Who says you can't make money with pirate movies? Well, Geena Davis probably, but Johnny Depp and Disney have proved the unfortunate mess that was Cutthroat Island was something of an anomaly. Or at least that it didn't have to be the genre killer it seemed to be.
Having amassed an eye-watering amount of box office money over four films to date, it was inevitable that the franchise would continue into the mooted second trilogy. Whether Dead Men Tell No Tales manages to recapture the film-going world's love of Jack Sparrow remains to be confirmed, but there's clearly a lot of life left in Johnny Depp's swaggering, drunken pantomime act as Jack Sparrow.
But despite accusations that that is all Pirates Of The Caribbean is - a vehicle for a single irresistible performance - the franchise actually has a lot more substance to it. In the four films to date there have been numerous references to classic films, real-life pirate lore and school-yard penis jokes to suggest a lot of work went into the framework for Captain Jack Sparrow.
And some were so obscure that finding them might well have passed you by entirely...
16. Citizen Kane
There are some genuine high-brow references in the franchise that most kids watching would never have got, but which eagle-eyed cinephiles would have got a serious kick out of.
Firstly, at the end of the first film, when Barbossa meets his (temporary) demise, his symbolic apple (which turns into a running joke) falls out of his hand in an almost shot-for-shot redo of Citizen Kane's death scene, when he drops the snow globe.
And then in Dead Man's Chest, there's a reference to The Good, The Bad & The Ugly in the triple stand-off between Will Turner, Sparrow and Norrington. Their angry triangle is reminiscent of the one from the climactic showdown of the classic Western between Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, and Lee Van Cleef.