Saw Pirates II on Monday and spent 2 hours and 45 minutes in a return to an age when movies actually moved, had real plots (more than one), real love stories (actual triangle), and real action all presented with genuine swashbuckling joie de vivre. Movies where you had to listen fast and think faster in order to catch all the jokes and even so missed about half of them. In other words all the reasons why most critics are panning this movie is what makes it great. Although truth be told most of the jokes were over the head of the largely ill-informed audience I attended with.
There have been two movies in my entire lifetime (and that is significant) that I wanted to go back to the theater and see again (I.E. spend money twice to see) and those were the orginal Hustler (Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason) and now Pirates II.
What makes a blockbuster - well, "remake" doesn't. Nor do special effects do the trick. Name actors? Nope. Let's face it Johnny Depp is a cult actor - you either love his body of work or hate it. Orlando Bloom and Kiera Knightly aren't exactly going to burn up the silver screen for years to come (in fact I wouldn't pay to see a movie with either of these actors in it unless Depp was in the staring role).
What makes a blockbuster is originality. Originality. Original. Unusual. Not the same. Unique. And just because some PR merchant calls something unique doesn't make it unique. It doesn't have to be spectacular (although it helps). But spectacular doesn't make unique. Nor does unique make spectacular. They are two different things.
Most successful trading comes from originality. Uniqueness. You make a trade the crowd doesn't. You make a trade the crowd couldn't see in a million years. When you do and you win you will win large nearly everytime.