LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Disney's Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales sailed into first place at the box office over the weekend but the story the numbers dictate is not one of swashbuckling heroics.
Johnny Depp's fifth outing as Jack Sparrow is looking at a four-day domestic holiday weekend sum of US$77 million (S$106 million). If not for international appeal, that would be a let-down for a movie riding on a US$230 million production budget.
The first place finish also cannot cover up a serious case of franchise fatigue.
Dead Men Tell No Tales is the lowest opening for a Pirates movie apart from the original, which earned more than US$46 million in its first weekend (and was also the only installation approved by critics).
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Last time out in 2011,On Stranger Tides pulled in US$90 million in its opening weekend.
Over time, the Pirates franchise has become more reliant on overseas ticket sales, and that is certainly the case this time out. The studio should make back its production budget this weekend once worldwide ticket sales are taken into account.
Meanwhile, Paramount's Baywatch was hoping to make an oceanic summer splash but looks to have ended up in the kiddie pool.
The rebooted property should land a four-day holiday weekend haul of US$22 million.
That is far below early estimates. The movie carries a US$60 million production budget.
Baywatch will land in third behind Disney's Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2, which has proven to be the only major hit to emerge from the summer box office so far.
The sequel looks to pull in another US$24.2 million over the four-day weekend, raising its domestic total close to US$340 million.
Fox's Alien: Covenant should end up in fourth during its second weekend in theatres.