Uh Oh, Things Might Not Be Looking Great for Solo

Yolanda Curtis
May 28, 2018

Was it franchise fatigue?

In China, Disney's earlier installment "The Last Jedi", was also beaten out by a local romantic comedy, Huayi Brothers Media Corp.'s "The Ex-File 3: Return of the Exes". The boycott? The material?

"That's a model that would also benefit Star Wars going forward". That's one reason Disney keeps pushing the "Star Wars" series in the country, where "Solo" secured a rare concurrent release with North America, even though it lacks the familiarity won in the U.S.by decades of sequels and prequels since its 1977 premiere.

So yes, Solo is the lowest opening in the Star Wars franchise since Attack of the Clones grossed $80 million over three days in 2002.

To say Rian Johnson's The Last Jedi had a polarizing effect on Star Wars fans would be an understatement. Sold out crowds. People were being turned away that first weekend. "We gotta spend some time looking at the exits and get a better handle on all the questions". The Han Solo origin film's three-day estimate now hovers around $83 million. Solo may have cost up to $300 million.

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Two of those re-worked movies still had greater per-screen averages than Solo, too.

The "Solo" three-day is also falling below another film that underperformed relative to its franchise pedigree: "Justice League". It now holds an A- CinemaScore, along with a 71% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

This has led to a general apprehension to the film, which received generally much colder reviews than what typically greets Disney's Star Wars films, as well as Disney's popular Marvel Studios output.

As it stands, a $100 million four-day opening would be less than the launch for "The Hangover Part II", which made $103 million in 2011. Its domestic total should read $34.2 million after an estimated $12 million for the four-day weekend.

Disney disagrees, noting that Marvel movies come out at even shorter intervals - "Thor: Ragnarok" in November, "Black Panther" in February, "Infinity War" in April.

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According to ComScore, overall box office is up 7.7 percent year-to-date. The film did even worse internationally, earning just $65 million for a global total of $148.3 million.

This won't be the end of Star Wars, of course. If this trend continues Star Wars seems likely to remain a mostly Western fantasy.... Lucasfilm might want to question what the fans want, however.

And there's enough positive spin to work on Solo to make its performance look better to the masses, if not Disney's shareholders and anyone paying attention to the tracking promising a lot higher grosses.

The origin story scripted by father and son Jonathan and Lawrence Kasdan, which reportedly carries the hefty price tag of $US300 million, ranked at No. 1 in most territories but it was just the fourth-biggest opening weekend of the year in Oz.

The second weekend for Deadpool 2 will see it drop to #2 with $54.5 million from 4,349 theaters, giving it an 11-day total of $220 million.

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The top 10 worldwide weekend box office estimates, listed in descending order, per data collected as of Sunday, May 27, are below.

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