Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales dominated Baywatch and the rest of the competition at the Friday box office. Johnny Depp's latest turn as Jack Sparrow is on track to have a big opening weekend, both domestically and worldwide. Dwayne Johnson's debut at Mitch Buchannon in Baywatch, however, looks to be struggling just to finish second, as Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is giving a strong run for the distant No. 2 spot in weekend No. 4.
Baywatch had a potential leg up on the competition with a Wednesday opening, which along with Memorial Day gave it a huge six-day "weekend." But it appears that the appeal of the original TV series isn't going to garner as big an audience as Paramount Pictures may have hoped for the buddy action/comedy starring Johnson, Zac Efron, and Priyanka Chopra. The Friday box office totals are in, and it's a rout for Dead Men Tell No Tales.
As reported by Variety on Saturday, Dead Men Tell No Tales followed up a $5.5 million gross on Thursday with $16 million at 4,276 theaters on Friday, making a $21.5 million total. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 edged out Baywatch on Friday with $6 million to the latter's $5.5 million. Baywatch also grossed $4.5 million from Wednesday and Thursday openings, putting it on $10 million, and appears on track for a relatively disappointing opening.
Dead Men Tell No Tales didn't just dominate Friday; it's on pace to rule the whole long Memorial Day weekend. Variety projects the sequel for a total just under $75 million. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is also expected to narrowly secure second place over the course of the weekend with $26 million, compared to a five-day total of just $25 million at 3,647 theaters for Baywatch. Alien: Covenant, meanwhile, is expected to slide from first to fourth with $14 million.
The reported $75 million domestic total for Dead Men Tell No Tales falls short of its previous projections of at least $90 million over the course of the weekend. But it's also showing good worldwide legs so could still reach its global projection of $230 million. Either way, Dead Men Tell No Tales is sinking the rest of the competition - especially Baywatch, which looks on track for an underwhelming opening weekend commensurate to its relentless marketing campaign.
Clearly, it's going to take longer than Paramount may have expected for Baywatch to make back its estimated $69 million budget. The movie could have a hard time at the box office overcoming a disappointing lack of laughs, which was the reason for much of the movie's negative response from critics.