I just checked my Google News and found that "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," has taken in $135.6 million, which is the highest gross of any film on its first weekend. I saw the film on Friday with a packed house in Incline Village, Nevada. It was certainly entertaining, and visually overwhelming, though not--I'm quick to add--as good as the first installment of "Pirates." The latter movie was a serendipity. I've pondered the themes of Pirates II to discern any deeper meaning, and redemption looms large, whether it's for cruel Davy Jones, or the generally upright Will Turner, or even the mischievous Captain Jack Sparrow. All these characters bear chains of one sort or another from which they want freedom so that they can live. And significantly, this one of the core theological images for the critical experience of the Christian life--that we're in a bind without hope or release, unless someone else intervenes. So maybe the U.S. senses this deep need.... Or maybe they just like the visual effects of Pirates II.... At this point, it's not easy for me to decide between the two options.
(Incidentally, I've extended these reflections through a post on the Thoughtful Christian blog: http://thethoughtfulchristian.blogspot.com.