s Chest as their favorite Pirates movie.  Over 70% of you ranked it in second place.  The remainder placed the movie as their third-favorite with no one naming Dead Man’s Chest as their least favorite movie in the series.

1. The Curse of the Black Pearl

Nearly 80% of readers picked the first movie as their favorite.  Gotta admit, that seems low to me.  Like I said before, “different strokes” but for my money Curse of the Black Pearl is objectively better than any of the movies that followed.  I’m not sure where just over a fifth of you guys are coming from.  The lowest anyone ranked the first movie was third place.

That’s it for this ranking.  If you haven’t already done so, be sure to check out Jeffthewildman’s rankings of the X-Men movies.  I’ll be tabulating the results soon, so you will want to hurry up and get your votes in.


Posted on June 7, 2017, in Movies, readers rank and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. I guess it’s natural that a film franchise that focuses on Pirates would do well overseas.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. daffystardust

    There were things to like about the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Javier Bardem’s villain character was pretty compelling, the motivations for the overall story were strong, and as always Geoffrey Rush was excellent. But the first Pirates movie remains head and shoulders above the rest. Really to the point that watching any of the other movies is mostly just an exercise in liking the first one enough to want more. Unfortunately, they’ve never succeeded in making that desire actually pay off for us.


    • jeffthewildman

      Same with Back To The Future. The original is the classic, the one that earned itself a permanent spot in movie history. The second one is the weakest and the third one is fun. But the last two sentences of Daffy’s comment apply to that series as well.


      • That’s true of a lot of series. Indiana Jones, Die Hard, Jaws, The Matrix, The Hangover, Austin Powers, Shrek, The Mummy… the list goes on and on. Exceptions are uncommon. Most sequels fail to justify their existence.


        • Other than a few cases like the Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter films, where you have an adaptation of a set of books telling a connected story, then the only sequels in the realm of big-budget action films that clearly “justify their existence,” to use your phrase, would be The Empire Strikes Back and The Dark Knight. If you treat the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a connected whole, then some of those films, such as The Avengers and The Winter Soldier, would also make the list.


        • I almost threw out Godfather II but that fits under your established story criteria. To some extent, you could argue the Marvel Universe does too although I’m going to treat that as an entirely separate animal. If you want to treat each franchise in the larger Marvel framework as its own entity, I would argue that so far only the Captain America and Guardians of the Galaxy sequels have been worthwhile, though I won’t argue too much with those who defend Iron Man 3.

          The other type of franchise I will carve out as an exception are long-running episodic adventures. The James Bond series (which has a literary basis but mostly ignores it) is an example of this. Or Star Trek. These series are all over the map in terms of quality. But they just keep churning out new adventures while tinkering with the formula to greater or lesser effect. Sometimes you will get a Wrath of Khan or a Casino Royale. Other times, you’re stuck with a Final Frontier or a Man With the Golden Gun. Tying back into the most recent Worst to First, you can throw the X-Men series in this category as well.


    • Mild spoiler alert

      I haven’t seen Pirates 5, but trailers have revealed that Orlando Bloom and Kiera Knightley have cameos. Did those offer any kind of payoff for long-time fans of the series? That’s really the primary appeal to me of revisiting the series. I’d like to see them get a better send-off than they got in Pirates 3.


      • daffystardust

        Bloom has a short (2 minute?) scene at the beginning of the movie and then they both show up again at the end and don’t have any lines. If they are your man reason for seeing the movie, wait till it’s on cable.


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