There’s no point in lamenting this weekend’s $346.4 million gross — $90.1 million U.S., $256.3 million abroad — for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides . But I do nonetheless.

It deflates my soul to think that so many millions of people have deplorable, peon-level taste in movies. Not about this one, of course, as the current numbers are all about marketing and brand recognition and the easy appeal of low-rent commonality and big-budget production design. But you’d think that the third Pirates film — either the worst or the second-worst of the four, depending on who you talk to — would have dampened their interest. It did somewhat in this country as some are calling the $90.1 million a slight shortfall, but it sure didn’t hurt things as far as the rest of the world was concerned

It’s the book title that keeps on giving: “When Good Things Happen to Bad People.” Not that I consider Rob Marshall, Jerry Bruckheimer, Johnny Depp and the others to be actually “bad”, of course, but they’ve certainly lowered the bar that much more, and have obviously made things safer for big dumb movies. That’s not what any thoughtful person would call “good,” right?