Pirates of the Caribbean 5 Wins Box Office

“Pirates” Top the Box Office, But the Franchise Might Be “Dead”


May 26-28, 2017

(estimates from BoxOfficeMojo.com)


Pirates of the Caribbean 5
$62.1 million
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2  $19.8 million
Baywatch $18.1 million
Alien: Covenant  $10.5 million
Everything, Everything  $6.1 million

Dead men may tell no tales, but it's possible the Pirates franchise might not be telling any more either. Despite a No. 1 debut for the Memorial Day Weekend, the latest in the Johnny Depp-led series had the lowest debut of any of the films, save the first one back in 2003. The Curse of the Black Pearl will almost certainly earn more overall. Of course, the film is doing well overseas, where the underperforming On Stranger Tides made more than $800 million. Still, the oft-delayed sequel got miserable reviews and isn't the reliable performer it used to be.

That's not the case with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which also features a ship crewed by a bunch of misfits and criminals. The big summer kick-off movie has held on surprisingly well, and has now outgrossed the original, which was the highest grossing movie of 2014 until a little phenomenon called American Sniper arrived at the tail end of the year. The sequel is now the fifth-biggest MCU title, and the highest-grossing one not directly connected to the Avengers.

Despite all the fit bodies – both male and female – to ogle, audiences didn't care too much to see Baywatch. The tongue-in-cheek adaptation certainly did better than CHiPs, but nowhere near the heights of 21 or 22 Jump Street. It's also the Rock's lowest debut since 2003's The Rundown. But it was still enough to top the second weekend of Alien: Covenant, which fell a disastrous 70 percent and now has no shot at even $100 million, meaning a sequel to wrap up this story is in doubt. (I'd hate to see this story go unfinished, but your mileage may vary.) Everything, Everything, stayed steady to continue its sleeper success.

Outside the top 5:

  • This Weekend's Indie Champ: Long Strange Trip, an ungodly long documentary on the Grateful Dead. Despite its length, it averaged $17,066 on its pair of screens.
  • Beauty and the Beast just passed $500 million, making it only the eighth movie to do that stateside. But it's nothing new for Disney. That's their third such movie to do that in as many years.
  • Ever so quietly, without ever hitting the top 5, the Chris Evans tear-jerker Gifted has made more than $23 million. It's not as flashy as his turns as Captain America, obviously, but this was a solid money-maker for Fox Searchlight, and it will do even better on home video and on demand.

Next week:

Wonder Woman is hear to silence all the haters. The latest DC movie has been getting rave reviews and people are finally getting excited (well, except for a small but loud group of awful dudes online) after the letdowns of Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad. I still think it will debut below those, but with a very strong $90 million. Captain Underpants will do a respectable $40 million.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.

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