Although this holiday weekend wasn’t a bust for either of the new wide release movies, both fell very short of expectations. The fifth installment to Disney’s tentpole pirate franchise won the box office, but delivered the series’ lowest opening since the original film.
At the same time, even though The Rock has proven to be a very bankable actor, it turns out that people don’t want to see him in a crude R-rated comedy. The only new release to turn heads and play better than expected was a documentary about The Grateful Dead.
Dead franchises fill no seats – at least, they don’t domestically. OK, that’s a gross overstatement because ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales‘ easily finished Memorial Day at the top of the box office with $62.6 million over the three-day weekend and $77 million over the four-day holiday weekend. However, neither of those totals matched industry predictions. The three-day actuals are nearly $30 million below the opening of the last ‘Pirates’ picture. With a price tag of $230 million, these opening numbers would be a heavy blow, but luckily the international box office is making up for the domestic lag. You see, just like the ‘Fast and Furious’ franchise, the international box office for ‘Pirates’ gets stronger with each new installment even as the domestic box office slows down. ‘Dead Men Tell No Tales’ kicked off in every overseas market this weekend and pulled in $208.4 million, giving it a $271 million worldwide launch. With that trend in progress, it’ll be interesting to see if Disney decides to milk this cash cow for another movie or two despite ‘Dead Men’ supposedly being the last.
Unexpectedly, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2‘ retained second place over the weekend. (It was predicted to finish at #3.) Now four weeks into the movie’s theatrical release, Star Lord and company earned $20.6 million over the three-day weekend and $25.1 million over the four days. Combining the $338.4 million domestic draw with the $450.1 million international total gives ‘Vol. 2’ a worldwide gross of $788.5 million, which surpasses the entire run of the original ‘Guardians’ ($773.3 million). That also makes it the fifth highest-grossing entry to Marvel’s cinematic universe.
The R-rated comedic adaptation of ‘Baywatch‘ was expected to have a solid opening, but the box office proved otherwise. Moviegoers smelled what The Rock was cooking and walked in the other direction. The three-day weekend saw $18.5 million and the four-day saw $23 million. The decision to open on Thursday was wise, as the movie grossed $4.6 million with the head-start, placing its domestic total at $27.6 million. With a production budget of $69 million, Paramount is certainly hoping for huge numbers when ‘Baywatch’ kicks off overseas.
Falling from the top spot to #4, ‘Alien: Covenant‘ took a brutal drop over its second week. The three-day weekend resulted in a 71% dip in attendance and just $10.5 million. (It made $13.1 million over the four-day weekend.) Although the domestic box office is getting its face hugged, international moviegoers continue to fuel the ‘Prometheus’ sequel. Summing its $59.9 million domestic box office with the $101 million foreign total, the $96 million ‘Covenant’ now has a worldwide gross of $160.9 million.
Rounding out the Top 5 was last week’s well-attended YA adaptation, ‘Everything, Everything‘. Its three-day weekend dipped 49 % and yielded $6 million, while the four-day weekend gave it $7.3 million. The small $10 million picture has now made $22.7 million domestically and has yet to debut overseas.
The Grateful Dead rockumentary ‘Long Strange Trip‘ launched at two locations this weekend and earned $34,131, for a per-screen average of $17,066. While those numbers are great, Thursday night was even more impressive. A single-showing event was held on 50 screens and resulted in $261,575. Another even more impressive consideration is that the film features a four-hour runtime, meaning that its strong weekend numbers were achieved with lesser showtimes than most other movies. It’ll be interesting to see if this has any impact on concert ticket sales for the Dead & Company tour that’s making the rounds right now.
Top 10 (3-Day):
1. ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales’ (Buena Vista) – $62,606,000
2. ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ (Buena Vista) – $20,641,000
3. ‘Baywatch’ (Paramount) – $18,570,000
4. ‘Alien: Covenant’ (Fox) – $10,550,000
5. ‘Everything, Everything’ (Warner Bros.) – $6,025,000
6. ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul’ (Fox) – $4,445,000
7. ‘Snatched’ (Fox) – $3,895,000
8. ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’ (Warner Bros.) – $3,265,000
9. ‘The Boss Baby’ (Fox) – $1,715,000
10. ‘Beauty and the Beast’ (Buena Vista) – $1,480,000
Top 10 (4-Day):
1. ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales’ (Buena Vista) – $77,044,000
2. ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ (Buena Vista) – $25,153,000
3. ‘Baywatch’ (Paramount) – $23,000,000
4. ‘Alien: Covenant’ (Fox) – $13,150,000
5. ‘Everything, Everything’ (Warner Bros.) – $7,375,000
6. ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul’ (Fox) – $5,800,000
7. ‘Snatched’ (Fox) – $4,875,000
8. ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’ (Warner Bros.) – $4,145,000
9. ‘The Boss Baby’ (Fox) – $2,300,000
10. ‘Beauty and the Beast’ (Buena Vista) – $1,931,000