Second, is it just me, or is the Oscar weekend becoming a pretty good box office weekend? I'm not going to go through the charts, but I think Watchmen, 300, Bringing Down the House, and maybe Pink Panther all did very good business right around this time. One of the real changes we're seeing in the industry is that in the bad, old days (even into the late 1990s) to open wide you had to be in the summer or December. Execs have figured out how to create a summer-like opening weekend any weekend of the year.
Third, Depp is a big movie star and everything, but I'm struck by how very, very many pre-existing properties he's starred in. All of his biggest hits are pre-solds (Alice, Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, Pirates, etc.). When he makes a movie that's original (let's count Public Enemies even though it was based on a book based on a true story), it doesn't open all that big.
Fourth, is $100M the new $50M for opening weekends? It looks that way. Before 2002, a $100M weekend was thought to be theoretically possible, but practically almost impossible. After all, if The Phantom Menace--the most hyped movie ever created--could only do $65M in three days, it was going to take a lot of ticket inflation to get a picture over the $100M hump.
Since Spider-Man broke the century mark, 13 other movies have done it.