A piece of Aztec gold just doesn’t go as far as it used to. The LA Times reports that Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides isn’t going to have the loose purse springs of its predecessors. Disney, under the management of new studio Chairman Rich Ross, is trying to exercise fiscal restraint on the upcoming blockbuster. While the budget is still north of $200 million, the previous installment cost $300 million. Some of the cost-saving measures include moving the production to the tax-incentive friendly Hawaii and London, shooting more scenes on land, 90 to 95 shooting days compared to the 142 on the last film, and 1,300 to 1,400 special effect shots compared to At World’s End‘s two-thousand. An elaborate carriage chase scene was scheduled to shoot for 12 days and now it will only get four to six.
I don’t think a leaner Pirates movie is necessarily a bad thing. I really liked Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End, but I know I was in the minority. I think that these budget cuts may be a blessing in disguise and win back the fans that felt the sequels went overboard. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides hits theaters on May 20, 2011.