It's shaping up to be a big holiday weekend at the box office.
With Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Alien: Covenant already in place to continue their hauls at the box office, newcomers Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Baywatch are set to dominate the ticket sales.
Analyst predictions put the fifth installment of Disney's Pirates franchise in first place, opening in 4,276 theaters, to
Baywatch is expected to perform well despite the unpleasant reviews the film has been subjected to. The Paramount feature is expected to bring in about $40 million over the holiday weekend in about 3,500 theaters. With a budget estimated to have climbed up to the $65 million range, it will serve as a strong opening to the summer comedy's run.
Pirates 5 returns Johnny Depp to his iconic Jack Sparrow role, with Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightly returning to the franchise after absences in the previous film. Baywatch brings global mega-star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson together with eye-candy actor Zac Efron and a slew of models under the direction of Seth Gordon.
On the heels of Alien: Covenant's lackluster opening weekend, the big numbers for Baywatch and Pirates are putting theater owners and studios at a bit of ease. It was just last week when analysts were predicting the worst summer box office in 10 years based on the low expectations for Ridley Scott's new Alien film and the bomb that is King Arthur.
By comparison to a year ago, the box office is still holding on to a 2.5% increase.