Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End is top of the US box office, but its sales are still likely to disappoint its studio backers.

The third film in the piratical franchise, which stars Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, took $126.5 million (£63 million) in its first three days at the North American box office, leagues ahead of its nearest rival.

But that figure falls short of the $135.6 million (£68.4 million) gathered by Dead Man's Chest, sobering the effect of its latest plunder.

The film's box office appeal nevertheless made it the highest-ever grossing movie for Memorial Day, a US public holiday. It beat last year's X-Men: The Last Stand, which took $122.9 million (£62 million).

Keira Knightley, Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush and the other stars of At World's End can at least shrug their shoulders and say the movie came up against some pretty strong competition.

Both Shrek the Third and Spider-man 3 have broken their own records in a busy month for Hollywood. This week they came in second and third behind At World's End, taking in $51 million (£25.7 million) and $13.7 million (£6.9 million) respectively.

28/05/2007 12:12:54