Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. 

The fifth edition of the Disney, Jerry Bruckheimer and Johnny Depp Pirates of the Caribbean franchise easily topped the Aussie box office last weekend although the debut was well below the previous installment.

Directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg and shot in Queensland after an injection of $21.6 million in funding from the federal government plus state government incentives, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales captured $5.9 million on 292 locations, according to ComScore.

That’s 41 per cent below the $9.9 million debut of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides in 2011. The latter finished up earning $27.2 million, which may be out of reach of the new film.

Pirates 5 scored an estimated $US77 million over the four-day Memorial Day holiday in the US and $208 million internationally for a global total of $285 million, so the studio may be hard-pressed to recoup the reported $230 million budget.

Among the weekend’s new releases in Australia, Neruda had the highest per-screen average ahead of Sachin: A Billion Dreams, The Shack, Sense of an Ending and Norman: The Moderate. 

Word-of-mouth clearly is not favouring Warner Bros./ Roadshow’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, last weekend’s number one, which tumbled by 55 per cent to $1.05 million from 264 locations. Guy Ritchie’s critically maligned film starring Jude Law, Charlie Hunnam and Eric Bana has pocketed a mediocre $4.1 million.

Disney/Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 maintained third position despite a 48 per cent drop, earning $995,000 in its fifth frame, which brings its haul to a lucrative $30.9 million.

StudioCanal’s action-thriller John Wick: Chapter Two plunged by 53 per cent to $851,000 on 216 in its second outing, a typical decline for the genre, climbing to $3.3 million. 

Fox’s Snatched fell by 50 per cent in its third weekend, making $813,000 on 271. The comedy starring Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn starrer has raked in a merry $7.1 million. 

Stablemate Alien: Covenant suffered the biggest decline among the top 10 titles, tumbling by 61 per cent in its third orbit, taking $767,000 on 264 screens. Ridley Scott’s Sydney-shot sci-fier has grossed a moderate $8.4 million. 

Transmission’s British-Indian drama Viceroy’s House is doing okay on fairly limited release. Directed by Gurinder Chadha, the film earned $436,000 in its second weekend on 139 and $1.3 million thus far.

EOne’s weepie A Dog’s Purpose collared $387,000 in its fourth lap, now on 217, as its cume topped $4 million. 

Universal’s Get Out delivered $258,000 in its fourth weekend on 136, down 53 per cent. The feature debut from comedian-turned-director Jordan Peele has made $5.7 million. 

Rounding out the top 10, StudioCanal’s The Shack, a psychological drama directed by Stuart Hazeldine and starring Sam Worthington, Octavia Spencer, Graham Greene and Radha Mitchell, opened poorly, drumming up $148,000 on 63.

Forum Films’ Sachin: A Billion Dreams, English writer-director James Erskine’s biopic on Indian cricket great Sachin Tendulkar, scored a fair $135,000 in its first innings on 44.

Roadshow’s The Sense of an Ending, a Ritesh Batra-directed drama featuring Jim Broadbent and Charlotte Rampling, fetched just $203,000 on 49.

Becker Films’ Norman: The Moderate, a thriller starring Richard Gere, Lior Ashkenazi and Michael Sheen, written and directed by Joseph Cedar, took a paltry $83,000 on 28.

Palace’s Neruda, Chilean director Pablo Larraín’s crime drama featuring Gael García Bernal, Luis Gnecco and Mercedes Morán, rang up $74,000 on 14 screens, a healthy $5,670 average.

Among the Aussie titles, Tori Garrett’s debut feature Don’t Tell fell by 54 per cent in its second weekend, taking $257,000 on 75 thus far.

Transmission documentary Whiteley has drawn $204,000 after its third weekend and Cate Shortland’s Berlin Syndrome (eOne) has collected a disappointing $235,000.

Garth Davis’ Lion (Transmission) is the stand-out this year, minting $29.5 million, followed by Rachel Perkins’ Jasper Jones (Madman) with $2.66 million and Jeffrey Walker’s Dance Academy (StudioCanal) at $2.1 million. 

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