We’re not even halfway through 2018, and already we’ve seen three films enter the domestic top thirty for all-time opening weekends. Unsurprisingly, the prosperous motion picture trio all inhabit the superhero genre: Deadpool 2 ($125M), Black Panther ($202M) and Avengers: Infinity War ($257M).
Incredibly, however, one of 2018’s biggest blockbusters, Solo: A Star Wars Story, has the most disappointing debut of the year all sewn up. We learned today that the Ron Howard-directed space western made just $83.3 million in its opening weekend, which is a total worse than Justice League ($93.8M), another highly anticipated release that severely underwhelmed at the box office.
While we won’t receive the full four-day estimate until tomorrow, it’s safe to say that Solo: A Star Wars Story will not be gunning for the Memorial Day weekend box office record anymore – as predicted – which is currently held by Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End ($140M).
Nonetheless, we’re now receiving word that the pic is also severely underperforming in the world’s second-largest box office market, China. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Star Wars Anthology pic opened in third place with a paltry $10.1 million, behind Infinity War ($18M) and How Long Will I Love U ($25M).
Since Disney acquired Lucasfilm, the franchise has seen opening box office totals spiral downward in the Middle Kingdom, with the trajectory looking like this: Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($52.4M), Rogue One ($30M) and The Last Jedi ($28.1M). Thankfully for Disney, the last three installments earned 55% or less of their worldwide totals from overseas markets.
As for the franchise’s latest release, well, when you combine the divisive reviews and production troubles, plus the fact that many people weren’t interested in seeing anyone else other than Harrison Ford portray the titular character in the first place, it isn’t exactly surprising that Solo: A Star Wars Story bombed at the box office. Nevertheless, the movie is the first real flop for Lucasfilm and you can bet that they’ll be seriously re-thinking their strategy going forward.