The top-grossing movie ever for a four-day Memorial Day weekend opening was The Walt Disney Co.’s (NYSE: DIS) “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.” But that was 10 years ago and the story is quite different today.
According to estimates from BoxOfficeMojo.com the fifth film in the franchise, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” sold $62.2 million in U.S. tickets for the first three days of wide release and looks set to close the four-day holiday weekend at around $77 million. That would make it the lowest grossing film in the franchise since the original in 2003.
The good news for Disney is that the film is expected to perform much better internationally. Variety estimates three-day opening weekend ticket sales totaled $270.6 million globally. For its first four days of worldwide release, Variety expects sales to top $300 million.
The long weekend’s other major release, from Comcast Corp.’s (NASDAQ: CMCSA) Paramount, is “Baywatch,” billed as a comedy based on the 1990s TV show. The film sold just $18.1 million in U.S. tickets for the first three days of the weekend and is expected to rack up just $22 million at the end of the four days. The original estimate for the film’s first weekend was $30 million.
Even worse for Paramount, “Baywatch” finished in third place for the holiday weekend, behind Disney’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” which is expected to add another $24.2 million to its domestic ticket sales, bringing its total U.S. sales to date to nearly $340 million. The film’s $783 million global total has already surpassed the global take from the first “Guardians” film.
One more highlight for Disney this weekend: global ticket sales have now topped $1 billion for the year. This is the second-fastest time a company has reached that milestone; the fastest was last year, when Disney did it by the first of May on the strength of “Beauty and the Beast.”