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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

Pirates of the Caribbean:
Dead Man's Chest
File:Pirates of the caribbean 2 poster b.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Gore Verbinski
Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer
Written by
Based on
Music by Hans Zimmer
Cinematography Dariusz Wolski
Edited by
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures
Release dates
  • July 7, 2006 (2006-07-07)
Running time
150 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $225 million[2]
Box office $1.066 billion[2]

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest is a 2006 American fantasy swashbuckler film and the second installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, following The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003). It was directed by Gore Verbinski, written by Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. In the film, the marriage of Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) is interrupted by Lord Cutler Beckett (Tom Hollander), who wants Turner to acquire the compass of Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) in a bid to find the Dead Man's Chest. Sparrow discovers his debt to Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) is due.

Two sequels to Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl were conceived in 2004, with Elliott and Rossio developing a story arc that would span both films. Filming took place from February to September 2005 in Palos Verdes, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica, and The Bahamas, as well as on sets constructed at Walt Disney Studios. It was shot back-to-back with the third film of the series, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.

Dead Man's Chest was released in the United States on July 7, 2006. The film received mixed to positive reviews, with praise for its special effects, performances, action, and music, but criticism for its plot and running time. Despite this, it set several records in its first three days, with an opening weekend of $136 million in the United States, and it was, at the time, the fastest film ever to gross over $1 billion in the worldwide box office.[3] It currently ranks as the fourteenth highest-grossing film of all time worldwide and held the record as the highest-grossing film released by the Walt Disney Studios for nearly six years until it was surpassed by The Avengers (2012), although it remains the highest grossing live-action Walt Disney Pictures release. The film received Academy Award nominations for Best Art Direction, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and won the Academy Award for Visual Effects.


The wedding of Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann is interrupted by Lord Cutler Beckett of the East India Trading Company, who has arrest warrants for them after they aided Captain Jack Sparrow escaping execution a year ago, and one for Commodore James Norrington, for delaying the pursuit of Sparrow, but he resigned from his position and disappeared months prior. Elizabeth is imprisoned, and Beckett sends Will to find Jack's magic compass, which points to whatever the holder wants the most at the time, in exchange for Letters of Marque which will make Jack a British privateer and ensure Will and Elizabeth's pardon. Shortly after Will leaves, Governor Swann, Elizabeth's father, tries to flee Port Royal with her, but he is arrested by Beckett's aide Mercer. Beckett reluctantly allows Elizabeth to go after Will with the Letters of Marque, which she does by stowing away on a Scottish merchant vessel, the Edinburgh Trader.

Jack escapes a Turkish prison after acquiring a drawing of a key he desires, but his compass continually fails to provide him a heading. On the Black Pearl, Jack reunites with Will's father Bootstrap Bill, who joined the crew of Davy Jones to escape from being trapped in the seabed. Bootstrap reminds Jack of his own deal he made with Jones thirteen years ago to raise the Black Pearl from the depths, and now he must either join his crew or be dragged to Jones’ Locker by a sea monster, the Kraken, serving as his pet. Panicked, Jack takes the ship to land but ends up attacked and captured by the island's native cannibals. The cannibals eat more than half of Jack's crew including Anamarie who is shown being burned alive. Will arrives on the island and is taken captive by cannibals, but he and surviving crew members escape to the Black Pearl with Jack, joined by Pintel and Ragetti. The crew visit voodoo priestess Tia Dalma, who reveals the key to unlock the Dead Man's Chest, in which Jones placed his own heart after feeling betrayed by his lover, the sea goddess Calypso. Tia Dalma tells Jack where to find Jones’ ship — the Flying Dutchman — and gives him a jar of dirt as a defense against Jones, who cannot step on land but once every 10 years.

Jack tricks Will onto a shipwreck, only for the actual Flying Dutchman to emerge from the ocean and take Will prisoner. Jones confronts Jack, who makes a deal to break his blood debt, if he brings Jones one hundred souls in three days but Will has to stay on the Dutchman. Bootstrap helps Will escape the ship with the key. Will promises to use the heart to free Bootstrap. Jack goes to Tortuga to recruit new crewmates, meeting Elizabeth and Norrington, who has become a drunkard. Both of them join the Black Pearl. Jack realizes that if Beckett gains Jones’ heart, he can rule the seas. Norrington eavesdrops, planning to get the heart in order to regain his life and honour. Will hitches a ride on the Edinburgh Trader, but Jones discovers the theft of the key and summons the kraken to destroy the Scottish ship, realising that Jack is after his chest.

All parties arrive on Isla Cruces, but a three-way sword fight breaks out between Jack, Will and Norrington to pursue their own goals, while Jones’ crew attack Elizabeth, Pintel, and Ragetti. In the chaos, Jack unlocks the chest, removes the heart, and hides it in the jar of dirt, only for Norrington to steal it and pretend to sacrifice himself by drawing the Dutchman crew off with the chest. Jack, Will, Elizabeth and the Black Pearl crew are confronted by the Flying Dutchman but the Black Pearl outruns it. Jones summons the Kraken, which traps the Black Pearl. Jack discovers that the heart is missing and abandons his crew, but returns when he sees the Kraken destroying the ship, wounding the Kraken with a net full of explosives. Jack orders the survivors to abandon the ship, but he is chained to the mast by Elizabeth realising that the Kraken is only after Jack for his unpaid blood debt to Jones. After they leave, Jack manages to free himself from the chain, but is dragged into Davy Jones' Locker along with the Pearl.

Jones fails to find his heart, and shouts in frustration; "Damn you Jack Sparrow!!". Norrington reaches Port Royal, presenting the heart to Beckett. Will, Elizabeth, Gibbs, Pintel, Ragetti, Marty and Cotton return to Tia Dalma, where she asks if they wish to rescue Jack from the locker, to which they agree. Tia Dalma says they will need a captain who is familiar with those waters. The captain appears, and to their surprise, it is Captain Barbossa.


  • Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow: Captain of the Black Pearl. He is hunted by the Kraken because of his unpaid blood debt to Davy Jones. He is also searching for the Dead Man's Chest to free himself from Jones' servitude.
  • Orlando Bloom as Will Turner: A blacksmith-turned-pirate who is trying to retrieve Jack's compass for Lord Beckett in order to secure freedom for himself and Elizabeth.
  • Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Swann: Governor Swann's daughter and Will's fiancée, who is arrested on her wedding day for helping Captain Jack Sparrow escape. Escaping jail with help from her father, she meets up with Jack in Tortuga and joins his crew to search for both Will and the chest.
  • Bill Nighy as Davy Jones: Captain of the Flying Dutchman. Davy Jones was once a human being who was unable to bear the pain of losing his true love. He carved out his heart and put it into the Dead Man's Chest, then buried it in a secret location. He has become a bizarre creature – part octopus, part lobster, part man. Jones collects the souls of dead or dying sailors to serve aboard his ship for one hundred years.
  • Jack Davenport as James Norrington: He resigned his commission as Commodore in the Royal Navy after losing his ship and crew in a hurricane in the pursuit of Jack Sparrow and his crew. Fallen on hard times and into alcoholism, he joins the Black Pearl's crew and seeks to regain his honor and Naval career.
  • Stellan Skarsgård as Bootstrap Bill Turner: A crewman aboard the Flying Dutchman who also happens to be Will Turner's father. He was once part of Hector Barbossa's crew. When they went to give mutiny to Jack, he disagreed. Thrown overboard after refusing to take part in the mutiny against Jack led by Barbossa, he spent years bound to a cannon beneath the crushing ocean, though before this, he sent one piece of the Aztec Gold to his son, Will, saying they all deserved to be cursed. Found by Davy Jones, he swore to servitude aboard the Flying Dutchman crew and escaped death. This story was told by Pintel to Will and Jack's crew in the first movie.
  • Kevin R. McNally as Joshamee Gibbs: The Black Pearl's first mate and Jack Sparrow's loyal friend, he once served in the Royal Navy under Lieutenant James Norrington.
  • Jonathan Pryce as Governor Weatherby Swann: Elizabeth's father and governor of Port Royal. He adores his daughter but puts little faith in Will – not considering him the best match for Elizabeth.
  • Lee Arenberg as Pintel: A pirate and former Black Pearl crew member under Captain Barbossa, he was imprisoned after the Aztec curse was broken, but escaped to rejoin Jack Sparrow's Black Pearl crew.
  • Mackenzie Crook as Ragetti: Pintel's inseparable crewmate. He has a wooden eye, and despite being illiterate, has begun "reading" the Bible, with the excuse that "you get credit for trying."
  • Tom Hollander as Lord Cutler Beckett: Sarcastic chairman of the East India Trading Company, he travels to Port Royal to capture and recruit Jack Sparrow as a privateer. What he really desires is Davy Jones' heart, with which he can rule the seas with Jones' commanded servitude.
  • Naomie Harris as Tia Dalma: An obeah priestess whom Jack Sparrow bartered with for his magic compass. She explains the legend of Davy Jones, in addition to owning a similar locket to his.
  • David Bailie as Cotton: A sailor on the Black Pearl who lost his tongue and trained his parrot Tiki Macaw to talk for him.
  • Martin Klebba as Marty: A short sailor on the "Black Pearl".
  • David Schofield as Mercer: Lord Beckett's right-hand-man.
  • Geoffrey Rush as Captain Hector Barbossa: The former captain of the Black Pearl is resurrected during this film; however, he does not appear until the final scene. Having met his demise in the previous installment, Barbossa is resurrected by Tia Dalma and agrees to rescue Jack Sparrow in order to save the Black Pearl. For this role, Rush was uncredited to keep his return a surprise and the DVD commentary said that not even the cast of the movie knew that Rush confirmed desire to reprise his character more often and that the expressions on the characters' faces when seeing him for the first time in three years were real.
  • Peter Donald Badalamenti II as Penrod and Davy Jone's crew



Following the success of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), the cast and crew signed on for two more sequels to be shot back-to-back,[4] a practical decision on Disney's part to allow more time with the same cast and crew.[5] Writer Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio decided not to make the sequels new adventures featuring the same characters, as with the Indiana Jones and James Bond series, but to retroactively turn The Curse of the Black Pearl into the first of a trilogy.[6] They wanted to explore the reality of what would happen after Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann's embrace at the end of the first film, and initially considered the Fountain of Youth as the plot device.[7] They settled on introducing Davy Jones, the Flying Dutchman and the Kraken. They also introduced the historical East India Trading Company, who for them represented a counterpoint to the themes of personal freedom represented by pirates.[8]

Planning began in June 2004, and production was much larger than The Curse of the Black Pearl, which was only shot on location in St. Vincent.[9] This time, the sequels would require fully working ships, with a working Black Pearl built over the body of an oil tanker in Bayou La Batre, Alabama. By November, the script was still unfinished as the writers did not want director Gore Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer to compromise what they had written, so Verbinski worked with James Byrkit to storyboard major sequences without need of a script, while Elliott and Rossio wrote a "preparatory" script for the crew to use before they finished the script they were happy with. By January 2005, with rising costs and no script, Disney threatened to cancel the film, but changed their minds. The writers would accompany the crew on location, feeling that the lateness of their rewrites would improve the spontaneity of the cast's performances.[7]


The two bone cages used in one of the opening scenes of the film. The cages are now located on an attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Principal photography began on February 28, 2005,[10] in Palos Verdes, beginning with Elizabeth's ruined wedding day.[7] The crew spent the first shooting days at Walt Disney Studios in Los Angeles, including the interiors of the Black Pearl and the Edinburgh Trader which Elizabeth stows away on,[10] before moving to St. Vincent to shoot the scenes in Port Royal and Tortuga. Sets from the previous film were reused, having survived three hurricanes, although the main pier had to be rebuilt as it had collapsed in November. The crew had four tall ships at their disposal to populate the backgrounds, which were painted differently on each side for economy.[5] One of the ships used was the replica of the HMS Bounty used in the 1962 film adaptation of Mutiny on the Bounty.[11][12]

On April 18, 2005,[13] the crew began shooting at Dominica, a location Verbinski had selected as he felt it fitted the sense of remoteness he was looking for.[7] However, this was also a problem; the Dominican government were completely unprepared for the scale of a Hollywood production, as while the 500-strong crew occupying around 90% of the roads on the island they had trouble moving around on the underdeveloped surfaces. The weather also alternated between torrential rainstorms and hot temperatures, the latter of which was made worse for the cast who had to wear period clothing. At Dominica, the sequences involving the Pelegosto and the forest segment of the battle on Isla Cruces were shot. Verbinski preferred to use practical props for the giant wheel and bone cage sequences, feeling long close-up shots would help further suspend the audience's disbelief.[5] Dominica was also used for Tia Dalma's shack. Filming on the island concluded on May 26, 2005.[14]

The crew moved to a small island called White Cay in the Bahamas for the beginning and end of the Isla Cruces battle,[5] before production took a break until August, where in Los Angeles the interiors of the Flying Dutchman were shot.[15] On September 18, 2005,[16] the crew moved to Grand Bahama Island to shoot ship exteriors, including the working Black Pearl and Flying Dutchman. Filming there was a tumultuous period, starting with the fact that the tank had not actually been finished. The hurricane season caused many pauses in shooting, and Hurricane Wilma damaged many of the accessways and pumps, though no one was hurt nor were any of the ships destroyed.[5] Filming completed on September 10, 2005.[17]

Special effects

The three stages of animating Bill Nighy's character.

The Flying Dutchman‍ '​s crew members were originally conceived by writers Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio as ghosts, but Gore Verbinski disliked this and designed them as physical creatures.[18] Their hierarchy is reflected by how mutated they were: newcomers had low level infections which resemble rosacea, while veterans had full-blown undersea creature attributes. Verbinski wanted to keep them realistic, rejecting a character with a turtle shell, and the animators watched various David Attenborough documentaries to study the movement of sea anemones and mussels.[19] All of the crew are computer-generated, with the exception of Stellan Skarsgård, who played "Bootstrap" Bill Turner. Initially his prosthetics would be augmented with CGI but that was abandoned.[20] Skarsgård spent four hours in the make-up chair and was dubbed "Bouillabaisse" on set.[21]

Captain Davy Jones had originally been designed with chin growths, before the designers made the move to full-blown tentacles;[22] the skin of the character incorporates the texture of a coffee-stained Styrofoam cup among other elements. To portray Jones on set, Bill Nighy wore a motion capture tracksuit that meant the animators at Industrial Light & Magic did not have to reshoot the scene in the studio without him or on the motion capture stage. Nighy wore make-up around his eyes and mouth to splice into the computer-generated shots, but the images of his eyes and mouth were not used. Nighy only wore a prosthetic once, with blue-colored tentacles for when Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) steals the key to the Dead Man's Chest from under his "beard" as he sleeps. To create the CG version of the character, the model was closely based on a full-body scan of Nighy, with Jones reflecting his high cheekbones. Animators studied every frame of Nighy's performance: the actor himself had blessed them by making his performance more quirky than expected, providing endless fun for them. His performance also meant new controls had to be stored. Finally, Jones' tentacles are mostly a simulation, though at times they were hand-animated when they act as limbs for the character.[23]

The Kraken was difficult to animate as it had no real-life reference, until animation director Hal Hickel instructed the crew to watch King Kong vs. Godzilla which had a real octopus crawling over miniatures.[24] On the set, two pipes filled with 30,000 pounds of cement were used to crash and split the Edinburgh Trader: Completing the illusion are miniature masts and falling stuntmen shot on a bluescreen stage. The scene where the Kraken spits at Jack Sparrow does not use computer-generated spit: it was real gunge thrown at Johnny Depp.[25]


Johnny Depp at the London premiere for the film in July 2006

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest premiered at Disneyland in California on June 24, 2006. It was the first Disney film to use the new computer-generated Walt Disney Pictures production logo, which took a year for the studio to design.[26] Weta Digital was responsible for the logo's final animated rendering and Mark Mancina was hired to score a new composition of "When You Wish Upon A Star".[26]

Home media

The film became available on DVD on December 5, 2006 for Region 1 and sold 9,498,304 units in its first week of sales (equivalent to $174,039,324). In total it sold 16,694,937 units, earning $320,871,909. It was the best-selling DVD of 2006 in terms of units sold and second in terms of sales revenue behind The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.[27]

The versions for Regions 2 and 4 had already been released on November 15, 2006 and November 20, 2006, respectively.[28] The DVD, incompatible with some Region 1 hardware DVD Players due to the use of ARccOS Protection, came in single and two-disc versions. Both contained a commentary track with the screenwriters and a gag reel, with the double-disc featuring a video of the film premiere and a number of documentaries, including a full-length documentary entitled "According to the Plan" and eight featurettes. The film was released on Blu-ray Disc on May 22, 2007.[29] The film had its UK Television premiere on Boxing Day 2008 on BBC One at 20:30. It was seen by 6.8 million viewers according to overnight figures.[30]


Critical reception

After months of anticipation and industry hype, reviews were mixed: the film scored a 54% rating on Rotten Tomatoes with an average rating of 6/10.[31] Among the positive critics were Michael Booth of the Denver Post, who awarded the film three-and-a-half stars out of four, praising it as "two hours and 20 minutes of escapism that once again makes the movies safe for guilt-free fun."[32] Drew McWeeny was highly positive, comparing the film to The Empire Strikes Back, and also acclaimed its darkness in its depiction of the crew of the Flying Dutchman and its cliffhanger.[33] The completely computer-generated Davy Jones turned out to be so realistic that some reviewers mistakenly identified Nighy as wearing prosthetic makeup.[34][35]

The New York Times gave a positive review praising director Gore Verbinski saying "You put down your money – still less than $10 in most cities – and in return you get two and a half hours of spirited swashbuckling, and Gore Verbinski has an appropriate sense of mischief, as a well as a gift, nearly equaling those of Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg, for integrating CGI seamlessly into his cinematic compositions."[36] Empire magazine gave the film 3 stars saying "Depp is once again an unmitigated joy as Captain Sparrow, delivering another eye-darting, word-slurring turn with some wonderful slapstick flourishes. Indeed, Rossio and Elliot smartly exploit these in some wonderful action set-pieces." "We don’t get the predictable ‘all friends together on the same quest’ structure, and there’s a surfeit of surprises, crosses and double-crosses and cheeky character beats which stay true to the original’s anti-heroic sense of fun. After all, Jack Sparrow is a pirate, a bad guy in a hero’s hat, a man driven by self-gain over concern for the greater good, who will run away from a fight and cheat his ‘friends’ without a second’s thought."[37] Lord McLovin of MovieWeb said "The second tale of Captain Jack Sparrow is another epic adventure!"[38]

On the other hand, critic Paul Arendt of the BBC negatively compared it to The Matrix Reloaded, as a complex film that merely led onto the next film.[39] Richard George felt a "better construct of Dead Man's Chest and At World's End would have been to take 90 minutes of Chest, mix it with all of End and then cut that film in two."[40] Alex Billington felt the third film "almost makes the second film in the series obsolete or dulls it down enough that we can accept it in our trilogy DVD collections without ever watching it."[41]

Box office

Dead Man's Chest earned $423,315,812 in the North America and $642,863,913 in other territories, for a worldwide total of $1,066,179,725.[2] Worldwide, it ranks as the fourteenth highest-grossing film, the fifth highest-grossing film distributed by Disney,[42] the highest-grossing 2006 film, the highest grossing film in the Pirates of the Caribbean series, the highest grossing film to star Johnny Depp and the highest-grossing second instalment in a franchise.[43] It is the third film in history to reach the $1-billion-mark worldwide, and it reached the mark in record time (63 days),[44] a record that has since been surpassed by many films, of which the first was Avatar (in January 2010).[45]

In North America, the film broke many records including the largest opening- and single-day gross ($55.8 million), the biggest opening weekend gross ($135.6 million),[46] the least time to reach $100,[46] $200 and $300 million[47] and the highest ten-day gross.[48] However, most of them were broken by Spider-Man 3 in May 2007[49] and The Dark Knight in July 2008. The film was in first place at the box office for three consecutive weekends.[50] It closed in theaters on December 7, 2006, with a $423.3 million haul.[51] Thus, in North America, it is the eleventh highest-grossing film, although, adjusted for inflation, the film ranks forty-sixth. It is also the highest-grossing 2006 film,[52] the highest grossing Pirates of the Caribbean film,[43] and the second highest-grossing Disney film.[53]

Outside North America, it is the twenty-first highest-grossing film,[54] the third highest-grossing Pirates film, the eighth highest-grossing Disney film[55] and the highest-grossing film of 2006.[56] It set opening-weekend records in Russia and the CIS, Ukraine, Finland, Malaysia, Singapore,[57] Greece[58] and Italy.[59][60] It was on top of the box office outside North America for 9 consecutive weekends and 10 in total.[61] It was the highest-grossing film of 2006 in Australia,[62] Bulgaria,[63] Germany,[64] Japan,[65] the Netherlands,[66] New Zealand,[67] Spain,[68] Sweden[69] and Thailand.[70]


At the 79th Academy Awards, visual effects supervisors John Knoll, Hal Hickel, Charles Gibson, and Allen Hall won an Oscar for Best Visual Effects, which was also the first time since 1994's Forrest Gump that Industrial Light & Magic had received that particular Academy Award. The film was also nominated for Best Art Direction, Sound Editing, and Sound Mixing.[71]

The film also won a BAFTA and Satellite award for Best Visual Effects,[72] and six awards from the Visual Effects Society.[73]

Other awards won by the film include Choice Movie: Action Adventure, Choice Drama/Action Adventure Movie, Actor for Johnny Depp at the 2006 Teen Choice Awards; Favorite Movie, Movie Drama, Male Actor for Depp and On-Screen Couple for Depp and Keira Knightley at the 33rd People's Choice Awards; Best Movie and Performance for Depp at the 2007 MTV Movie Awards and Best Special Effects at the Saturn Awards, and Favorite Movie at the 2007 Kids' Choice Awards.[74]

Video game

A video game adaptation of the film was developed by Griptonite Games and Amaze Entertainment and released by Buena Vista Games in June–August 2006 for the PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance.


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  63. ^ "Bulgaria Yearly Box Office". Box Office Mojo. 
  64. ^ "Germany Yearly Box Office". Box Office Mojo. 
  65. ^ "Japan Yearly Box Office". Box Office Mojo. 
  66. ^ "Netherlands Yearly Box Office". Box Office Mojo. 
  67. ^ "New Zealand and Fiji Yearly Box Office". Box Office Mojo. 
  68. ^ "Spain Yearly Box Office". Box Office Mojo. 
  69. ^ "Sweden Yearly Box Office". Box Office Mojo. 
  70. ^ "Thailand Yearly Box Office". Box Office Mojo. 
  71. ^ "The 79th Academy Awards (2007) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved November 20, 2011. 
  72. ^ "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest Awards". Allmovie. Retrieved May 23, 2007. 
  73. ^ "Visual Effects Society Fifth Annual V.E.S. Awards Announced". Visual Effects Society. February 11, 2007. Retrieved May 24, 2007. 
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External links

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