Smooth Sailing for Depp's 'Pirates'

07/14/2003 at 11:00 AM EDT

"Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" packed away the doubloons this weekend, as the spirited screen adventure starring Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley, and Orlando Bloom took the No. 1 spot with $46.4 million in ticket sales, according to studio estimates.

More importantly, note industry experts, "Pirates," inspired by a 1967 Disneyland ride, appears to have erased a supposed a 50-year-old curse on pirate movies, which traditionally have failed at the box office.

Moreover, according to the Associated Press, overall box-office revenues were up slightly, ending a string of four down weekends -- despite the fact that neither the "Legally Blonde" or "Charlie's Angels" sequels are expected to get anywhere near the $100-million box-office mark.

Still, this weekend's top 12 movies grossed $140 million, up 3.5 percent from the same weekend last year.

The weekend's other major release, "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen," came in at No. 2 despite getting panned by critics and the star of the movie himself, Sean Connery.

This weekend's Top 10, according to movie studio estimates, were as follows:

1. "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl," $46.4 million
2. "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen," $23.25 million
3. "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines," $19.6 million
4. "Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde," $12 million
5. "Finding Nemo," $8.2 million
6. "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle," $7.3 million
7. "Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas," $4.6 million
8. "28 Days Later," $4.25 million
9. "The Hulk," $3.7 million
10. "The Italian Job," $2.8 million

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