Baywatch bombed at the Memorial Day box office, got 19% on RT

With the critical reviews hitting last week, I don’t think the fact that Baywatch is barely treading water is too much of a surprise. The poor showing at the box office sucks for Paramount, who really needs a hit, but is great for all of us who get to make countless drowning references when we write about the film. (Thanks guys!) I had little interest in Baywatch until I found myself laughing during the trailer. Most people I spoke to felt the same way. But the reviews say that the trailers are much funnier than the actual film so why bother. Well, according to Variety, very few did.

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 three-day total of $18.1 million from 3,647 locations and end the four-day holiday weekend with $22 million (not counting the money it made in sneaks on Wednesday). That’s far below early estimates. The movie carries a production budget above $60 million.

“I think we got pretty stung by reviews,” said Paramount’s distribution chief Megan Colligan, referring to the film’s current 19% on Rotten Tomatoes. “It research tested extremely well,” she added, saying that the stars are about to start promoting the film heavily abroad. “We’re hopeful that our international numbers will help us with our overall.”

Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron star in the comedy that spawned from the 1990s NBC drama starring David Hasselhoff and a team of lifeguards who patrolled the beaches of Los Angeles. This time around, it’s Johnson, an experienced and devoted lifeguard, who butts heads with a new recruit, Efron, until they uncover a criminal plot.

“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 $24.2 million over the four-day weekend, raising its domestic total close to $340 million.

[From Variety]

As it says, once again insiders are pointing their fingers at Rotten Tomatoes as the culprit for low attendance. Even with a 19% it could have performed better; people will still sign up for stupid, but there has to be some humor at least. I am curious what happened because according to both Variety above and Deadline, Baywatch tested pretty well.

However, those numbers are not for lack of trying on Zac Efron’s part. Zac is peddling this movie like his career depended on it, which, well – I’m not saying it isn’t… Zac’s interviews, however, may be the most entertaining parts about the film. While on Jimmy Kimmel, they discussed the eerie coincidence between Zac’s Matt Brody character and disgraced Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte, although Zac swears it’s a coincidence. The Washington Post claims that Zac should lean in to the analogy because it turns out to be the best part of the film. While on The Late Late Show with James Corden, Zac discussed making out with The Rock, which he does underwater in the film (he tastes like Winterfresh and is really good at it, according to Zac). James spoke for all of us in his unabashed resolve that making out with DJ was something he would sacrifice everything else in his life to do.

Zac Efron’s grandparents in Bend, Oregon got on the promo train and took this pic headed into the theater to see the film. ($10 says they called it “the picture show”):

Aw, bless his heart, Zac really worked for this. I will say this: watching Zac doing his media blitz, he seems like he’s sorted himself out, doesn’t it? I hope he got whatever was plaguing him under control.

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Photo credit: Twitter, Instagram Getty Images and WENN Photos

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45 Responses to “Baywatch bombed at the Memorial Day box office, got 19% on RT”

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  1. Millennial says:

    I don’t know a lot of people that had Baywatch nostalgia to begin with, so I’m not surprised it bombed.

    • Cherise says:

      This. They should have anticipated this after what happened with Chips. 21 Jump Street started this trend but even that grew its audience after it got unanimous thumbs up by both critics and word of mouth. Now hopefully Hollywood will stop.

      • manda says:

        I totally forgot about chips!! I thought chips bombed because it was maybe too old. I’m 40 and barely remember chips, and I know the movie people aren’t shooting to attract my age group or higher!

        I thought people watched baywatch, it was on long enough, but yeah, I can’t think of a single person who said they were psyched about this movie

      • ArchieGoodwin says:

        The remake of Starsky and Hutch was hilarious.

      • Millenial says:

        I didn’t watch 21 Jump Street for the longest time (idk, most Hollywood comedies don’t do it for me and I wasn’t around for the tv show) but then I did and it was HILARIOUS. Now I preach that gospel where I can.

    • Pandy says:

      It was an excuse to put women into bikinis basically. The best part is the chatter about a second Baywatch film ….

    • ElleC says:

      It was a silly-sleazy show to begin with and maybe that just doesn’t play as well anymore, particularly in the current political environment. It’s hard to be nostalgic for something so rooted in objectification (even if it’s winking and self-aware) when there’s a self-admitted sexual harasser in one of the most powerful positions in the world, ya know? I know they tried to level the playing field by focusing more on the Rock and Efron (a kind of equal opportunity objectification, I guess) but I’m not sure that takes the stank off…

    • holly hobby says:

      Loved Starsky & Hutch and 21 Jump Street. They were just silly fun.

      Didn’t watch CHIPS now I can skip Baywatch as well.

  2. sarr says:

    Well his grandparents are adorable :)

  3. Lolo86lf says:

    I have not seen the movie and now I will wait until it’s out on Netflix or something. Let’s not feel terrible for the Rock or Zac Efron because they have so many hits under their belt and like they say “you can’t win them all.” I seldomly read the critics reviews for they are very often biased. By the way, in the future let’s hope that Zac does not ruin his naturally beautiful body by using anabolic steroids…yuck.

  4. Suki says:

    I just think remakes are rarely as good as the original. People tend to like the originals as they are with many things. Sure, some remakes are excellent but it’s rare and if the original was perfect or pretty close to, why re-make it?

  5. Jess says:

    Eh, I’ll still go see it simply because I love Dwayne, Zac’s pretty funny too. I’m going in expecting it to be silly stupid so maybe I won’t be disappointed.

    • Nilber says:

      Me too. DJ does so much under the radar for kids. After what he did for that little boy in GA, who had cancer I swore I would go see his films.

  6. Talie says:

    The Rock was acting a little Trumpian on Twitter about this…freaking out at people telling the truth about the numbers. Anyway, I think the R rating hurt it.

    • I agree. If it had been PG-13, I would have considered taking the kids to see it.

      Then there is the RT rating. However, that didn’t keep me away from Snatched, mostly because someone here on Celebitchy said they’d seen it and loved it. I’m glad I saw their post, because my daughter and I planned to see it, but decided not to based on RT ratings. After reading the comment on here, we decided to give it a go and it was great! We laughed about 80% of the movie.

      • StormsMama says:

        Sherry
        I saw Snatched last week too and laughed A LOT
        I thought Amy was hilarious and Goldie was EVERYTHING
        The peripheral characters were all really great too. Very funny.
        Would definitely recommend!

      • @StormsMama – I know! I LOVE Goldie and have told everyone, “Don’t go by Rotten Tomatoes regarding Snatched! It’s a funny movie!”

    • Adele Dazeem says:

      Wow. He really IS running for president!

      Shudder.

  7. Nanny to the Rescue says:

    I loved Baywatch as a kid, at least the first 3 seasons. But it was so typically early 90s cheezy that I can’t watch it anymore with a straight face. So I never planned to go to the cinema to watch what’s basicly a 2 hour TV-episode.

    And I don’t get it, why is The Rock playing Hoff’s character Mitch? And that actress (can’t bother to look her up) playing Pamela Anderson’t character CJ? Why didn’t they just write new lifeguards? It’s not like those characters were anything special, it was the actors that made them so, and they’re all replaced now.

    • isakka says:

      They started to show it again where I’m from and I watched it.. it’s so cringeworthy but I still love it xD

    • Nanny to the Rescue says:

      Oh, and I worked as a lifeguard (summer job, by the kiddie pool, nothing Baywatch-romantic) for 2 seasons and we didn’t get to chase any criminals.

      Baywatch is a lie! :D

      Nobody was even drowning (which is of course a good thing) … We mostly just helped when people fell on slippery floor and bloodied their knees.

      • third ginger says:

        My daughter worked as lifeguard each summer from the ages of 15 to 21. She actually saved two people, one of whom was a kid whose mother was not even in the water at the time.

        My little girl and her life long buddy, a young man, used to do a “slow motion” BAY WATCH entrance.

  8. Shambles says:

    Um why have they not advertised the entire film based on the fact that Dwayne and Zac Efron make out?!?! I had no idea. I’m going to see it for that reason alone.

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      Me neither. And I think the marketing for this movie was the worst. If you remake a cult show and turn it into a comedy, you need to let people know. Honestly, I was never going to see this in the theater because these days, that is expensive as hell and this seems more like a Saturday morning movie. But I watched the trailer by accident and thought what the hell, is this a comedy? That changes everything.

  9. Valois says:

    If you don’t want RT to hurt your box office, don’t make a shitty film.

    • Mom2two says:

      This. I think it’s ridiculous to keep blaming critics/ RT for when movies do bad, it didn’t look good to me from previews/ commercials and I don’t need critics to tell me whether or not you see a movie.

    • Cherise says:

      Or do like DC/Warner Bros and put an embargo on reviews until after the first weekend. It tricked audiences into Suicide Squad and word is thats the strategy for WW because of course they made a mess of it.

      • bonobochick says:

        There are reviews for Wonder Woman floating around now and have been trickling in the past few days. The movie comes out June 2nd in the USA, so it’s not the same strategy as Suicide Squad.

        Also, Wonder Woman currently is at a 97% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes with 64 posted reviews.

    • Anon33 says:

      Seriously? Again with blaming RT? Let me assure you, Hollywood “elite”, none of this would happen if 90% of the movies you all make weren’t offensive, dumbed-down pablum with the same 25 “trending” assholes in them!!! I can’t even watch movies anymore because these people’s “personas” generally outweigh their acting abilities.

  10. Anname says:

    I read an interesting critic’s comment saying Efron seems determined to become the Adam Sandler of his generation. He is a talented guy who is choosing to do stupid and crass movies.

  11. Az says:

    Dwayne did not do himself any favors by saying he wants to be president during his promo tour. He is overrated and maybe this will slow down him being in every movie. He seems real phony.

  12. third ginger says:

    The R rating certainly did not help. For me, the best way to use RT is to actually read a variety of the reviews. And, of course, RT has now become the entertainment version of “fake news” for studios making bad films.

  13. Tan says:

    The movie was supposed to be illogical crirical fail, mindless summer blockbuster with action and some humour.
    I think those who want to see it knows exactly what they want to see.

    So I really don’t understand why RT ratings will even hurt the movie

  14. Heat says:

    I saw it. It was dumb, but I laughed my ass off.

    • Andrea says:

      Right?! I enjoyed it too. I knew it wasn’t going to be Oscar material, but it was fun and light. Can’t understand why it didn’t do better.

  15. Miss M says:

    Was it supposed to be a huge box office success?!

  16. D Train says:

    The R-Rating really screwed them, IMO. I saw it this weekend and actually really enjoyed it. The big reason for the R-Rating is because they show a fake penis in a morgue. That makes the scene seem way less funny than it was (and it was funny), but they probably could have done it a little differently to avoid the R Rating and be able to capitalize on those who want to see hot chicks running in bathing suits in slo-mo

  17. I grew up in the 90s so Baywatch, although I remember it being on, wasn’t something my brother or I would tune into. I don’t recall my parents watching it either so when I heard about the reboot I didn’t get excited or even think it would be worth watching. At this point after hearing about the reviews I probably wouldn’t watch it unless I’m on a plane and nothing else is worth watching. Honestly though Friends and 2 broke girls always is a popular choice on flights so I usually binge watch the 2 instead of movies so much.

  18. Ozogirl says:

    It’s no wonder it bombed with Zac Effron and The Rock as the stars. Baywatch was always about sexy women and they didn’t promote the movie as such. Bad casting and promotion.

  19. kimbers says:

    I thought its target audience were 12 year old boys, frat guys and chubby fathers?

    Weren’t all those ppl playing Xbox & BBQing all weekend?

  20. katy says:

    I went with no preconceived notions, and found myself belly laughing on several occasions ( the morgue scene especially.) The language was quite strong, with multiple MFers, which maybe contributed to the rating? RT had 19% for critics at the time, and 70% for audience. I thought Efron’s character was quite endearing with his post-Olympic struggles. But overall the movie never really found a channel and stuck with it. (Was it pastiche? A send up? A critique? Self-aware or no?) Didn’t mean I wasn’t willing to go back the next day with the Mister, but for some reason he was against it ;-)

  21. Lisa says:

    Dude, I went to watch it the day it came out. I am a YUUUUUUUGE Rock fan…and well, Zac Effron constantly looked like he had too much make up on, but he’s a very pretty (and ridiculously fit) guy! It was a hilarious movie, laughed out loud several times. Oh sure, its silly, but its not meant to be intelligent! Out here in Hong Kong, the theater was packed! Everyone enjoyed it! So I am guessing they will do just fine overseas.

  22. dobbs says:

    Are you surprised by any of this? Well this nixes the dream of a Baywatch Nights movie, so wanted to see Rock and Zac go investigate alien abductions and frozen cavemen. Yeah that actually happened in the show,