May 28, 2017

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 5.28.2017


OPENINGS:  PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES (Disney) easily took the weekend worldwide, but it’s another diminishing franchise.  In the US, it had a $62.2M 3-day opening, and although Memorial Day will push that to around $76M, on a 3-day-to-3-day basis, it’s down 30% from 2011’s On Stranger Tides (it’s likely to be down 25% even with both Mondays included), and the 4-day slide is more than 50% compared to At World’s End, which opened on Memorial Day weekend in 2007.  The international numbers are inevitably higher with $208M in all major territories except Japan.  But even there, On Stranger Tides opened with $260.4M (including Japan).  And the international number isn’t as strong as it looks, because while China contributed $20M to the opening for On Stranger Tides, the Dead Men opening there was $67.8M, meaning that the non-China international opening was down 42%, which is important because China allows studios to retain a much lower percentage of gross than the rest of the world.  Dead Men could get to $800M worldwide (the US may not even contribute $200M of that), but it’s going to be significantly less profitable than On Stranger Tides, and it may be hard to justify another $400M pricetag for the next installment.

BAYWATCH (Shanghai/Huahua/Skydance/Paramount) was more dismal, with a $18.1M 3-day opening ($22.7M including Thursday) that might reach $27M with Monday.  It’s heading for a $60M US total, and will require major international success (it’s had a negligible release outside the US so far) just to earn back its $175M in costs, let alone provide a basis for sequels.  It’s a particular disappointment after Dwayne Johnson’s comedy success with Central Intelligence, which opened with $35.5M and legged out a $135.5M total.  This one is going to be more like 2010’s The Tooth Fairy, a $14M 3-day opener that ended at $60M.

HOLDOVERS:  ALIEN: COVENANT (TSG/20th) has shifted from disappointment to flop, completely dislodged by the arrival of Pirates.  In the US, it fell 71% despite the holiday weekend to $10.5M (which might get to $13M with Monday), and overseas it managed just $10.8M ($101M total) playing everywhere except China and Japan.  The US total looks like $80M, and internationally it can hope that China will spark it to $200M, which won’t be enough to offset costs that start with $250M for production/marketing.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL 2 (Marvel/Disney) hit a milestone this weekend, passing the first Guardians in the US with a $333.2M total to date.  It’s still holding well, down 43% to $19.9M (which should be $25M with Monday), and could get as high as $375M.  Overseas it’s on the decline with a $8.6M weekend, but may reach $475M, also above the first Guardians total.  The only mild disappointment for Disney is that there were hopes Guardians 2 would shoot up from the first, and while the global total of $850M is great, it’s up a mere 10% from the original.

Moving off the blockbuster beat, EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING (MGM/Warners) dropped 47% to $6.2M ($7.5M with Monday), and is heading toward $35M in the US.  It hasn’t yet opened overseas.  DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: THE LONG HAUL (Color Force/20th) fell 38% to $4.4M ($5.5M with Monday), on its way to $25M in the US, and with $2.7M from the start of its international campaign.

SNATCHED (20th) isn’t showing any traction, down 50% to $3.9M ($5M with Monday) en route to $50M in the US, and with $9.5M early in its overseas run.

KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD (Village Roadshow/RatPac/Warners) kept sinking, down 55% in the US to $3.2M ($4M with Monday) and a sad likely $40M in the US, and with $85.2M overseas after a $10M weekend.

The spring’s family hits are reaching their final numbers.  THE BOSS BABY (DreamWorks Animation/20th) dipped 40% to $1.7M over the 3-day weekend and may get to $175M, with $307.2M internationally after a $2.9M weekend.  BEAUTY & THE BEAST (Disney) hit $500.6M in the US after a 39% slide to $1.6M for the 3-day weekend, and is at $732M overseas with a $3.8M weekend.

Another milestone:  THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS (Universal) hit $1B in overseas box office alone after a $3.3M weekend.  In the US, it’s at $222.5M after a 55% to $1.5M.  The worldwide $1.22B is down 35% from Furious 7 in the US, and down 16% overseas.

LIMITED RELEASE:  No significant indie launched over the holiday weekend, but there were several expansions.  THE LOVERS (A24) moved into near-wide release at 443 theatres, but with an unexciting $1500 per-theatre average over the 3-day weekend.  PARIS CAN WAIT (Sony Classics) averaged a moderate $6500 after widening to 70.  THE WEDDING PLAN (Roadside) averaged $3400 at 91.

NEXT WEEKEND:  WONDER WOMAN (Wanda/Ten Cent/DC/Warners) steps up to the plate for the embattled DC comics franchise.  CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS (DreamWorks Animation/20th) will hope to pick up from its stablemate The Boss Baby.  Limited releases include CHURCHILL (Cohen Media), BAND AID (IFC) and DEAN (CBS). 




About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."