Hollywood Wiretap had the link first, but columnist Jim Hill (of Jim Hill Media) is reporting that “studio insiders who have actually worked on the Pirates sequels are saying that — thanks to all of the elaborate FX sequences in Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End — the combined production costs of these two films is now well north of $600 million.
“And let’s keep in mind that we’re just talking about production costs [and] not the additional $100 million that a studio typically has to spend in order to properly launch a summer blockbuster. That $600 million was supposedly spent on just producing those two motion pictures, not on their promotion and marketing.
“And let’s not forget that [director] Gore Verbinksi hasn’t actually finished shooting the third Pirates sequel yet. Sets are being built on the Burbank lot right now for [certain] At World’s End scenes [and] according to studio staffers that I’ve spoken with, it’s going to take Gore at least six more weeks of shooting before he gets everything that he needs to complete At World’s End. Which means — in essence — that the meter’s still running on this incrediblyexpensive project. And that the final combined production costs of these back-to-back “Pirates” sequels could eventually reach as high as $650-$700 million.