×

‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ Sailing Toward $80 Million, ‘Baywatch’ Eyes $40 Million

Johnny Depp’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” is poised to dominate Memorial Day moviegoing, while Dwayne Johnson’s “Baywatch” should deliver decent results during the holiday.

Forecasts place the fifth iteration of Disney’s “Pirates” franchise at about $80 million at 4,276 North American locations during the Friday-Monday weekend. The international launch — which begins Wednesday — should deliver between $150 million and $175 million.

“Dead Men Tell No Tales” is only the third wide release film in 2017 for Disney, which has so far seen blockbuster results from “Beauty and the Beast” and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” with a combined $2 billion in global box office so far. The estimated budget for “Dead Men” is $230 million, so Disney needs to see the same kind of ticket sales.

Paramount’s “Baywatch” is tracking for an opening at around $40 million at about 3,500 domestic locations for its first five days, although the studio’s guidance is in the low 30s. The action-comedy is a far smaller bet for the studio with an estimated budget in the $65 million range.

Seth Gordon is directing “Baywatch,” which follows Johnson’s devoted lifeguard as he butts heads with a brash new recruit, played by Zac Efron, until they uncover a criminal plot. As usual, Johnson has been relentless in terms of promoting the picture. Paramount has moved “Baywatch” up a day to get the jump on “Pirates,” so preview screenings will begin Wednesday night.

There’s no danger that “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” will come anywhere near the domestic record for Memorial Day, set in 2007 when “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” launched with $139 million over the four days.

The four previous “Pirates” movies have taken in $1.28 billion domestically and $2.45 billion internationally with the North American market representing a progressively smaller share. On 2011’s “On Stranger Tides,” the domestic total hit $241 million while the foreign markets delivered $804 million.

“Dead Men Tell No Tales” will launch this weekend in about 91% of the international market, virtually everywhere but Japan. Korea, Italy, France, Scandinavia, Switzerland, Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan, and Thailand are the major markets opening on Wednesday. For its part, Paramount is leaving the foreign markets to “Pirates” and will open “Baywatch” in about two-thirds of international markets on the first weekend in June.

Both films, however, are sinking ships when it comes to critical acclaim. “Pirates” is not connecting with critics with a 33 percent “rotten” on ‎Rotten Tomatoes‎; “Baywatch” is seriously disliked at only 13 percent approval.

“Dead Men Tell No Tales” centers on Depp’s swashbuckling Jack Sparrow battling deadly ghost sailors, led by the Javier Bardem’s Captain Salazar. Kaya Scodelario and Brenton Thwaites join the cast with Orlando Bloom returning as Will Turner and Geoffrey Rush as Captain Hector Barbossa.

Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, who teamed on “Kon-Tiki,” are directing “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” with Jerry Bruckheimer producing. The executive producers are Mike Stenson, Chad Oman, Joe Caracciolo, Jr., Terry Rossio and Brigham Taylor.

Last weekend’s disappointing results from Ridley Scott’s “Alien: Covenant” have raised worries about the summer movie season of 2017. Year-to-date results are up 2.5% to $4.31 billion, according to Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at comScor, who also noted that summer results are off nearly 10% compared with the 2016 summer.

“Though 2013’s record breaking $314.7 million Memorial weekend led by ‘Fast & Furious 6’ is in no jeopardy of losing its crown, the one-two punch of the very summer-appropriate and very R-rated ‘Baywatch’ combined with Johnny Depp’s return as Jack Sparrow along with a new villain in the form of Javier Bardem in the fifth installment of the ‘Pirates’ franchise could give the weekend a chance to flex its box-office muscles and narrow the gap vs. last year,” he said.

“This could build momentum leading into the highly anticipated and much buzzed about release of ‘Wonder Woman’ on June 2 and a cadre of big titles set for release in that month and beyond,” Dergarabedian concluded.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Samuel-W.-Gelfman

    Samuel Gelfman, Roger Corman Film Producer, Dies at 88

    Samuel Gelfman, a New York producer known for his work on Roger Corman’s “Caged Heat,” “Cockfighter” and “Cannonball!,” died Thursday morning at UCLA Hospital in Westwood following complications from heart and respiratory disease, his son Peter Gelfman confirmed. He was 88. Gelfman was born in Brooklyn, New York and was raised in Caldwell New Jersey [...]

  • Margot Robbie stars in ONCE UPON

    Box Office: 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' Pulls Ahead of 'Hobbs & Shaw' Overseas

    Sony’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” might not have hit No. 1 in North America, but Quentin Tarantino’s latest film is leading the way at the international box office, where it collected $53.7 million from 46 markets. That marks the best foreign opening of Tarantino’s career, coming in ahead of 2012’s “Django Unchained.” “Once [...]

  • Good Boys Movie

    Box Office: 'Good Boys' Leads Crowded Weekend With $21 Million

    The Bean Bag Boys, the self-appointed nickname for the trio of best friends in Universal’s “Good Boys,” are conquering much more than sixth grade. They are also leading the domestic box office, exceeding expectations and collecting $21 million on opening weekend. “Good Boys,” which screened at 3,204 North American theaters, is a much-needed win for [...]

  • Amanda Awards

    ‘Out Stealing Horses’ Tops Norway’s 2019 Amanda Awards

    HAUGESUND, Norway —  Hans Petter Moland’s sweeping literary adaptation “Out Stealing Horses” put in a dominant showing at Norway’s Amanda Awards on Saturday night, placing first with a collected five awards, including best Norwegian film. Celebrating its 35th edition this year, the Norwegian industry’s top film prize helped kick off the Haugesund Film Festival and [...]

  • Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    Richard Williams, 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' Animator, Dies at 86

    Renowned animator Richard Williams, best known for his work on “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” died Friday at his home in Bristol, England, Variety has confirmed. He was 86. Williams was a distinguished animator, director, producer, author and teacher whose work has garnered three Oscars and three BAFTA Awards. In addition to his groundbreaking work as [...]

  • Instinct

    Locarno Film Review: 'Instinct'

    Now that “Game of Thrones” has finally reached its conclusion, releasing its gifted international ensemble into the casting wilds, will Hollywood remember just what it has in Carice van Houten? It’s not that the statuesque Dutch thesp hasn’t been consistently employed since her startling 2006 breakout in Paul Verhoeven’s “Black Book,” or even that she’s [...]

  • Good Boys Movie

    Box Office: 'Good Boys' Eyes Best Original Comedy Opening of 2019

    Universal’s “Good Boys” is surpassing expectations as it heads toward an estimated $20.8 million opening weekend at the domestic box office following $8.3 million in Friday ticket sales. That’s well above earlier estimates which placed the film in the $12 million to $15 million range, marking the first R-rated comedy to open at No. 1 [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content