'Pirates 5' and 'Baywatch' Set Sail Over Memorial Day Weekend
by Brad Brevet
May 25, 2017
SATURDAY AM UPDATE: No big surprises this weekend after yesterday's results as Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales led the way on Friday with an estimated $23.5 million heading toward an anticipated $62+ million three-day and $76+ million four-day, holiday weekend.
In second is Paramount's Baywatch, which kicked off its holiday run on Thursday with $4.6 million, brought in an estimated $5.7 million and is looking at a rather disappointing three-day in the mid-to-high teens and a four-day aright around $20 million.
Early estimates for the top five look like this:
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales - $23.39m Friday / $62.4m 3-day / $76.5m 4-day
- Baywatch - $5.7m Friday / $16+m 3-day / $20m 4-day
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 - $5.3m Friday / $21+m 3-day / $26+m 4-day
- Alien: Covenant - $3m Friday / $10.5m 3-day / $13m 4-day
- Everything, Everything - $2m Friday / $7m 3-day / $8.5m 4-day
You can check out all of the Friday estimates right here and we'll be back tomorrow morning with a full look at the weekend box office.
FRIDAY AM UPDATE: Paramount reports Baywatch brought in an estimated $4.5 million on Thursday, from 3,647 locations, which includes $1.25 million from Wednesday night preview screenings. This is not exactly the opening performance we forecasted and it looks like the opening will even fall short of industry expectations. Comparing against a select group of previous Thursday releases and how they played from one day to the next following their Thursday opening, and not accounting at all for previews, a best case scenario would appear to be a three-day around $22 million and a four-day around $24 million, while a more likely scenario would appear to be a three-day weekend in the high-teens and a four-day in the low-$20Ms.
As for Thursday preview results for Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales it brought in $5.5 million, an improvement over the $4.7 million for 2011's Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, which went on to open with $90.1 million over its first three days. This matches the preview gross for Star Trek Beyond, which then went on to a $59.2 million three-day weekend last July. It is, however, less than the $8.2 million preview gross for X-Men: Apocalypse, which was one of our comps in our preview below as it then went on to gross $65.7 million over last year's three-day Memorial Day weekend.
At the same time, this could be the start of big things to come as this is a better result than last year's The Jungle Book, which delivered $4.2 million from Thursday previews ahead of a $103.2 million opening weekend and Maleficent also brought in $4.2 million from previews before opening with $69.4 million.
Additionally, Pirates is off and running internationally where it has grossed $34.5 million after its first two days in international release.
We will be back tomorrow morning with a look at Friday estimates. For now you can check out our weekend preview below.
WEEKEND PREVIEW: Memorial Day weekend brings two new wide releases to theaters in Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Paramount's R-rated comedy Baywatch, the latter of which got a head start on the weekend holding preview screenings last night and arriving nationwide today. Neither are necessarily expected to blow the doors off with Pirates looking to finish well behind the last three films, especially Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, which currently holds the Memorial Day opening weekend record of $139.8 million. Meanwhile there are a few questions as to just how high Baywatch will finish as Paramount really could use a win with this one as not one of their four releases this year has managed to hit $45 million domestically.
At the top, while it isn't expected to top $100 million for the four day or even the $90.1 million Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides delivered over three days back in May 2011, Dead Men Tell No Tales will finish #1 at the weekend box office. However, with a budget of $230 million it's going to need to do some heavy lifting outside the domestic marketplace if it wants to justify that price tag. That, however, shouldn't be too much of a problem when you consider On Stranger Tides failed to top $250 million domestically and yet still topped $1 billion worldwide, as it became the highest grossing international release in the franchise topping $800 million, $150.6 million more than At World's End.
Looking first at the domestic box office, of the 4,276 North American theaters the fifth film in the Pirates franchise is premiering in 3,100+ are 3D locations along with nearly 400 IMAX screens, 500+ Premium Large Format locations, 170 D-Box locations, ten 4D auditoriums, and three venues featuring the new ScreenX three-screen format. Industry expectations are for an opening in the range of $80 million for the four-day Memorial Day weekend, which would be in line with the opening of X-Men: Apocalypse last year over Memorial Day weekend and looking at IMDb page view data that estimation is looking pretty good.
As for our forecast, we're pretty much right in line with industry expectations, anticipating a $66 million three-day and a four-day around $81+ million. We'll get our first hint as to how the film is performing tomorrow morning as previews begin tonight (Thursday) at 7 PM. As far as what to look for, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides brought in $4.7 million from early screenings before it's $90 million three-day opening and X-Men: Apocalypse brought in $8.2 million last year before its $79.8 million four-day weekend.
Internationally, Dead Men Tell No Tales is going for broke, debuting day-and-date in approximately 91% of the international market with virtually Japan (July 1) serving as the only major market not to open this weekend. Among the majors, the film kicked off its opening yesterday (Wednesday) in South Korea, Italy and France. The film opens today in the UK, Russia, Germany, Brazil, Australia and on Friday will open in Spain, Mexico and China. For sake of comparison, On Stranger Tides debuted with $260.4 million internationally from 100 markets.
Moving along, Paramount's Baywatch is debuting in 3,647 locations today and kicked things off last night with $1.25 million from Wednesday night previews, which began at 7PM at 2,554 locations. There aren't many Thursday openings to compare to, but to look at a few Wednesday openers that held Tuesday night previews, We're the Millers brought in $1.7 million from preview showings and brought in $11.4 million before a $26.4 million three-day weekend. Additionally, Let's be Cops brought in $1.2 million on Tuesday night and entered the three-day weekend with $8.4 million and brought in $17.8 million over its first three-day weekend.
All that being said, these numbers aren't exactly a good indicator as to how Baywatch will perform this weekend. Both of those comps above were August releases, and neither opened over a holiday weekend or starred one of the biggest stars in the world right now, which Dwayne Johnson clearly is. A better comparison might be to Neighbors 2, which brought in $1.67 million from Thursday previews before opening with $21.7 million, though even then the fact it was a Friday opening eliminates the apples-to-apples comparison.
A look at IMDb page view data shows Baywatch outperforming both We're the Millers and Let's be Cops and shows it performing closer to the likes of 22 Jump Street, though the $5.5 million preview gross for that film puts that comparison into perspective. That said, 21 Jump Street only brought in $700k in preview screenings before opening with $36.3 million over its first three days, adding a little more ambiguity to the equation.
Industry expectations for the film have it opening in the mid-$20 millions for the first four days and low $30Ms for the first five days, both of which seem just a little low based on what we're looking at. In fact, we're anticipating a three-day weekend around $23 million and a four-day holiday weekend just shy of $30 million. The biggest factor keeping us from going higher are the poor reviews, which makes the comparison to either of the Jump Street films (and even Neighbors 2 for that matter) a little iffy.
Internationally, the film opens in 32 international markets this weekend, representing 65% of its ultimate foreign footprint.
Elsewhere it looks like there won't likely be another battle between Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Alien: Covenant as Guardians has held off the Alien feature over the last three days and will remain in more theaters once again this weekend. That said, we're anticipating Guardians 2 will bring in around $20 million for the three-day with Alien: Covenant bringing in $18 million, which may end up being generous as that only represents a 50% drop.
Rounding out the top five we're looking for Everything, Everything to drop around 39% for a second weekend around $7.15 million.
Elsewhere, we'll have our eyes on Disney's Beauty and the Beast, which may or may not find a place in the top ten, but either way is looking to top $500 million domestically this weekend.
This weekend's forecast is directly below. This post will be updated on Friday morning with Thursday night preview results followed by Friday estimates on Saturday morning, and a complete weekend recap on Sunday morning.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (4,276 theaters) - $66.0 M
- Baywatch (3,647 theaters) - $23.0 M
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (3,871 theaters) - $20.1 M
- Alien: Covenant (3,772 theaters) - $18.1 M
- Everything, Everything (2,801 theaters) - $7.2 M
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (3,174 theaters) - $4.6 M
- Snatched (2,658 theaters) - $4.2 M
- King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2,503 theaters) - $3.5 M
- The Fate of the Furious (1,356 theaters) - $1.8 M
- Beauty and the Beast (1,076 theaters) - $1.7 M
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (4,276 theaters) - $81.1 M
- Baywatch (3,647 theaters) - $28.7 M
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (3,871 theaters) - $25.4 M
- Alien: Covenant (3,772 theaters) - $22.7 M
- Everything, Everything (2,801 theaters) - $9.1 M
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (3,174 theaters) - $5.8 M
- Snatched (2,658 theaters) - $5.1 M
- King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2,503 theaters) - $4.4 M
- The Fate of the Furious (1,356 theaters) - $2.3 M
- Beauty and the Beast (1,076 theaters) - $2.2 M
Discuss this story with fellow Box Office Mojo fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @boxofficemojo and author Brad Brevet at @bradbrevet.