Solo: A Star Wars Story opened with a bang this past weekend, taking in $103 million over the four-day Memorial Day weekend, supplanting Deadpool 2 at the top of the box office. It just wasn’t the sizeable bang Disney was expecting.
Early predictions pegged the newest Star Wars flick to take in anywhere between $130 to $150 million over the holiday break domestically, but it fell way short of that mark. Things weren’t alleviated by Solo’s international take, which was a paltry $65 million. In total, Solo has grossed $168 million, meaning the $300 million movie (before marketing is taken into account) is performing well below expectations.
Solo’s unimpressive $103 million (four-day) opening ranks last among the most recent Star Wars movies. What’s more disappointing is that each of the previous three offerings reached their impressive openings in just three days. Rogue One (the first Star Wars spinoff) took in $155 million and both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi opened north of $220 million. Solo didn’t even take in half of that with an extra day.
By now everyone is searching for the reason for the uninspiring opening. Was it the tepid reviews? Was it the heavy competition that includes Avengers: Infinity War and Deadpool 2? Was it the fact that it’s the second Star Wars movies to be released in less than six months? Or is Star Wars fatigue starting to set in?
Truth be told, it’s probably a combination of all of those reasons and more, but it still doesn’t ease the disappointment. Disney was riding high off three massively successful Star Wars movies, yet now it must reassess how it handles future Star Wars movies to maximize their potential. Turns out it can’t just trot out the Star Wars name and expect a record-breaking performance.
Star Wars Episode IX will be another massive success when it arrives in theaters December 2019. However, the recently announced Boba Fett movie will be much trickier to lead to success and if Disney doesn’t handle it with much better care, it may be in for another disappointing Star Wars movie.