Two years following the post-credits scene of At World's End, 12-year old Henry Turner boards the Flying Dutchman to inform his father, Will Turner, that the mythical Trident of Poseidon is able to break his curse and free him from his ship, and of his intent to seek Jack Sparrow's help to find it. Will does not believe the Trident exists and orders Henry to leave his ship and never come back.
Nine years later (and five after the events On Stranger Tides), Henry works on a British Royal Navy warship. While chasing a pirate ship, Henry realizes they are sailing into the Devil's Triangle. The captain dismisses his concerns and has Henry locked up for attempting mutiny. Upon entering the Triangle, they come across a shipwreck, and are attacked by Captain Salazar and his undead crew, who slaughter everyone on board except Henry. Salazar sees a wanted poster of Jack and allows Henry to live so he can deliver a message to Jack, warning him that he will escape before leaving.
In Saint Martin, a young woman named Carina Smyth has been sentenced to death for witchcraft because of her knowledge of astronomy and horology. She escapes her cell and briefly runs into Jack, who is fleeing with his crew with a vault from a bank they have just robbed. Jack and his crew evade the British Army, but realize the vault they stole is empty; the entire contents, save for a single coin, had fallen out during the chase. Jack's crew angrily abandon him for letting them down. Even Gibbs, whom had stuck beside Jack for so many years, leaves, having lost faith in the captain. Carina later meets Henry, who is awaiting execution for his actions aboard the ship, and says she knows of a way to find the Trident. Carina helps him escape, but is caught by the British Army.
Disheartened after losing his crew, Jack goes to a local tavern and gives away his compass to pay for his drink. By forsaking the compass, however, he unwittingly unleashes Salazar and his crew from the Devil's Triangle. Shortly after, Jack is caught by the British Army. As he and Carina are about to be executed, Henry helps them escape with help from Jack's crew, and together they sail away on Jack's ship, the Dying Gull. Carina reveals the stars are the map that will lead them to the Trident, and reluctantly decides to team up with Henry and Jack in order to achieve their goals. While searching for Jack, Salazar and his crew roam the seas and destroy ships in Captain Barbossa's fleet. Barbossa meets with Salazar and offers to help find Jack in exchange for sparing his fleet. Salazar explains to Barbossa that he and his crew once sailed the seas hunting and killing pirates, and had nearly cleansed the seas of piracy before they ran into a young Jack Sparrow, who tricked them into sailing into the Devil's Triangle, where Salazar and his crew were cursed to remain undead.
When Salazar's ship finds the Dying Gull, Jack, Henry and Carina escape on a rowboat while the crew remains on board to cause a distraction. Salazar and his crew chase Jack, but upon arriving at a small island, Jack realizes Salazar's ghost crew cannot step on land. Barbossa arrives at the island and allies with Jack, restoring the Black Pearl, which had been trapped in a bottle in Jack's possession, to its original size. With Jack's compass, which he obtained from the sea-witch Shansa, Barbossa takes command of the ship and lets Carina navigate them to the island. During the trip, Jack and Barbossa realize that Carina is Barbossa's long-lost daughter. Barbossa tells Jack that he left her at an orphanage with his diary to make sure she lived a better life, never imagining that he would see her again.
The Pearl narrowly escapes a British Navy warship, which is destroyed by Salazar's ship. Jack and Salazar's crews clash. Meanwhile, Jack and Carina manage to activate the island's magic, which parts the ocean to reveal a hidden path along the ocean floor. Salazar captures Henry and possesses his body to pursue them. Jack and Carina locate the trident, but Salazar intervenes, fighting Jack and seizing the Trident. Henry, now free of Salazar, realizes that destroying the Trident will break all curses upon the sea and shatters it, returning Salazar and his crew to life. As the divided sea slowly caves in, the Pearl attempts to rescue Jack, Henry, Carina, and Barbossa, lowering the ship's anchor into the narrowing trench to pull them to safety, but—still intent on killing Jack—Salazar grabs the anchor as well. Carina notices a tattoo on Barbossa's arm, matching the cover of her diary, and realizes that he is her father. After proclaiming his love for her, Barbossa sacrifices himself to take down Salazar and his crew and save Carina and the others. Following Barbossa's death, Carina changes her last name to Barbossa.
Some time later, Henry is joined by Carina, as they watch his father finally set foot on land again, no longer bound to the Flying Dutchman. As Henry and Carina kiss, Will is reunited with his wife Elizabeth. Watching from the deck of the Pearl, Jack sails away with his crew, opening up his mystical compass to reveal their next adventure.
In a post-credits scene, Will and Elizabeth are asleep when their bedroom is entered by the silhouette of an apparently resurrected Davy Jones. Just as Jones raises his clawed arm to strike at the couple, Will awakens and assumes this to be a nightmare, oblivious to the presence of barnacles on the floor amid a small puddle of seawater, hinting that Jones has been resurrected from the dead.Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow: The eccentric but noble pirate captain of the Black Pearl on the hunt for the Trident of Poseidon, which bestows control over the seas. In the film, according to director Joachim Rønning, Jack has "lost his mojo; he can't even be on the water". Rønning stated that Sparrow's role in the film mirrors his role in the original: "it was important to go back to the same dynamic that the first film had where Jack is not the main character. I wanted a story about real people, real characters – and then Jack Sparrow comes in and crashes the party every now and then", and called Depp "a comedic genius, he has a comedic timing that I've never seen in anyone". The film goes into the backstory of Sparrow and used CGI to de-age Depp, which co-director Rønning believed was tricky in terms of "trying to give him a backstory and still honour the mythology of the franchise". Anthony De La Torre portrays a younger Jack Sparrow.
Javier Bardem as Captain Armando Salazar: A powerful and maniacal undead pirate hunter of the Spanish Navy who was trapped in the Devil's Triangle. After escaping, he seeks the Trident of Poseidon to wipe out all piracy and exact revenge on his old enemy, Captain Jack Sparrow. Bardem set out to imbue the character with "a rage based on dented pride", comparing the character to "a wounded bull", owing to his spectacular fall from grace, going from a high ranking commander of a Spanish fleet to being betrayed and trapped in hell by Sparrow, who Bardem says is the reason for Salazar "holding that revenge in his body for eternity". It took three hours a day to apply the make-up to Bardem's face, with Bardem referring to the process as having "cold chicken breasts" glued to his face.
Geoffrey Rush as Captain Hector Barbossa: The one-legged pirate captain of the Queen Anne's Revenge, former captain of the Black Pearl, and Captain Jack's former rival-turned-ally. In the film, Barbossa has become extremely wealthy since the previous film, with Rush referring to him as a "corporate pirate", having amassed a fleet of ships under his command and encrusted his peg-leg with jewels.
Brenton Thwaites as Henry Turner: The son of Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann-Turner, who tries to reconnect with his father. He struggles to break a curse that is preventing him from doing so. The directors were keen to draft a new protagonist relationship, different to the two relationships explored in On Stranger Tides, with Henry and Carina, stating that "in the middle of a big action scene, you need to be able to lean on the characters and find the heart of that story, and channel the characters' vulnerability". Rønning noted that identity is a major theme in the film and to Henry and Carina's story arc: "they are on a similar quest and find common ground in looking for who they are". Lewis McGowan portrays a young Henry.
Kaya Scodelario as Carina Barbossa (née Smyth): A headstrong, altruistic astronomer. Scodelario explained the character's motivation and role saying, "she is an academic, she's fighting for the right to study at university because women couldn't at that time. So she's on her own journey – looking for the trident of Poseidon – and she has a diary with clues." She discussed the difference between Carina and Elizabeth Swann, believing that she was not just a carbon copy of that character. For the directors, it was important to "modernise it with Henry and Carina, Kaya, especially brought that with her. She's a modern woman." Scodelario worked with Nathanson to ensure the character was unique to the series and prevent her from being a "Mary Sue archetype", saying that "she's got her flaws...that's such an important thing to include when building a character, especially female characters, who often fall into two camps; they are either pretty and perfectly put together or completely insane. Carina has definitely got a little bit of both."
Kevin McNally as Joshamee Gibbs: Captain Jack's loyal friend and First Mate.
Golshifteh Farahani as Shansa: a sea-witch and ally of Captain Barbossa.
David Wenham as Lieutenant John Scarfield: the second antagonist of the film and a British Royal Navy officer, who commands the HMS Essex.
Stephen Graham as Scrum: a member of Jack Sparrow's crew and former member of Blackbeard's crew.
Martin Klebba as Marty: A member of Jack Sparrow's crew.
Giles New and Angus Barnett as Murtogg and Mullroy: Former Royal Marines turned pirates, who serve as Barbossa's right-hand men on board the Queen Anne's Revenge.
Orlando Bloom as Captain William "Will" Turner, Jr.: a blacksmith-turned-pirate, who was transformed into the Captain of the Flying Dutchman at the end of At World's End. Speaking about his possible return to the franchise, Bloom stated that he would love to portray a character outside of his usual role types as a good-looking hero: "Of course, I'm Davy Jones now, so I'm down the bottom of the ocean. It might be kind of fun to do something where I'm rumbling 'round the bottom of the ocean, because I won't look anything like me. [Gestures to his face] Get all gnarly."
Additionally, Keira Knightley reprises her role in the film series as Elizabeth Swann, Will Turner's wife, and Henry's mother. Adam Brown, Danny Kirrane, and Delroy Atkinson appear as members of Jack's crew. In the prison scene, Paul McCartney appears briefly as Jack's paternal uncle, Uncle Jack. Alexander Scheer plays a young Captain Edward Teague in a flashback sequence, while Keith Richards' likeness (as Jack's father) was also used. A silhouette of Davy Jones, one of the series' former villains, was seen in the post-credits scene, but no actor was credited for this appearance. Pablo and Chiquita reprised their role as Jack the Monkey.
Shortly before the release of On Stranger Tides in 2011, the cast and crew of the fourth film were told to set aside time in the near future, as Walt Disney Pictures intended to shoot a fifth and sixth film back-to-back (like the first two sequels). However, it was later stated that only a fifth film was in the works. On January 11, 2013, Jeff Nathanson signed on to write the script for the film. Rob Marshall, the director of the last film, was believed for return to direct, but he declined after he chose to direct Into the Woods (2014) and The Thin Man (both projects for Disney and starring Johnny Depp). After Marshall passed on the project, many directors were rumored to direct the film, like Tim Burton, Sam Raimi, Shawn Levy, Chris Weitz, Alfonso Cuarón and Gore Verbinski (who directed the first three films). On May 9, 2013, it was reported that Fredrik Bond, Rupert Sanders, and the Norwegian film duo Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg were considered to direct the fifth film. Finally, on May 29, 2013, Rønning and Sandberg were selected to direct. This decision was based both on their Academy Award-nominated high sea film Kon-Tiki, as well as their ability to work with a limited budget. Geoffrey Rush argued that the pair brought "a kind of Euro sensibility to traditional Hollywood franchise thinking". While Orlando Bloom believed that they'd "recaptured the simplicity and charm", calling the film "fantastic, really entertaining". On August 22, 2013, Rønning and Sandberg revealed that the title of the fifth film would be Dead Men Tell No Tales. They also confirmed that they were working on the film, speaking highly of Jeff Nathanson's "funny and touching" script and that they are inspired by the first film, The Curse of the Black Pearl, stating that the original is "scary, it's funny, and most of all it's a comedy, but with great heart, and that structure and the dynamics between the characters was something I really wanted to try and reinvent". On the pair's decision to direct the film, Rønning believed that "it was all there in this script already, and for me, it was just a matter of adding scenes that carry the tradition of Gore Verbinski, bring the emotional core and big action set pieces", with Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton also being in the director's mind when crafting the tone of the film. The pair also wanted to include two things new to the series: "it needs to have heart; I really believe this to be the most emotional Pirates yet", argued Rønning, as well as exploring the roots of Jack Sparrow. Kaya Scodelario felt that the film "will have much more of the feel of the first film, the producers want to take it back to the beginning again. They wanted it to have this epic journey, and for it to make sense, and for it to tie things up, and also lead to new storylines."
However, after Disney's The Lone Ranger lost the studio $190 million in 2013—a film also starring Depp in a similarly eccentric role—Disney questioned the bankability of Depp and thus the franchise, so the film was reconsidered and not actually green-lit as of early 2014. Another problem, along with the lack of success Depp experienced outside of the Pirates franchise were script problems, as Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn stated: "We haven't seen a screenplay yet that I've been able to sign off on. There are a lot of variables that affect the final outcome once it leaves the studio lot, so we are very careful." Due to these problems, the film's production was delayed, and it moved from a 2015 release aspired by Disney in 2013 to a likely release in 2016. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer revealed that script as well as budget issues were behind the delay, and that Jeff Nathanson was at work on a second attempt based on a well-received outline, stating: "It's all a factor. We want a script that everyone's signed off on and a budget that everyone's signed off on." After the script was accepted and the film was finally officially green-lit by Disney in July 2014, the release date moved to July 7, 2017.
Many of the crew members for the film were new to the franchise, replacing members that had served on the previous four films. Apart from directors Rønning and Sandberg and writer Nathanson, a new director of photography, Paul Cameron replaced Dariusz Wolski, production designer Nigel Phelps, visual effects supervisor Gary Brozenich, special effects supervisor Dan Oliver, supervising stunt coordinator R. A. Rondell, stunt coordinators Thomas Robinson Harper and Kyle Gardiner, makeup and hair designer Peter Swords King, executive producers Joe Caracciolo Jr. and Brigham Taylor replacing Mike Stenson, film editors Joel Cox, Gary D. Roach and Roger Barton and composer Geoff Zanelli taking over from composer of the primary themes for the series, Hans Zimmer. Costume designer Penny Rose returned after providing the costumes for all four previous films, along with executive producer Chad Oman.
Speaking to IGN while promoting The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Orlando Bloom indicated that the film might serve as a soft reboot for the franchise, saying: "Basically, they want to reboot the whole franchise, I think, and do something with me and the relationship with my son."
By 2011, shortly before the release of On Stranger Tides, Terry Rossio was writing a script for a fifth film without his partner Ted Elliott. Rossio's draft was ultimately rejected. "My version of Dead Men Tell No Tales was set aside because it featured a female villain," recalled Rossio, "and Johnny Depp was worried that would be redundant to Dark Shadows, which also featured a female villain." In January 2013, Disney hired Jeff Nathanson to work on a script. That September, producer Bruckheimer said, "We have an outline everyone loves but the script is not done," explaining that the release would be postponed beyond summer 2015.
On April 13, 2014, Depp said Bruckheimer and Disney had invited him in to collaborate with the writer Jeff Nathanson, noting:
Everyone involved wants the script to be right and perfect. So we have gone on to do other things [in the meantime]. We are still going to do the film together. I enjoy them immensely. They are super talented. They have a great sense of humor. I think they have a really fun approach to what we are going to do with the next Pirates. Very happily and proudly, I have welcomed taking part in the story and working directly with the screenwriter [Jeff Nathanson]—he and I. It's working out really well that way. So I have high hopes for that Pirates 5 because if that's really the last one, which it probably is, I feel that we owe it to the audience who went and saw the films so many times. We'll do it right and end it on a high note.
Speaking at the On Stranger Tides press launch in Cannes, Depp said he would play the role for as long as it is popular with the public. In August 2012 news surfaced that Johnny Depp signed on officially for the fifth film, earning A$90 million to reprise his role. As with the fourth film, Depp was also involved in scripting and planning Dead Men Tell No Tales. Geoffrey Rush had commented on returning as Hector Barbossa in the fifth installment, saying "If they keep shapeshifting this character, absolutely" as well as implying he may return as the villain. He also said that Barbossa's megalomania "could explode in horrific ways". In December 2014, Rush confirmed his return for the fifth installment, where Barbossa and Jack were "at the heart of it and there's a whole new set of story lines". In late 2011, about four years after choosing not to return for the fourth installment, Orlando Bloom stated that he would like to return for the fifth film if he was offered. On May 11, 2011, Naomie Harris expressed her desire to return as Tia Dalma if they called her. Several weeks after Disney officially green-lit the film, Bloom stated that there were "discussions" about his return to the franchise in September 2014. Bloom further commented in December 2014, that while he was not sure whether he would return, there were talks. He also indicated that Disney could do a soft reboot with the franchise and focus on Will Turner and his son. After months of speculation and after filming wrapped up, Bloom's participation was confirmed at Disney D23 on August 15, 2015.
On December 2, 2013, it was reported that Christoph Waltz was in talks to appear as the film's main antagonist, but he finally declined. Australian actor Brenton Thwaites entered talks for the role of Henry in late November 2014, after Disney chose him over Taron Egerton, George MacKay, Mitchell Hope, Ansel Elgort and Sam Keeley. In mid-January 2015, he stated that he was to travel to Australia for the film in February, disclosing that his role was indeed that of Will Turner´s son, struggling to break a curse to meet his father. The shortlist of actresses for the female lead consisted of Gabriella Wilde, Kaya Scodelario, Alexandra Dowling, Jenna Thiam and Lucy Boynton. On January 24, Jerry Bruckheimer announced via Twitter that Scodelario had won the role. In July, her character was revealed to be called Carina. In earlier drafts of the script the name Carina Smyth appeared as Barbossa's daughter and was a love interest of Sparrow's and was an astronomer accused of being a witch. Scodelario confirmed that the character was an astronomer and that "she's a totally different character" to Keira Knightley's Elizabeth Swann, and also confirmed that Smyth will be Henry's love interest instead of Jack's. By October 2014, Javier Bardem, husband of Penélope Cruz (who portrayed Angelica in the fourth installment), was in early talks to appear as the antagonist of the film. His role was eventually confirmed to be that of Armando Salazar, who in early scripts was referred as Captain John Brand. However, during an interview with Collider in 2012, Penélope Cruz stated that she would most likely not reprise her role as Angelica Teach. Kevin McNally confirmed his return as Joshamee Gibbs via Twitter in late January. Shortly after on location pre-production opened in Australia, Disney issued a casting call to local agents for actors from all age- and experience levels to apply for roles and as extras in the upcoming film, with casting also open in the US. Adam Brown, Delroy Atkinson, Danny Kirrane were revealed as cast members shortly before filming. Martin Klebba confirmed his return as Marty via Twitter days before filming began. On February 17, 2015, Stephen Graham revealed that he will reprise his role as Scrum. On September 24, 2015, a YouTube video was uploaded stating that Giles New and Angus Barnett would reprise their roles as Murtogg and Mullroy. Director Joachim Rønning's two children appear in the film as extras. Also, Keith Richards expressed interest in reprising his role as Captain Teague. Additionally, Greg Ellis expressed interest in reprising his role as Theodore Groves, despite his character's apparent death in the previous film, saying the possibility that Groves survived. Apart from this declaration, reports that a deceased Navy officer will star in the film, had sparked many rumors regarding the possibility of the return of James Norrington (portrayed again by Jack Davenport), who died in the third film.
Both Lee Arenberg and Mackenzie Crook commented on the possibility of returning as Pintel and Ragetti. Arenberg confirmed in several interviews that, despite wanting to return to the fourth film, he hoped to reprise his role as Pintel. In an interview on November 7, 2014, Crook confirmed that he had received a call of availability from Disney for the film, although stated that he was uncertain about whether he wanted to reprise his role. Crook declined to reprise his role ultimately, in order to focus on his television series Detectorists. He said he felt "pangs of nostalgia" when the cast and crew filmed the film without him. Furthermore, shortly before filming started, Arenberg announced on Twitter that he would not reprise his role as well, despite having been interested in doing so. In early 2017, there were rumors that Keira Knightley was back to the franchise for a cameo scene despite Knightley saying in 2011 that she wasn't coming back to any future films. On April 18, 2017, the international trailer was released, confirming Knightley's participation.
On January 15, 2014, directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg confirmed that shooting would take place in Puerto Rico and New Orleans and Bruckheimer had previously mentioned that there might be a sequence in Louisiana. However, a spokesman for the Australian Arts Minister George Brandis confirmed that the fifth installment was set to shoot exclusively in Australia after the government agreed to repurpose $20 million of tax incentives originally intended for the remake of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, thus edging out Mexico and South Africa as filming locations. According to Australian film industry sources, on location pre-production started in late September 2014 and its cost is around $250 million. This was officially confirmed by Disney and the Queensland Arts Minister on October 2, 2014, stating that filming will take place exclusively in Queensland, Australia, being the largest production to ever shoot in the country. Village Roadshow Studios and Port Douglas were officially confirmed as filming locations. On January 1, 2015, The Rainbow Gypsy, a 15-year-old replica of an 1897 Scottish bawley, sailed into the Gold Coast to start the extensive refit, which will include a new bowsprit and reconfigured decks and cabins in order to become the Dying Gull, a single-masted ghost ship. Its captain and owner Kit Woodward will be a rigger on the film.
Filming commenced on February 17, 2015. Ship scenes were filmed in front of a giant outdoor greenscreen in Helensvale, while a film set in the form of a village was built in Maudsland. Filming moved to Doug Jennings Park on The Spit from March 30 to June 15, 2015 for water bound scenes. However, due to extreme sea sickness among the cast and crew due to "big swells" at The Spit, filming moved to Raby Bay for calmer waters. Scenes were shot at Lennox Head on June 1. Locals made up more than 75 percent of the 850-plus crew then working on the film. After much speculation about whether Orlando Bloom would return, Bloom arrived at the Gold Coast in late May to reprise his role as Will Turner. Scenes featuring a skeleton of a sperm whale that had been constructed were shot at Hastings Point from June 21 to 23.
A number of issues and controversies set back the film during its production. The biosecurity laws in Australia posed problems regarding the capuchin monkeys that portray Hector Barbossa's pet monkey Jack, as the animals are regarded as a category 1 pest and require strict requirements and a 30-day quarantine. Further controversy surrounding the use of the monkeys erupted from animal rights activist groups, who urged the Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt to reject the application to fly two capuchin monkeys from California to Australia, arguing that the trip would "harm the monkeys' health, that movie performances are unnatural for wild creatures and that the appearance of monkeys in films encourages the illegal wildlife trade". One of the monkeys caused further disruption when it wandered off set at Movie World and bit a make up artist on another production on the ear. Crew and cast members were forced to cover the camera lenses on all mobile phones with duct tape to prevent the film from being pirated before its release. To prevent fans from interfering with the production, secret filming locations used the production name of "Herschel" to hide the fact it was the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean film. Following the attempt of an armed man trying to bypass security, the already tight security was increased.
On March 10, 2015, Depp was injured off set and had to be flown back to the United States for surgery. Due to his absence, filming stalled completely and 200 crew members were forced to stand down for two weeks as they had done all they had been able to without Depp. Filming was set to resume "on or about April 20" and Depp returned to set on April 21. In June, Kaya Scodelario was injured on set along with a stuntman.
Most of the cast and crew had finished on the July 8, 2015, and a wrap party was held on July 11. Filming then moved to the Whitsundays for the final shots to be filmed. On July 21, 2015, Joachim Rønning announced via Instagram that filming has wrapped after a 95-day shoot. After nearly a year in post production, reshoots and additional photography was conducted in Vancouver, Canada from March 24 to April 13, 2016 under the production title "Herschel Additional Photography".
The entire film was filmed in IMAX for an expanded 1.9:1 aspect ratio, giving IMAX screenings of the film 26% more picture on the screen.
For the first time in the series since Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (which he co-wrote with Klaus Badelt), Hans Zimmer is not composing the music for the film. Instead, one of his protégés, Geoff Zanelli, who worked on all previous four installments in the franchise, is the main composer for the film. Zanelli said of taking over from Zimmer as composer for the series, "What Hans did for the Pirates movies redefined the sound of the entire genre, it has been very fulfilling to work alongside him and [producer] Jerry [Bruckheimer] on the past four films. Dead Men Tell No Tales enlarges the Pirates universe with many new, unique elements, and I'm building a distinctive sound for this film that springboards off of many years of collaborating in the Pirates world." The film's soundtrack was released on May 26, 2017.
Work on the film concluded on April 19, 2017.
Dead Men Tell No Tales had its world premiere at the Shanghai Disney Resort on May 11, 2017. In several countries, the film was released as Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge, including English-speaking countries. It was released at cinemas in Italy and Norway on May 24. The film was released in the United States, Canada, and China on May 26. It is the first Hollywood feature to be released in the United States for the new panorama-like ScreenX format; it will play in two locations in the U.S. – CGV Buena Park and CGV Cinemas – both in Los Angeles, California. Additionally, it will play in 81 screens at select theaters in Korea, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Turkey and Indonesia. The film will also play in 4D on 373 4DX screens worldwide. It is Disney's third wide release of the year following Beauty and the Beast and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
A robust marketing effort helped promote Dead Men Tell No Tales. The film was first showcased at the Disney D23 Expo 2015 where Depp appeared in costume as Jack Sparrow and the film's logo was revealed with Orlando Bloom confirmed to be starring in the film. Elizabeth Rudnick has been self-confirmed to novelize the film, as well as describing the film as bringing back "sensibility" plus bringing back Jack Sparrow in "all of his swaggering glory". Another book is set to be released by Disney, a tie-in prequel expanding the backstory of the character of Carina Smyth, titled Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales – The Brightest Star in the North. The film was also showcased at the Walt Disney Content Showcase in Africa in 2016 where concept art, story details and on set images were previewed. The first teaser trailer was released on October 2, 2016, during Fear the Walking Dead and showcased Armando Salazar hunting for Jack Sparrow who doesn't appear in the trailer except only his image on a wanted poster. On January 27, 2017, Disney uploaded an eight-second motion poster to their official Instagram account for the release of a TV spot of the film during Super Bowl LI. Disney then released a 30-second television teaser at Super Bowl LI, with an extended version released online set to Johnny Cash's "Ain't No Grave". The trailer was considered to be the "big" trailer of the event and was the most viewed trailer of all the films advertised at the halftime show. A new teaser poster was also released with the trailer. Both teasers received a highly positive reaction from audiences. The official trailer was released on March 2, 2017. Another trailer was released on March 25, 2017. The first 30-second TV spot was released on March 31, 2017. On April 21, at Disney Parks and on the four Disney cruise ships, Disney previewed a sneak peek of the film. With the release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 on April 28, 2017 in the UK, Disney premiered a 5-minute extended sequence of the film in front of the Marvel film.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is scheduled to be released on digital download by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment on September 19, 2017, and on Blu-ray, Ultra HD Blu-ray and DVD on October 3, 2017.
In May 2017, the film was allegedly stolen by a group of piracy hackers, who demanded a large sum of money from Disney in order for them not to distribute the unreleased film. The company refused to do so and worked with the FBI in order to get the identity of the group. Also Disney CEO, Bob Iger reported that hackers didn't steal their movie.
As of September 17, 2017, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales has grossed $172.5 million in the United States and Canada and $621.5 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $794 million, against a production budget of $230 million.
The film had a worldwide opening of $271.4 million from 55 markets, with $24 million coming from 1,088 IMAX screens. The film's six-day opening gross pushed the franchise gross past the $4 billion mark. Despite being the lowest grossing film of the series domestically by nearly $70 million, the film became the highest-grossing entry of the Pirates franchise internationally when going by modern foreign-exchange rates, passing On Stranger Tides, which grossed $593.4 million at current rates. Despite weak domestic totals, Deadline.com noted the film should turn a net profit of around $280 million after factoring together all expenses and revenues.
In April 2017, early projections had the film grossing $115 million over its four-day Memorial Day opening weekend. In early May, projections were adjusted to $90–100 million, which was again lowered down to $80–85 million, with a chance of hitting $100 million, by the week of its release. It was released in 4,276 theaters, of which over 3,100 were 3D, including 400 IMAX locations, over 500 Premium Large Format locations, 170 D-Box locations, 10 4D auditoriums and three venues featuring the ScreenX three-screen format. It opened Friday, May 26, 2017, and earned $23.4 million on its opening day, including $5.5 million it made from Thursday night previews. Its opening day was the lowest of the franchise. In total, it grossed $63 million over three days, and $78.5 million over four (Friday-Monday), finishing first at the box office ahead of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and fellow newcomer Baywatch. On a three-day basis, the film did 31% less than On Stranger Tides did over its first three days in 2011, after adjusting for inflation, and on a four-day-basis, it's down 34% from At World's End and overall is the second smallest debut of the franchise after the first film. Despite the film registering the highest test score in the series' history, the opening came in well below initial expectations, which was attributed to various reasons, such as Johnny Depp's diminishing returns and his depreciating public image amid his personal problems, the wave of negative reviews from critics (mainly on Rotten Tomatoes), franchise fatigue and the problem of Memorial Day weekend failing to attract considerable moviegoers in the past years. However, although the film's opening was below predictions, it wasn't considered a fatal failure and was better than Disney had for its last few Memorial Day releases (Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Tomorrowland and Alice Through the Looking Glass). Studio executives said they were pleased with the movie's opening, both domestically and abroad. Its opening further helped Disney push past $1 billion domestically to record the second-fastest time a studio has reached the mark domestically, second only to Disney's own record from 2016 when the studio surpassed $1 billion in early May.
After droppingby 73% on its second Friday, the worst Friday-to-Friday drop in the series, the film fell by a total of 65% in its second weekend, also the worst of the series, grossing $22.1 million. As a result, it finished in third place, after newcomers Wonder Woman ($103.3 million) and Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie ($23.9 million). It made $10.7 million in its third weekend, $9 million in its fourth and $5.2 million in its fifth, respectively finishing 4th, 6th and 7th at the box office.
Internationally, where it is marketed as Salazar's Revenge in many countries, the film was released day-and-date with its North American debut in 54 markets (91% of its total marketplace, except Japan, where it debuted on July 1). Preliminary reports had the film opening to $150–175 million, but possibly overperforming depending on major markets, most notably China. While its Chinese run benefited from the Dragon Boat Festival – a lucrative moviegoing period – from May 28–30 as well as from International Children's Day (June 1), the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing had a deteriorating effect on certain European markets, and eased moviegoing admissions across the continent over the film's opening weekend. From Wednesday to Friday, it registered an opening of $208.8 million. Around $14 million of that came from IMAX screenings, the second biggest international IMAX opening in May only after Captain America: Civil War. Similar to its domestic plunge, it earned $73.8 million in its second weekend, thus, falling in second place behind Wonder Woman.
It recorded the biggest opening day of the year in several markets including Germany ($3.6 million), Austria, France ($2.3 million), Finland, Sweden, Belgium, Thailand ($400,000), Indonesia, Malaysia and the Netherlands ($900,000, also the second biggest Disney bow, behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens), while Russia opened with $4 million, the fifth-biggest ever. In terms of opening, Russia posted the biggest opening of all-time with $18.4 million ($18.6 million including previews) while South Korea ($11.5 million), France ($9.1 million), Germany ($8.3 million), Mexico ($6.9 million), the UK ($6.1 million), Brazil ($5.6 million), Italy ($5.5 million), Australia ($4.4 million), Spain ($4.4 million), Indonesia ($4 million), Taiwan ($3.6 million), India ($3 million) and Argentina ($3 million) recorded the top openings..
In China, where the film had its global premiere, it earned $21.3 million on its opening day, the fourth biggest Disney opening day in the country. It had an 87% marketshare and had already surpassed the entire earnings of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. Earning a total of $67.9 million, it registered the third highest three-day for any Disney title, only behind Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Age of Ultron and a much higher opening than the U.S. The film did extremely well in IMAX, earning $9 million from 401 screens from Friday to early Monday bookings. The robust opening has been attributed to the Dragon Boat Festival, as well as Depp's star power, the ubiquity of the franchise, the impact of the Shanghai Disneyland Park, which opened last year and good word of mouth – it has a score of 7.5/10 on reviews aggregator Douban, and 8.7/10 on top mobile ticketing platform Weying.
The final market for the film to be released in was Japan (1 July), where it opened at Number 1, achieving the highest grossing opening for a Western film of the year, earning $9.25 million over the July 1-2 weekend. It remained at the number 1 spot at the box office for three weeks.
The biggest earning markets so far are China ($172.3 million), followed by Japan ($55 million), Russia and the CIS ($40.7 million), where is the second highest grossing film ever, behind only Avatar, Germany ($31 million), France ($28.7 million) and U.K. ($25.1 million). The film is the highest grossing of the series internationally by modern-foreign exchange rates.
On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 30% based on 222 reviews, with an average rating of 4.7/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales proves that neither a change in directors nor an undead Javier Bardem is enough to drain this sinking franchise's murky bilge." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score 39 out of 100, based on 45 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale.
Mike Ryan of Uproxx criticized the convoluted plot and overabundance of characters, writing: "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man Tell No Tales is practically incoherent. I’ve been trying to wrap my head around the 'plot,' but it's been futile. I've asked literally eight other people who saw this movie to answer a couple specific questions and no one has been able to do it." Writing for Rolling Stone, Peter Travers called the film "bloated, boring, repetitive and draining" and gave it one star out of four, saying, "Abandon ship, audiences. Paying cash money to see Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is the equivalent of walking the plank." Ignatiy Vishnevetsky of The A.V. Club wrote that the film returns "to the basic formula of the first three Pirates films directed by Gore Verbinski, in which Johnny Depp’s louche and campy Jack Sparrow played second banana to an insipid love story...the two romantic leads [...] succeed only in making the shortest movie in the series seem just as long as the rest." A. O. Scott of The New York Times said of the film, "Its pleasures are so meager, its delight in its own inventions so forced and false, that it becomes almost the perfect opposite of entertainment." Michael O'Sullivan of The Washington Post remarked that the film was "loud, overstimulating and hard to take in all in one sitting", comparing it to a "vacation that you’ll need a vacation from." Mick LaSalle of San Francisco Chronicle found the film to be "a jumble of half-baked impulses", with the film's directors "trying to pump air and passion into a stinking corpse of a franchise."
Richard Roeper of Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 3 out of 4 stars, saying: "Dead Men works well enough as a stand-alone, swashbuckling comedic spectacle, thanks to the terrific performances, some ingenious practical effects, impressive CGI and a steady diet of PG-13 dialogue peppered with not particularly sophisticated but (I have to admit) fairly funny sexual innuendo." Pete Hammond of Deadline.com praised the film, calling it "the most entertaining installment," giving credit to Directors Rønning and Sandberg for creating a "rollicking good time". He praised the visual effects, particularly Salazar and his crew, arguing that it should be in line to receive an Academy Award for Visual Effects. He also gave high praise to Bardem for being able to create such a "fully dimensional villain" under the layers of make-up and CGI, as well as Depp for keeping the film and franchise going. Leah Greenblatt of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a 'B', praising the fun nature of the film as well as its visuals, calling it "gorgeously detailed swashbuckling nonsense," but wished that the script had taken more risks instead of following the formula used in previous films. Ashley Esqueda of CNET gave the film a positive review, arguing it brought the franchise back to what made its first two installments so fun, and praised Depp's performance as "delightful as ever." Brian Truitt of USA Today gave the film 3 out of 4 stars, saying "What was once a past-its-prime franchise seems to have found new life." Mark Hughes of Forbes opined "Dead Men Tell No Tales isn't as good as the first three films, but it's better than the fourth film", adding "it has mostly good performances, and a couple of great ones. It has fantastic visual effects, lots of humor that works, a lighthearted feel and sense of fun, and many terrific action set pieces to make your eyeballs pop out."
The film was nominated for six Teen Choice Awards: Sci-Fi/ Fantasy Movie, Sci-Fi/ Fantasy Actor, Sci-fi/ Fantasy Actress, Sci-Fi Fantasy villain and Sci-Fi Fantasy Liplock.
Shortly before the release of On Stranger Tides, it was reported that Disney was planning to shoot the fifth and the sixth films back-to-back, although it was later revealed that only the fifth film was in development. On March 4, 2017, director Joachim Rønning stated that Dead Men was only the beginning of the final adventure, implying that it would not be the last film of the franchise and that a sixth film could be realized. The post-credit scene of the Dead Men shows Will Turner, Elizabeth Swann, and Davy Jones, implying that Will and Elizabeth will be main characters again and Davy Jones would be the main antagonist in a sixth film. In September 2017, producer Jerry Bruckheimer indicated that another Pirates sequel is still possible if Dead Men Tell No Tales does well in its home release.