The Memorial Day weekend is traditionally one of the busiest of the year, but if 2017 is any indication, the studios will have to revamp their strategies if they want that to continue.
Case in point: the new PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN (subtitled DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES domestically and SALAZAR’S REVENGE in some overseas markets) which opened with a disappointing projection of $76.6 million for the four day weekend. That sounds like a lot of money, and it was as little as a decade ago, but as budgets and advertising costs continue to rise, that opening weekend becomes more and more crucial. With its $230 million production tab and a considerable marketing spend, PIRATES needs a worldwide haul north of half a billion to even see black. Fortunately for Disney, the foreign market came through with $208.4 million, the 12th highest opening of all time. And so continues the trend of movies disappointing domestically, but scoring on other shores.
Unfortunately for Paramount, no amount of sugar coating can hide the fact that BAYWATCH is a bust. With a measly $22 million for the long weekend, the picture is off to a weak start and its raunchy content almost certainly precludes a release in China. With a production tab of $69 million, the movie still has a chance to make some money when VOD and disc are factored in with foreign, but there is little incentive here for a franchise, something Paramount sorely desires.
In its fourth weekend, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, VOL. 2 managed $24 million over the four days, good enough to earn it second place above BAYWATCH. Speaking of ailing franchises, following a disappointing opening frame, ALIEN: COVENANT squeaked into 4th place following a gigantic 71% drop. Unless the foreign markets ($101 million thus far) really come through, it will be hard to justify continuing the series, even with the reduced production spend.
Data courtesy of Box Office Mojo.