Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is headed for a massive $275 million worldwide opening. The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise has always been enormous at the worldwide box office, with the first four films taking in $3.7 billion in total ticket sales. The biggest grosser of those four films was 2006’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest which finished with $1.066 billion, a hair ahead of 2011’s On Stranger Tides which made $1.045 billion. While 2007’s At World’s End failed to crack the $1 billion mark, it did make $963 million, beating out the original 2003 Pirates which “only” managed $654 million in ticket sales.

The fifth installment of the series, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, debuted this weekend and appears to be well on its way to joining the other four films in the ranks of massive global blockbusters. The film may even become the third Pirates film to crack the $1 billion mark worldwide.

According to Variety, Dead Men Tell No Tales is expected to bring in an estimated $275 million worldwide over the long Memorial Day weekend (beating projections which had it grossing $230 million), with $110 million in grosses already tallied by Friday. Including Thursday previews, Pirates had taken in $21 million domestically by Friday, while also opening big in China with $21.3 million. The film is #1 in every market except India and Vietnam.

Pirates of the Caribbean Barbossa Pirates of the Caribbean 5 Sets Course for $275 Million Global Debut

Disney banked big on Dead Men having a huge first weekend by opening it in 91 percent of global markets. That global box office may have been helped some by a lack of competition, with Paramount electing to hold off on opening its big Memorial Day movie Baywatch overseas until the first weekend of June. Baywatch looks like it will be a disappointment at the domestic box office.

Reviews of Pirates 5 have been largely negative, with the film only garnering a 32 percent fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes, but that doesn’t seem to have dampened enthusiasm for the movie among audiences especially overseas. Domestic totals for the film could come in somewhat light especially compared to the opening weekend numbers for previous Pirates movies, including Dead Man’s Chest which took in $135 million its first weekend and At World’s End which did $114 million.

In Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) squares off against the evil spirit Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem) while meeting up with both Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and his son Henry (Brenton Thwaites). Original Pirates star Keira Knightley returns for an appearance, and the film is also graced by a cameo from music legend Paul McCartney.

Ever since Sony moved the start of summer to the first weekend in May with 2002’s Spider-Man ($114.8M), it has arguably never been the same, with bigger films launching in the first corridor of the month and sucking up all the air at the B.O. (case in point: This weekend, Disney/Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is beating Paramount’s Baywatch for second place with an estimated $20.3M to $20.6M over 3-days and $26.5M to $26.8M over 4-days in its fourth frame).

However, the problem with this holiday stretch in recent years isn’t because moviegoers have abandoned it for beaches and barbecues, rather it’s due to the lackluster product that’s out there from offbeat I.P. to dull Nth sequels –i.e. Prince of Persia, Tomorrowland, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Baywatch and the blasé turnout for X-Men: Apocalypse and now this year’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales which at a $230M negative cost before P&A is coming in well below its $80M-$85M projections with $62.7M to $63.7M over 3-days and $76M to $78M. Each year we stand here and look ahead thinking next year’s goods are going to reverse this soft Memorial Day trend. Fingers crossed for Disney/Lucasfilm’s Han Solo Star Wars anthology movie next year.

Let’s start with Pirates: Even though stateside this is the lowest opening of the series, charting below the fourth installment On Stranger Tides ($90.1M), by the time Sunday arrives, I hear Disney will be fine with this movie on a global basis, which looks to come in between $250M-$260M. The pic’s buckling here in U.S./Canada stems strictly from — what’s new? The movie in its marketing looks exactly like the other four titles which are all a blur plot-wise, and the only film the critics love in the franchise is the first one at 79% fresh. Dead Men Tell No Tales has 32% which is equal to On Stranger Tides‘s RT score, both the lowest for the franchise.

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Disney never bothered to fix this franchise in the same way that they ensure that Marvel, Lucasfilm, and their animated fare win over both audiences and reviewers. What’s going on here with Dead Men Tell No Tales that distinguishes it from its predecessors and makes it a want-to-see? Story-wise, it sure isn’t Jack Sparrow’s Spectre.  Those buying tickets seem to have no regrets, giving it an A- CinemaScore, which is higher than the B+ of On Stranger Tides, and in line with the second title Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End. Disney is expecting a pop tomorrow from family matinees.

But again, Pirates will win overseas, and in building this ship, Disney knew that, and probably was bracing for domestic to under-perform. After On Stranger Tides came up short with the lowest domestic total in the series at $241M (and this sequel likely lower), Disney propelled that fourthquel to an amazing $1.045 billion take. China is the market that will get Dead Men Tell No Tales over its hump as Nancy Tartaglione pointed out in our curtain raiser, and it definitely helps that Disney held the world premiere there, the first ever for a Hollywood title. The fifthquel is a fresher franchise abroad in burgeoning cinematic markets, and that’s what the upside is here.

Dead Men Tell No Tales drew 51% men to 49% women. Those under 18 at 20% gave the movie an A. Forty percent came out for Johnny Depp per CinemaScore, grading it an A-, while 42% came out for subject matter and 38% for type of movie, which indicates that Pirates fans came out for this.

But maybe the industry just needs to look at the possibility that movie audiences may have been franchised to death.

On the bright side for Disney, Beauty and the Beast will become the eighth title in domestic B.O. history to cross $500M (by Sunday) and also Sunday, GOTG2 will have officially beaten its predecessor’s U.S./Canada total ($333.1M).

Baywatch isn’t bailing out Paramount after an atrocious 2017 at the domestic B.O. that includes xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, Monster Trucks, Rings and Ghost in the Shell. Tracking had this movie over 5 days in the $40M range, maybe even hitting $50M, and this Dwayne Johnson-Zac Efron combo is going to come in with $24.8 to $25M+ over five days, just a tad higher than the three-day for Neighbors 2:Sorority Rising ($21.8M opening/$55.4M domestic). Baywatch is close to twice the price of Neighbors 2, which carried a negative cost before P&A of $35M.

So after the Super Bowl spot, all the rah-rah at CinemaCon (the Paramount presentation fell flat with exhibitors), the “fun” trailers, why did Baywatch sink? Some attribute it to how TV properties have become harder to adapt for the big screen, the last casualty being Dax Shepard’s low budget version of CHiPs at $18.6M domestic, but even riskier was that Paramount took a general audience action series from the 1990s and turned into an R-rated movie. But the biggest oversight by Paramount, according to sources is that they sold Baywatch primarily to women in its beefcakes of Johnson and Efron and not the guys. Remember, Baywatch was always a guy show, its poster girl being Pamela Anderson. So where’s the poster girl, here?

Dwayne Johnson in an R-rated action movie seems to be his sweet spot, so maybe this R-rated on-the-beach-with-babes film may have been better suited dropping during Spring Break. Overall, this Paramount/Skydance picture garnered a B+ Cinemascore, with the core audience split in terms of gender with 48% male and 52% female. And 45% of the audience 25 and under gave the film an A-.

Baywatch will open in 32 international markets, representing 65% of its ultimate foreign footprint.

Filing fourth is 20th Century Fox’s Alien: Covenant with an estimated $12.3M over 3-days (-66%) and $13.75M over four for a running total of $60.5M by end of Monday.

1). Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales  (DIS), 4,276 theaters / $23.4M Fri. (includes $5.5M previews) / 3-day cume: $62.7M to $63.7M / 4-day: $76M to $78M / Wk 1

2). The Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 (DIS), 3,871 theaters (-476) / $5.3M Fri.(-39%) / 3-day cume: $20.3M to $20.6M  (-41%) / 4-day: $26.5M to $26.8M /  Total: $339.9M / Wk 4

3). Baywatch (PAR), 3,647 theaters / $5.7M Fri. / 3-day cume: $16.5M to $17M / 4-day: $20M to $21M / Total: $24.8M to $25.8M / Wk 1 Wednesday bow

4). Alien: Covenant (FOX), 3,772 theaters (+11) / $3M Fri. (-80%) / 3-day cume: $11M (-69%) / 4-day: $13.75M / Total: $60.5M / Wk 2

5). Everything, Everything (WB/MGM), 2,801 theaters / $2M Fri. (-57%) / 3-day cume: $6.8M to $7.5M (-34%) / 4-day: $8.5M to $9.7M / Total: $24M to $25M / Wk 2

6). Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (FOX), 3,174 theaters (+17) / $1.28M Fri. (-36%) / 3-day cume: $4.8M (-32%) / 4-day: $6.47M / Total: $15.6M / Wk 2

7). Snatched (FOX), 2,658 theaters (-853) / $1M Fri. (-54%) / 3-day cume: $3.9M (-49%) / 4-day: $4.87M to $5.2M / Total: $41M+ / Wk 3

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8). King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword (WB/VR), 2,503 theaters (-1,199) / $870K (-56%) Fri. / 3-day cume: $3.29M (-54%) / 4-day: $4.18M to $4.24M / Total: $34.8M / Wk 3

9). The Boss Baby (Fox) 1,342 (-729), $425K Fri (-28%) / 3-day: $1.6M to $2M (-42%) / 4-day: $2.2M to $2.8M / Total: $169.4M to $170.1M / Wk 9

10). The Fate Of The Furious (UNI), 1,358 theaters (-929) / $470K Fri. (-55%) / 3-day cume: $1.47M (-56%) / 4-day: $1.85M Total cume: $222.9MWk 7

Anthony D’Alessandro with write-thru update by Anita Busch

UPDATED, : Matinee grosses are starting to come in and so far the fifth installment of Disney’s, Jerry Bruckheimer and Johnny Depp’s Pirates franchise is playing well. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is on track to take in about $24M to $26M today — that includes the $5.5M it grossed in previews last night. So that means that right now, it’s estimated to take around $65M for the three-day with a four-day weekend of right around $75M to $80M. On the flipside, Paramount Pictures’ R-rated hopeful Baywatch may only take in $6.5M to $7M today with a four-day holiday of $23M to $24M and a five-day cume right around what we said this AM: $27M to $29M. Baywatch is stuck in the sand, playing slow in its first two nights of evening play so grosses might even dip lower. Will see how it plays tonight but so far it’s not seeing any big audience play on that rating.

The holdovers Marvel/Disney’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 may end up with a three-day take of $19M and a four-day around $24M while Fox and Ridley Scott’ s Alien: Covenant may take in anywhere between $13M and $14M for the weekend and $17M by the end of the four-day holiday. Anita Busch

UPDATED, : Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales took to the sea last night with $5.5M at 7 PM in previews and now sets sail in 4,276 theaters tonight  So where does that stand? Pirates‘ previews were ahead of the $4.2M preview grosses for both The Jungle Book (which opened in April, 2016) and Maleficent (which opened for the Memorial Day holiday, 2014). Still looking at $80M to $85M for the four-day, although it is very, very early right now. Overseas, the film is hitting at No. 1 in each market. For more on that, read, Nancy Tartaglione’s international report today.

Paramount Pictures’ Baywatch‘s first day on the beach earned an estimated $4.5M (which includes $1.25M from Wednesday’s previews), according to two industry estimates, as the Memorial Day weekend goes full swing tonight. The R-rated feature based on the TV show which stars Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Zac Efron, is now in 3,647 theaters. Not a great start.

Disney can also celebrate as its live-action musical Beauty and the Beast is hovering just under the $500M mark domestically after last night’s audience pushed it to $499M. Also, look for MGM/Warner Bros.’ Everything, Everything to hold well in its second weekend of play as the young females audience will keep its grosses up and when they come to the theater, it’s usually in packs.

In terms of production cost, Baywatch is in the high–$60M range and was hoping for a $40M four-day weekend (it looks now to do less, like $28M) while Pirates should double that estimate that are around $80M-$85M on a budget of about $230M. It is also opening overseas and those numbers are just coming in. With the UK box office in turmoil due to to the horrific terrorist attack (probably down about 20%), the top territories looks to be France and likely South Korea.

In 2007, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End opened to $114.7M for the three day and $139.8M to become the biggest four-day Memorial Day opener on 4,362 locales. If this fifth in the Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer franchise opens to between $80M and $85M, then it will off just a smidgen from the opening of the last film Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides which grabbed $90.15M in 4,164 theaters. Overseas, Stranger Tides ended up with $804.6M or roughly 77% of the total gross which topped $1B.

Stranger Tides reportedly brought in $4.7M in previews and X-Men: Apocalypse tallied $8.2M from previews last Memorial Day, before settling in with a $79.8M four-day gross in 4,153 theaters.

Both pictures are doing exceptionally well on social media, but not too good with the critics who may be just out of step with the moviegoing audience. However, Baywatch got just a B+ CinemaScore last night (same as King Arthur did when it bowed) and Pirates rating from its core audience is yet to come.