As May comes down to a close with Memorial Day being celebrated on the 29th, cinemagoers were faced with the choice of two heavily hyped big openers over the weekend. One was the fifth installment to Disney’s $4-billion earning “Pirates Of The Caribbean” franchise in “Dead Men Tell No Tales” starring Johnny Depp.

The other was Paramount Pictures’ feature film adaptation of the 1990s hit TV series “baywatch,” fronted by the unlikely action-comedy tandem of Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron. Between the hilarious high-adventure Disney epic for the whole family and the adult-humor laden reboot of one of the camp sexiest television franchises in history, it was clearly obvious which one will prevail over the other.

R-rating no help

If the grossly unkind critical reviews weren’t enough to ruin the chances of “Baywatch” at the box office, then the premiere turnout seems to be the necessary condemnation of the film. Against a production cost of about $70 million, its first US weekend accounted for only $18.1 million, with the possibility of just about $26.6 million in projected earnings by the time Memorial Day is through.

Factors for this poor showing include a general trend of failure for any reboots of wholesome enough shows being given the R-rated treatment. Not even the combined star power of Johnson and Efron and their quirky dynamic in the movie could make “Baywatch” swim easily.

Paul Dergarabedian, the senior analyst for ComScore, notes that “Baywatch” is the latest in a string of big-budget films going into the summer of 2017 that have not been as successful as predicted.

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Ridley Scott’s return to his iconic franchise, “Alien: Covenant,” also underperformed since its premiere despite above-average review scores. It’s currently at fourth place behind “Baywatch,” which is trailing third behind “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” that has been running for three weeks now.

‘Pirates’ unseat ‘Guardians’

Then again, the Marvel movie’s time in the limelight has come and gone, and it has since given way for another Disney franchise film to take the top spot. “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” dominated the cinemas in its first three days since premiering. Already it has earned $62.2 million at the box office from faithful Disney stalwarts. Projections see that value climbing to $76.6 by the close of Memorial Day.

Still, despite this strong showing, compared to past installments of “Pirates of the Caribbean” the fifth installment is clocking the second-lowest domestic opening of them all. It may be up to the international box office to make up the $230 million production costs of the film; estimates have the corresponding global take to be around $300 million.