Baywatch may have been seen as a domestic flop, but in Germany, the land of David Hasselhoff, the movie is kicking some box office butt. Baywatch, starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, has only scored a disappointing $57.6 million domestically so far, which isn't ideal for a movie that cost at least $69 million to make and probably a decent amount more to market. But the R-rated Baywatch movie has been able to rally up over $100 million globally, with a healthy chunk of the global success, $16 million thus far, coming from the country where David Hasselhoff is still considered to be a huge star: Germany.
The news comes to us via Dwayne Johnson's Instagram account. In the post, Johnson is elated sharing the global success of the Baywatch movie, calling out Germany in particular. The actor had this to say.
"Nice surprise. Thank you, Germany. After 5 weeks, Baywatch moves up the international charts!? Crazy sauce. This kind of global success for a lil' R-rated, raunchy comedy is very rare in Hollywood. We make movies for the world to enjoy... so thank you world for enjoying our lil' beach raunch romp. Love U back Germany. And Mexico. And France. And everywhere else I'm not mentioning because I have to go back to working out and a brotha can't lose his pump."
The news isn't too surprising since the Baywatch television series was insanely popular in Germany. It's also worth noting that David Hasselhoff still has a thriving singing career in Germany and he makes a cameo in the movie. Coincidence? I think not.
Apparently the German love affair with David Hasselhoff all started because of the 1980's television series Knight Rider, a show in which Hasselhoff starred and drove a talking car that helped him solve crimes. But that's not all, Hasselhoff's rock album, Knight Rocker (yes) became a number one sensation in nearby Austria and followed to Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Hasselhoff continues to release albums and the Germans continue to buy them, but nobody is quite sure why, even the Hoff himself who famously claimed that his debut sold 7 copies stateside.
Hasselhoff's popularity was enough to make the Baywatch TV series a hit overseas, especially in Germany. Apparently German fans loved how "American" the show was along with other things that did a lot of bouncing up and down. The popularity overseas was enough to launch it into syndication in the United States, which was miraculous because the show wasn't that popular in America yet. Reportedly, in order to make the deal work, Hasselhoff took a lesser salary per-episode in trade for a greater share of the profits if the show became a hit.
Baywatch the movie owes quite a bit to Mr. David Hasselhoff who fought tooth and nail for what he believed in nearly 30 years ago with the Baywatch TV series. Hoff's passion and sacrifice laid the groundwork for the R-rated Baywatch movie to achieve a rare feat overseas and that fact should not be overlooked. Beautiful women and nudity might have had a hand in the success too, but it's much too early to speculate about such things. Baywatch is still floating in theaters if you feel like checking out what all of the Germans are talking about.