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Weekend Box Office Report: ‘Pirates’ Plunders While ‘Baywatch’ Blunders

There was a time not so long ago when Memorial Day weekend was a big deal for Hollywood, but this weekend felt more like a bunch of under-performers gathering together and learning very little about life. Call it the anti-Breakfast Club, if you will. This certainly isn’t what Hollywood had in mind for most of its franchises, and while Johnny Depp’s latest pirate movie did OK, ‘OK’ seems to be the operative word of the summer if you’re not a movie about superheroes or literate villagers. Here’s the weekend gross through Sunday afternoon:

Film Weekend Per Screen
1 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales $62,179,000 $14,541 $62,179,000
2 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 $19,890,000 (-42%) $5,138 $333,205,927
3 Baywatch $18,100,000 $4,963 $22,706,514
4 Alien: Covenant $10,525,000 (-70%) $2,790 $57,347,181
5 Everything, Everything $6,185,000 (-47%) $2,208 $21,541,113
6 Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul $4,400,000 (-38%) $1,386 $13,581,961
7 Snatched $3,905,000 (-50%) $1,469 $40,184,625
8 King Arthur: Legend of the Sword $3,215,000 (-55%) $1,284 $33,870,202
9 The Boss Baby $1,700,000 (-40%) $1,267 $168,957,190
10 Beauty and the Beast $1,563,000 (-38%) $1,453 $500,563,435

Let’s start with the newcomers. In first place this week is Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, which grossed $62 million in its opening weekend. There’s a few different ways to look at this one. On the one hand, that $62 million opening is almost $30 million less than On Stranger Tides, the fourth installment in the franchise (and the lowest-grossing Pirates of the Caribbean movie to date). That’s the bad news. The good news  —  depending on your perspective, anyways  —  is that Dead Men Tell No Tales has already picked up over $200 million at the international box office. Of course, On Stranger Tides opened to $260 million on the international market, so there’s pluses and minuses on both sides of the ledger. With a $250 million budget, Disney has pulled out all the stops for its most recent Pirates of the Caribbean adventure. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but we’ll need to see what’s in store for the second weekend to get a true sense of the film’s box office potential.

In third place with $18 million is Baywatch, and that’s just not the kind of money Paramount was expecting from the highest-paid actor in the business. If you look at a list of Dwayne Johnson’s opening weekends, you’ll find Baywatch all the way down there in 20th place, alongside such Hollywood juggernauts as Walking Tall and The Rundown. The film’s $69 million budget means that they don’t have to make a ton of money for this one to be a success, but given the movie’s profane American-centric sense of humor, you have to wonder if this will do well enough in the foreign markets to pick up the slack. A good touchpoint for this might be Pain & Gain; that film opened to about $21 million and ended up grossing $86 million worldwide, but only cost $26 million to make. Should’ve changed the title, folks.

And now we focus on the repeat releases. In second place again this week is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, whose $19 million gross pushed the film up above $333 million at the domestic box office. That oh-so narrowly inches out the first film  —  $333,205,927 vs. $333,205,927  —  to become the highest-grossing movie in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. Guardians continues to climb the charts of the all-time Marvel movies as well, now sitting in eighth place overall and a good Memorial Day away from passing Spider-Man 2 on the list. It’ll be interesting to see if Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has the legs to break the $1 billion mark, but if I had to guess, I’d say it doesn’t quite do well enough on the international market to push it over the top.

In fourth place is Alien: Covenant, which tumbled an astonishing 70% in its second weekend from $36 million to just a little over $10 million. The movie is already free and clear of its budget thanks to a strong international push, but these aren’t exactly the kind of numbers that inspire 20th Century Fox to let Ridley Scott finish out his planned trilogy or six-movie franchise or whatever the heck he has in mind for the Alien movies. In fifth place is Everything, Everything, the little YA love story that seems to be a nice change of pace for audiences tired of giant robots and monsters. That film grossed $6 million in its second weekend, bringing the film up to $20 million on a $10 million budget. More films would do well to balance modest investment against slightly less modest returns.

In sixth place is Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, which picked up $4.4 million in sixth place. That pushes the film up to $13 million so far, which is both below the budget ($22 million) and lagging well behind the domestic gross of the last film in the franchise ($49 million), so maybe it’s time for 20th Century Fox to close the page on this wimpy franchise (get it?). In seventh place is Snatched with $3.9 million, bringing the film’s total gross up above the production budget. Goldie Hawn certainly deserved better than this in her feature comeback. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword limps into eighth place with $3.2 million, bringing its global total up to $119 million. C’mon, guys! Only $60 million more and you can technically break even!

And joined at the hip as always are The Boss Baby and Beauty and the Beast, earning $1.7 and $1.5 million in ninth and 10th place, respectively. With Wonder Woman and others on their way in the next few weeks, this was probably the last gasp for two of the big performers of the first part of the year. I’d say I’ll be sorry to see them go, but honestly, it’ll be nice to write about something else for a change.

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