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Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge leads Memorial Day weekend with $77 million

Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge

Story by Jack Foley

DISNEY’S Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (aka Dead Men Tell No Tales in the US) looks set to top the Memorial Day weekend with an estimated $76.6 million.

The figure marks another win for Disney but lacks the clout of the last three instalment in the Johnny Depp franchise. While in terms of Memorial Day openings, it ranks No. 11, not adjusting for inflation.

By way of comparison with how other films in the series have done, Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World’s End (2007) remains the holiday record-holder with $139.8 million, while Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides opened to $90.2 million over the May 20-22 weekend in 2011, a non-holiday.

However, while the US opening figure may be more bad news than good in terms of the franchise and the $200 million it reportedly cost to get made, Pirates 5 is proving a runaway success internationally – more than justifying Disney’s hefty outlay.

Internationally, it took $208.4 million for an estimated global launch of $285 million through Monday, with that figure potentially rising to $300 million. China — which staged the film’s world premiere — leads with $67.8 million, more than the entire runs of the last two films in the franchise.

Disney distribution chief Dave Hollis commented: “We’re making movies for a global audience. This is one of the most prolific franchises in history, and will cross $4 billion in combined box-office revenue today. That is extraordinary by any measure.”

Hollis also nodded to the fact that his studio is also celebrating crossing $1 billion in 2017 US ticket sales – the first studio to do so this year.

Pirates 5 is the first to be directed by Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg, who helmed the Oscar nominated Kon-Tiki. It reunites Depp with franchise favourites Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush, Stephen Graham and Keira Knightley, as well as newcomers Javier Bardem, Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scodelario and David Wenham.

If Pirates 5 enjoyed mixed to positive fortunes at the US box office and beyond, then Dwayne Johnson’s Baywatch, directed by Seth Gordon, fared much worse and looks set to become the second big blockbuster flop of the summer so far (after Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur.

The movie is looking at a five-day debut of just $26.6 million – a rare miss for leading man Johnson.

Inspired by the classic TV show, Baywatch also stars Zac Efron and introduces Kelly Rohrbach in a role once made iconic by Pamela Anderson. It did only cost $70 million to make but was expected to open somewhere within the $42 million or more for the five day holiday period.

But to rub salt into its wounds, the film may even struggle to make second spot given that Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2 looks set to hold that spot with $26 million.

Elsewhere at the US box office, Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant fell to fourth spot with an estimated four day gross of $13.1 million, for a US total of $60 million.

And there were two more notable milestones. Fast & Furious 8 became only the sixth movie in history to cross $1 billion at the international box office, fuelled by a record-breaking $387.4 million in China. Globally, the film has now earned $1.22 billion.

While Disney’s Beauty & The Beast crossed $500 million in the US.

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