Disney enjoyed such a sterling run of hits with its Star Wars franchise, it seemed impossible any movie from franchise could ever fail, but the streak finally ended with Solo: A Star Wars Story. The origin story of everyone’s favorite scoundrel couldn’t overcome lukewarm reviews, unimpressed fans and a troubled production, becoming the first Star Wars movie to be a flop.
Solo opened last weekend to an uninspiring $168 million take worldwide over the four-day Memorial Day weekend. That might seem like a lot, but when you compare it next its bloated $300 million budget, it needed to take in much more to be on its way to break even for Disney.
Making matters worse is the budget isn’t the only expense studios need to worry about when considering a movie’s box office performance. With a movie like Solo, studios like Disney normally put in an additional $150 million in marketing, that puts its total expense around $450 million.
Now the expectation is that Solo could top out at $400 million at the box office, confirming it will be the first Star Wars flop. That’s a massive drop off considering the three most recent Star Wars movies (from Disney) have each eclipsed the $1 billion barrier, with Star Wars: The Force Awakens raking it over $2 billion. Capping off at 40-percent of the “least successful” Star Wars movie is massively underwhelming.
Wall Street analyst Barton Crockett says Solo’s failure will end up costing Disney $50 million, while others peg that figure to be somewhere around the $80 million figure.
The final sum is still uncertain, but what isn’t is that Solo will lose Disney tens of million of dollars. That was unthinkable prior to its release, as many analyst predicted it to be the latest Star Wars hit for Disney. However, the movie failed to connect with fans like past Star Wars movies have and quickly faded at the box office, sealing it flop status.
Moving forward, Disney has plans for a standalone trilogy from The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson and a Boba Fett anthology movie. It needs to consider the purpose of these movies and examine if their story is worth telling, because it is clear Star Wars movies are susceptible to failure, too.