The Pirates of The Caribbean franchise has done nothing but rake in millions of dollars for Disney but its previous success isn’t good enough to grant its sequel a financial pass. It’s no secret that the economy is in the crapper and a lot of companies are tightening their budgets, including Disney. According a recent article in the LA Times, the studio has set a limit on how much they’re willing to spend on Jack Sparrow and his next adventure.

Under Disney’s new Chairman Rich Ross, the studio will exercise some “fiscal restraint,” when it comes to the Jerry Bruckheimer blockbuster. Even though the desire for popcorn movies and escapist films hasn’t changed, DVD sales, marketing, and production costs have. The previous Pirates films cost about $300 million to make while On Stranger Tides is expected to stay near $200 million. So even though theatrically the films are turning a profit, they still have to compensate for the areas that are failing.

According to director Rob Marshall, “This is by far the biggest budget I’ve ever worked with. We’re all working hard to keep it as lean as possible…. It’s a tricky time in the economy. You can’t be insane.”

This smaller budget might be a blessing in disguise for those of you who thought the previous film, At World’s End was a bit over the top. When you cut the money, it forces you to cut down on the extra stuff you don’t need. Maybe this will allow us to get back to the essence of the original Pirates that we all loved so much.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides opens nationwide on May 20, 2011.

Do you think Disney is right for cutting the film’s budget? Do you think On Stranger Tides will suffer?