Across the pond, Americans were off work due to Memorial Day, often a booming time for cinemas. This year’s outings failed to draw the usual huge crowds — their lowest levels for the weekend in 18 years — Pirates taking ‘just’ $77 million in the US: the lowest start for a film in the franchise since Curse of the Black Pearl.
China lapped up Johnny Depp’s latest outing as Jack Sparrow, the film opening to $67.8 million in the country accounting to The Hollywood Reporter, making it the country’s 19th best opening weekend of all time. Worldwide, the picture has taken $285.4 million on a $230 million budget, before marketing costs.
With Pirates underperforming in the US, there was some surprise when Baywatch — starring the almighty box-office powerhouse Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson — bellyflopped.
The $69 million adult-orientated film managed only $27.6 million from Thursday to Monday, prerelease tracking having predicted a $42 million debut.
"The reviews really hurt it the film, which scored great in test screenings,” Paramount distribution president Megan Colligan told THR. “Maybe it is a brand that relied on a positive critical reaction more than we recognised.”
In comparison, last year’s Johnson-starring Central Intelligence managed a $35.5 million debut weekend in the US from $50 million despite not having brand recognition. However, that flick — which co-starred Kevin Heart — was also met with positive reviews.
While promoting Baywatch, The Rock began lambasting critics for reviewing the film poorly, saying that fans were enjoying the comedy and saying there’s a disconnect between fans and critics.
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