Did Jungle Cruise’s Failure Hurt Pirates of the Caribbean 6?


Jungle Cruise was an attempt to replicate Pirates of the Caribbean’s success, but did its failure delay Pirates of the Caribbean 6’s production?

while the Pirates of the Caribbean 6 production was never destined to be smooth sailing for the seafaring adventure franchise, the failure of Jungle Cruise could have held up the Pirates of the Caribbean sequel a little further. the Pirates of the Caribbean movies were not expected to be a box-office juggernaut before the release of The Curse of the Black Pearl in 2003. While producers were obviously optimistic about the project’s potential, the historically terrible box-office performance of swashbuckling movies cast a long shadow over the movie.

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However, Pirates of the Caribbean managed to avoid Cutthroat Island‘s historic box office failure and even briefly revived interest in historical action-adventure movies thanks to its huge haul. the Pirates of the Caribbean movies continued to dominate at the box office in the years that followed, even as their competitors failed to find the right tonal balance to replicate the franchise’s success. However, the relative underperformance of Pirates of the Caribbean 5: Dead Men Tell No Talesas well as the legal troubles faced by series star Johnny Depp, brought this momentum to a halt.

Related: What If Matthew McConaughey Played Jack Sparrow Instead Of Johnny Depp?


In 2021, Disney tested whether audiences were still invested in historical action-adventure comedy franchises with the release of Jungle Cruiseand the answer proved to be a resounding negative. Jungle Cruise earned middling reviews but fared terribly at the box office, proving Disney couldn’t replace its flagship horror/comedy/fantasy/adventure franchise with another, suspiciously similar effort. Jungle Cruise wash a Pirates of the Caribbeanan replacement designed to check whether audiences of that earlier franchise would be interested in a movie whose tone, style, and story were all modeled on the earlier hit’s success. However, while Jungle Cruise did prove that Pirates of the Caribbean wasn’t easily replaced, the movie’s failure also showed that historical action-adventure comedy wasn’t necessarily as profitable as the sub-genre used to be.


How Jungle Cruise Could Have Killed Pirates of the Caribbean 6

With a big star like Dwayne Johnson and a lot of money behind it, the failure of Jungle Cruise (along with the underwhelming performance of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales four years earlier) could have put Disney off pursuing any historical action-adventure comedy franchise installation for now. This would explain the lack of movement on Margot Robbie’s proposed Pirates of the Caribbean spin-off. Announced in December 2020, Robbie’s Pirates of the Caribbean movie was intended to be a new direction for the stagnant series.

However, there have not been any updates on the Robbie-centric spinoff since then and, in a 2022 interview, series producer Jerry Bruckheimer admitted that there were no clear plans for the franchise. While he said the Robbie movie may still happen, Bruckheimer also didn’t rule out Pirates of the Caribbean 6 without Robbie or the return of Johnny Depp to the series. The interview made it clear that the path for the franchise is still unclear, and this isn’t particularly surprising when Jungle Cruise copied Pirates of the Caribbean and failed to set the box office alight in the process. Whether it was the failure of Jungle Cruise or the underperformance of Pirates of the Caribbeann’s fourth sequel that led to the studio’s reticence, it is clear that Pirates of the Caribbean 6 isn’t a high priority for Disney in 2022.


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