Box Office Barometer 5-23-11
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’ return is softer than Disney expected/hoped, and reviews are less-than-stellar to prevent positive word-of-mouth. Johnny Depp claimed that he would only do a fourth installment if the script was good, but then Disney offered him $55.5 million and look where we are now. The common complaint is that the movie is not good because it is a sequel, but there are successful serialized movies. Looking at the James Bond and Jack Ryan franchises, one would see that they are successful movies based on entertaining books. Therefore, the story was written before they began producing, meaning that producers developed finished stories, not stories completed as quickly as possible in order to get the movie out as soon as possible.
On Stranger Tides is actually based on a book called On Stranger Tides, but look at the difference between the movie and the book.
From Amazon: Puppeteer John Chandagnac, bound for Jamaica to recover stolen money from his uncle, becomes Jack Shandy after pirates attack his ship and force him to join their crew. Shandy’s struggle to accept his new life grounds the story for readers, even as Blackbeard and vodun magicians whisk everyone away to dreamlike lands where the Fountain of Youth itself awaits.
From IMDb: Jack Sparrow and Barbossa embark on a quest to find the elusive fountain of youth, only to discover that Blackbeard and his daughter are after it too.
Yeah, sounds like they put a lot of time and care into this one.