Avast ye! Memorial Day weekend numbers are steadily rolling in for openers like Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Baywatch as they take over the planet.
Johnny Depp and company are back at it again with the film’s fifth and final (probably) installment which opened globally yesterday in 4,276 theaters. With just one day under its belt, The Hollywood Reporter announced the film earned a respectable $23.4 million domestically on its opening day. This figure projects around $75-$78 million for the entire weekend but numbers are always subject to change.
While the figures aren’t staggering for such a popular franchises’ opening, the international numbers are providing plenty of support. Just over $86.5 million has been raked in from the global market, with China earning $23.1 million itself. These numbers project a total gross of approximately $275 million for the holiday weekend.
If these projections hold true, Pirates 5 could have the second lowest domestic opening in the film’s franchise. Series opener The Curse of the Black Pearl debuted with a $46 million opener back in 2003. Subsequent films increased drastically, with the second installment — Dead Man’s Chest (2006) — raking in a whopping $135 million. At World’s End (2007) brought in slightly less with $114 million, and On Stranger Tides (2011) took a significant drop with $90 million.
Still, the projected $275 million weekend would cover Buena Vista’s budget of $230 million — the film’s third highest allocation. At World’s End was given a whopping $300 million budget which was quite an increase from Black Pearl’s $140 million.
Whether Dead Men can break the billion barrier mold set by Dead Man’s Chest and On Stranger Tides in the worldwide market remains to be seen. At World’s End couldn’t quite cross the threshold earning just over $963 million.
Despite numbers for Pirates 5 looking respectable, there’s been a lack of support from critics. The film has a depressingly low 32 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes with an average rating of 4.7 out of 10. Los Angeles Times critic Katie Walsh describes the newest film with dismay.
“There are no new treasures to be found in this installment, which is dragged down by the anchor of a prescribed franchise blueprint.”
The green splat comes as no surprise as landlubber critics never took to any of the films except the original. Black Pearl earned an honorable 79 percent from the site with each consecutive film scoring lower and lower. Dead Man’s Chest took at drop at 54 percent, At World’s End decreased more at 45 percent and On Stranger Tides scored a low 32 percent. Loyal fans of the franchise have once again rebutted critics with an excellent audience score of 78 percent.
The Toronto Sun’s Liz Braun had different sentiments when it came to the film.
“We had zero hope for the fifth chapter in the waterlogged Pirates of The Caribbean franchise. And we were wrong. This thing is terrific.”
Pirates 5 brings back Johnny Depp as the notorious Captain Jack Sparrow, Geoffrey Rush as Captain Barbossa, and Orlando Bloom as Will Turner. Newcomers to the franchise include Javier Bardem as Captain Salazar, Brenton Thwaites as Henry Turner and Kaya Scodelario as Carina Smyth. The film also brings along new directors to the franchise, Joachim Roenning and Espen Sandberg (Kon-Tiki).
Memorial Day weekend competitor Baywatch is showing upsettingly low numbers so far. Box Office Mojo reported the Dwayne Johnson flick only earned $4.6 million on Thursday’s previews and $5.7 million for Friday. The site estimates the film will only earn $20 million for its opening weekend.
Baywatch’s sad opening comes as no surprise as it goes toe-to-toe with one of the film industry’s most successful franchises ever. The movie barely beat out veteran Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 which earned just over $5.3 million in its fourth week.
Stay tuned for official numbers when Memorial Day weekend closes.
[Featured Image by Rich Fury/Getty Images]