Heading into this summer, there has been quite a bit to get excited about in the world of movies. Between new films for several major franchises, the historic debut of a Wonder Woman solo movie, and a brand new Christopher Nolan epic, 2017 has bee shaping up to be a solid blockbuster season. Regardless, all eyes were on Memorial Day weekend to see how the summer would kick off at the box office, but now things are not looking quite as optimistic as they did at the beginning of the season. As the dust has begun to settle on Memorial Day weekend, we are looking at pretty low numbers, including for new releases Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Baywatch, which have debuted to decidedly underwhelming numbers.
The 2017 Memorial Day weekend box office performance reached an 18-year low in the domestic market with a relatively paltry haul of $176 million. Specifically, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Baywatch both underperformed by a significant margin, as neither managed to crack the $100 million mark, per TH,. Beyond that, earlier May releases King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and Alien: Covenant have both experienced lackluster releases as well, with Covenant's box office numbers dropping by roughly 80% in its second weekend. All in all, while Pirates won the weekend, Memorial Day has proven to be a bit of a box office misfire this year.
There are several possible reasons why Memorial Day weekend may have panned out so poorly this year. On the one hand, there's an argument to be made that franchises like Alien and Pirates of the Caribbean don't necessarily have the clout that they once had with fans. There's also the fact that critics widely panned this weekend's two biggest releases. We don't have definitive answers yet, but the numbers do not lie: this domestic performance is severely disappointing.
While the respective performances of Pirates of the Caribbean 5 and Baywatch are not exactly encouraging for movie fans, it's worth mentioning that these might not necessarily be indicative of the summer as a whole. The season got off to a great start with the release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 earlier this month, and upcoming blockbusters like Wonder Woman, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and War for the Planet of the Apes (to name a few) are generally expected to perform well. The summer is not off to a phenomenal start, but there's no reason not to believe that it will not pick up steam going into the next few months.
We will bring you more information regarding the performance of every major summer release as more details become available to us. For now, make sure to take a look at our 2017 movie premiere guide for more detailed information concerning the rest of this year's major releases.