Dominica may have been doing better when it was overrun by pirates.
The only movie theater on the tropical island where much of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest was filmed will not be showing the swashbuckling blockbuster--and not because of any cannibalism controversy.
Despite the fact that the Dead Man's Chest set included at least 275 Dominicans employed as crewmembers and extras, and that Disney's presence on the West Indies island was expected to provide a much-needed economic boost, the 300-seat theater has a leaky roof and will not be open in time to screen the movie, which grossed $135.6 million in its opening weekend. The venue has been closed for about two months, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.
Though Dominica has a growing tourism industry, the agriculture-dependent nation is still considered one of the poorest in the Caribbean, with about 30 percent of residents living below the poverty line. So far people seem pretty content to blame the movie theater's owners for the lack of cinematic booty.
"I would have hoped that the people who own the only cinema in Dominica [located on the island's capital of Roseau] would have negotiated something," local historian Lennox Honeychurch, who was an extra in Dead Man's Chest, told the AP.
This is not the first time that Pirates has had trouble finding its footing on Dominican soil. Last year, Charles Williams, chief of the island's indigenous Carib Indian tribe, complained about Dead Man's Chest's plotline involving a troupe of flesh-hungry natives ready to make a meal out of Captain Jack Sparrow. A particular point of contention was a scene featuring the charming rogue hogtied to a spit and covered with garnishes.
Disney responded to the controversy with a statement about the film's "purely fictitious" plot points and even the local Carib Territorial Council emphasized the fact that Dead Man's Chest takes place on a fictional island and that the cannibals are called Pelegosto.
Besides, how vicious can they be? Sparrow gets away. He's got another sequel to film, after all.