As we all expected, the backstage drama surrounding Solo: A Star Wars Story ended up being far more compelling than the rather dull, mediocre movie we got. It’s not necessarily a bad film, but it’s certainly not something fans will be thinking about again for a while and for me, lies somewhere above the prequels but below all the rest of the Star Wars movies in terms of quality. That certainly showed in the box office numbers, too.
Although the full four-day estimate won’t be released until later today, it’s probably safe to say that the Anthology pic won’t be gunning for the Memorial Day holiday weekend record anymore. As you’ve surely heard, the Ron Howard-directed space western hauled in $83.3 million in its opening weekend and will finish off Monday with about $110 million, nowhere even remotely near the current record holder, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End ($140M).
In a year that’s seen three releases enter the domestic top thirty for all-time opening weekends, Deadpool 2 ($125M), Black Panther ($202M) and Avengers: Infinity War ($257M), the box office failure of Solo: A Stars Wars Story is only amplified that much more. And while it remains to be seen which direction Disney will head in from here, distribution chief Dave Hollis has now opened up about the film’s poor performance, saying that it might have been due to releasing so close to the aforementioned Infinity War and Deadpool 2.
“There’s a question of frequency, and how many times people will go to the movies. Is this too much and too soon for a third time in a five-week period.”
Continuing on, he added that they’re “all over it” and will be working to figure out what went wrong before Episode IX hits in 2019.
“We are all over it, and will spend a lot of time digging into why things happened the way they did. We have a year and a half before Episode IX comes out.”
While what Hollis says about the frequency is probably true, there are many other reasons that Solo: A Star Wars Story bombed so hard. From the behind the scenes drama to the mediocre reviews to the fact that no one really wanted to see anyone but Harrison Ford in the titular role in the first place, there was a lot working against the spinoff. Not to mention that some fans were also boycotting it.
In short, it was always going to be tough for the movie to do well and though it’s not exactly a complete failure, both Lucasfilm and Disney will no doubt be rethinking things moving forward and we’re intrigued to see how they proceed from here.