Out of the four Disney-backed Star Wars movies to have released since the 2013 acquisition of Lucasfilm, Solo: A Star Wars Story undershot expectations quite dramatically.
A modest box office take ($392M), coupled with lukewarm reviews, led many to question whether the Anthology movie was even necessary to begin with – harsh, but not unjust – though Disney chairman Alan Horn believes the media are to blame for casting Solo in a particularly negative light.
The seasoned industry veteran spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about everything from 21st Century Fox to Frozen 2, but when asked about the sky-high expectations surrounding some of the studio’s biggest 2019 titles (i.e. The Lion King, Avengers: Endgame), Horn referenced the ill-fated Solo.
It’s always a challenge because — and I say this with love and respect for media — the thing about these big movies is they get a lot of attention, whether positive or negative. So when they don’t work, like Solo, the media says it’s a failure. I think it was a pretty good movie. It didn’t resonate as much as we’d hoped it would, but the press writes it up in a more negative way than I would. These are very high-profile movies. If Aladdin, which I happen to think is a terrific film, doesn’t work somehow, that’s big news and much bigger news than if a movie somewhere else, like The Kid Who Would Be King [at Fox,] doesn’t work.
It’s certainly a fair assessment; between the hype and media spotlight, Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters tend to gobble up all the headlines prior to release. And, well, the bigger they are…
In all seriousness, Solo: A Star Wars Story is not a bad movie. Though it’s not on the level of, say, Rogue One, Ron Howard’s rip-roaring spinoff is still a swashbuckling adventure worth exploring, even if it doesn’t add much to the overall Star Wars lore.