The top three movies at the box office combined this weekend for around $125 million over four days, and while that may sound like an impressive number, it’s less than the three-day opening weekend of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, which scored $135 million all by itself for Disney back in 2006. So, after the fifth entry, the Pirates franchise must be in big trouble, right?
No, not at all. Yes, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is a modest disappointment at this weekend’s domestic box office, but the worldwide box office should keep the franchise afloat for a few more movies, anyway. Here in America, Dead Men Tell No Tales will score around $77 million over the four-day frame, and around $63 million over the three-day weekend, good for the fifth best weekend of the year, just ahead of Kong: Skull Island. It’s the worst opening for the franchise since the original film and the three-day weekend is nearly $30 million less than what the last film, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, opened with. Clearly, there’s some franchise fatigue here in the United States, where Johnny Depp is not the draw he once was. Critics have not been kind to Dead Men Tell No Tales either, giving the movie a meager 32 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, although fans have given it an A- Cinemascore.
Ultimately, however, the domestic take of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales will not be determinative for the franchise, because by weekend’s end, the film will have earned around $275 million globally. The last Pirates film scored 76 percent of its box office internationally, and Pirates 5 may end up grossing an even higher percentage of its box office overseas. China is the big driver; Dead Men Tell No Tales has soaked up 87 percent of all tickets sales there, and it’s already surpassed the entire box-office take of At World’s End., according to Deadline.
In other words, Pirates fans in America can thank China for all future installments.
Meanwhile, Baywatch isn’t going to get nearly as much help overseas, where the TV show the movie is adapted from doesn’t have as much brand recognition (except in Germany) and where comedies typically don’t perform as well. That means that no one is going to bail out Baywatch’s tepid opening stateside, where the film opened with around $17 million over the three-day weekend, $21 million over the four-day weekend, and only $25 million since it opened last Wednesday. Reviews have been brutal, while Dwayne Johnson has been trying to fight back the critical reception.
Unfortunately for The Rock, the disconnect has not been as glaring as he had hoped. Fan reactions have been fairly mixed, as well, and despite the star power of Johnson, the box-office performance this weekend is probably going to rule out that planned sequel.
So much for the guaranteed huge Memorial Day openings. Pirates is looking to be only the 15th highest opening on Memorial Day weekend, while Baywatch opens on par with 1993’s Cliffhanger, or around the 40th best Memorial Day weekend all time.
In holdover news, The Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 came in at number two for the weekend, racking up about $26 million over the four-day frame, bringing its total up to $340 million, surpassing the gross of the original Guardians stateside and pushing its worldwide total over $800 million. The holiday weekend didn’t boost the prospects of Alien: Covenant. It will end the four-day frame with around $13 million and around $60 million overall. It is unlikely to make $100 million in the United States, but it is performing better overseas.
On the other hand, Everything, Everything, based on the YA novel, is holding well. It should score close to $10 million over the four day weekend, raising its overall total to $25 million, which is not bad for a movie made for $10 million. Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul will end the weekend with around $6 million and $15 million overall, which suggests that any additional sequels will be of the straight-to-streaming variety. Amy Schumer’s Snatched is up to $41 million overall now, or about what it cost to produce (foreign totals, so far, have been negligible). King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword is going nowhere fast in America, ending its third weekend with less than $35 million (it’s doing better overseas, but not that much better). Rounding out the top ten are Boss Baby ($170 million cumulative) and The Fate and the Furious ($229 million cumulative). Meanwhile, Beauty and the Beast crossed $500 million this weekend.
Next weekend should be a fun one, as we finally see how much Wonder Woman can put up at the box office. It will open against the animated Captain Underpants.