‘Solo’ shaping up to be the first ‘Star Wars’ box-office flop
The movie dropped a disastrous 77.2 per cent from its first weekend, a sharp decline suggesting Solo may not even break even. (Those numbers are U.S. domestic.) Its worldwide box-office total as of this writing is $264 million, and the movie cost approximately $250 million to produce and $150 million to promote.
Internationally (including Canada), the film has grossed $115 million so far over a two-weekend span. For comparison, the other Star Wars spinoff, Rogue One, brought in a total international gross of $523.8 million. Solo‘s prospects for moving up the box-office ladder don’t look good over the coming weeks either; with upcoming blockbusters like Ocean’s 8 this weekend and then the Jurassic World sequel the next, Solo will most likely head down instead of up.
“It’s a financial disappointment and you have to wonder, is this just a speed bump in the road for the Star Wars brand, or is there something more here?,” said Eric Handler, an analyst at MKM Partners.
The reason behind the disappointing box office could be as simple as Star Wars fatigue; while Star Wars films were once seen as cinematic events, it seems that the more movies are made, the less interest audiences have in seeing them.
“I think Disney got caught milking the Star Wars franchise a little too much,” a source told Deadline. “Everyone acknowledged the risk of releasing another movie five months after Jedi. They really should have pushed Solo to Christmas.”
Disney’s worldwide distribution chief Dave Hollis, however, begs to differ. “This is just the fourth movie and the first three did $4 billion combined. I’m not sure it’s so much that people aren’t excited for additional stories,” he explained, noting that the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to churn out new adventures that do huge business at the box office.
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“We’re in a world where we’re in the same conference rooms planning Marvel movies. We have a Thor and a Black Panther and an Infinity War coming out in November and February and May and each are massively successful. They each do well and people aren’t asking these questions.”
Meanwhile, the film’s troubled production can’t be ignored, with original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller jettisoned from the project three weeks before production was set to end; veteran director Ron Howard was brought in to take over.
While Ehrenreich revealed he’s contracted for two Solo sequels, the fate of any future Han Solo movies appears precarious given the lacklustre box office.
It may not be a financial loss for Disney, however — there are still home video sales and merchandise tallies to consider, though it’s likely that the box office malaise will transfer to these sales as well.
The next Star Wars movie, Episode IX, won’t hit theatres until December 2019.
— With files from ET CanadaFollow @CJancelewicz
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