Baywatch is set to surf into theaters a day earlier than expected, in an effort to catch a larger share of the Memorial Day weekend audience. Paramount are currently licking their wounds after the box office failure of Ghost in the Shell. The controversial movie, starring Scarlett Johansson, is set to cost the studio $60 million after claims of whitewashing and poor reviews harmed the movie’s chances of doing well.
Their fortunes could be reversed, though, with the release of Baywatch. The big-screen reboot of the popular ’90s TV show stars Dwayne Johnson as Mitch Buchannon, and Zac Efron as the hot, new, young lifeguard on the scene, Matt Brody.
The R-rated comedy was initially set to open on Friday, May 26th, but Deadline is reporting that the release has been moved up by one day, to open on Thursday, May 25th, instead. There are several possible reasons for the switch, starting with the fact that this will be a long weekend for most. Although technically, that doesn’t start until the Saturday (May 27th), it could well be that Paramount are hoping many will get to theaters on Thursday after work, starting their relaxation a little earlier. What’s more likely, though, is that the studio is hoping to snag audiences before Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales opens on May 26th.
Disney’s fifth installment in its Johnny Depp-led pirate franchise is set to be a big box office hit; current predictions have it sitting somewhere around $115 million for its first four days of release. Early reactions are favorable, likely to be further reinforced by reviews when they arrive, and that will further drive audiences, who might have given up on the franchise after its weak fourth installment. Though Baywatch is rated R, and Pirates PG-13, there is still a crossover in audience.
Reactions to Baywatch have been largely positive since the first teasers arrived, and subsequent trailers have also proven the movie to be something that doesn’t take itself too seriously, highlighting both Johnson and Efron’s comedic skills. If it does well, there could well be the potential for sequels – who doesn’t love a fun, feel-good summer movie, especially when it opens on a holiday weekend?
Baywatch is directed by Seth Gordon, and stars the aforementioned Efron and Johnson with Alexandra Daddario, Kelly Rorbach, and Priyanka Chopra. Original Baywatch stars David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson are also confirmed to appear. The movie follows a similar format to the TV series of old, with the lifeguards of the Bay taking it upon themselves to uncover a criminal gang operating in the area – all while looking fabulous in swimsuits and running in slow-mo, of course.