Johnny Depp returns to screens over this Memorial Day weekend in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, the fifth entry in his venerable Pirates franchise. Once again portraying his flagship character – as flamboyant pirate Jack Sparrow – the film is poised to top the weekend box office charts. The film is currently projected to rake in approximately $75 million over the holiday weekend, its first in domestic release.
While this points to strong start, the opening for Dead Men Tell No Tales would notably be the lowest opening weekend gross for the franchise since its first installment – Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl debuted to $46 million in the summer of 2003 – and is tracking a notch lower than the previously projected $80 million target the film was expected to deliver. The stakes are fairly high considering the vast expense of the film – Dead Men Tell No Tales reportedly cost $230 million to make. In Thursday evening preview performances, the film earned an estimated $5.5 million and appears on track to earn an estimated $26 million in its first day of release. The four previous films in the Pirates franchise have earned $2.45 billion worldwide.
Dead Men Tell No Tales comes from directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg and introduces Oscar winner Javier Bardem to the franchise.
Also opening this weekend comes the big-screen adaptation of the 90s television phenom Baywatch starring Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron. The Paramount comedy also appears to be under-performing slightly in its first weekend of the release. The film is expected to earn an estimated $24 million over the holiday weekend.
We shall stay tuned to how the weekend turns out.