Box office for Memorial Day weekend lowest in almost two decades

Baywatch
As most people know, the summer time is when the big blockbuster movies come out. Moreover, studios are hoping to make millions with big action extravaganzas. Memorial Day falls right in that sweet spot and is usually a lucrative time of the year for the industry. With this in mind, people are off for three days and need something to do. However, it was pretty bleak this year as Memorial Day weekend revenue at the domestic box office fell to its lowest level in 18 years, or $176 million, according to preliminary estimates from comScore.

This is a surprising turn of events considering the films that were released this past week. Both Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Baywatch came out and one would expect the two to gross a boatload of money. Pirates 5 is the fifth installment in one of the most profitable franchises of all time. Regarding Baywatch, it stars one of the most bankable actors in Hollywood (Dwayne Johnson), has a built-in audience, is an action/comedy hybrid like so many popular movies lately and contains dozens of gorgeous people. But that hasn’t helped.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales didn’t do horribly. It earned $77 million domestically with an additional $208.4 million overseas. But it’s the lowest start for a movie in that franchise outside of the first film and it’s definitely underperforming. Its poor reviews aren’t helping either with a 31% on Rotten Tomatoes. However, studio executives say they’re pleased with the opening.

“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,” said Disney distribution chief Dave Hollis. “That is extraordinary by any measure.”

Baywatch did even worse. With a lousy 19% on Rotten Tomatoes, the ’90s show reboot flopped with a four-day gross of  only $23 million. It even raked in less money than the weeks-old Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 which added $25.1 million to its treasure chest.

“I think reviews did hurt the film, which scored great in test screenings,” said Paramount marketing and domestic distribution president Megan Colligan. “Maybe it is a brand that relied on a positive critical reaction more than we recognized. But we do feel bullish about the international marketplace, where Baywatch opened this weekend in Taiwan to great numbers and well ahead of 22 Jump Street and Central Intelligence.”

Previously released films are also hurting the weekend numbers. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword bombed at the box office and even Alien: Covenant didn’t perform as hoped. The one shining exception, of course, is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2.

Will Wonder Woman Help?

Hollywood studios and theater owners are depending on Wonder Woman to boost box office sales at the end of this week. It’s a much anticipated film. But you never know what could happen with these blockbusters and a female-driven superhero film is rare. We don’t have enough data to say how audiences will respond.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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