Solo: A Star Wars Story director Ron Howard comments on the film's underwhelming box office performance, taking the opportunity to thank the cast and crew for their hard work. The galaxy far, far away has long been one of Hollywood's most venerable franchises, a fact that was cemented when Disney purchased Lucasfilm and brought the property back to the big screen. The Force Awakens, Rogue One, and The Last Jedi combined to earn more than $4 billion at the worldwide box office and ended their respective years of release as the highest-grossing film domestically. Few would have predicted Solo would top Black Panther or Avengers: Infinity War, but it was expected to be another hit.
Unfortunately for Disney, the spinoff ended up becoming the first Star Wars installment to lose money. It failed to meet expectations when it opened over Memorial Day weekend, and from there the numbers only got worse. To date, Solo has earned just $176.1 million domestically and $312.2 million worldwide. Through all of this, Howard has remained a great sport on Twitter, keeping his spirits high as he retweets support from fans. Now, he's taken the time to offer his two cents on the poor commercial totals.
Once again taking to Twitter, Howard responded to a comment from a viewer expressing frustration that some moviegoers are skipping Solo in theaters because of their feelings on Rian Johnson's The Last Jedi, which was incredibly divisive. Citing Solo's solid A- CinemaScore (exit polls), Howard seemed sad by the way things have turned out:
Solo's box office is a fairly complex scenario. It's hard not to talk about the film without mentioning the infamous production woes, which caused the production budget to skyrocket past $250 million. If the spinoff was made under more normal circumstances and stayed on course, it would have hit its break even point and turned a small profit by now. That being said, $312.2 million worldwide against a production budget of $125 million (its original price tag) is a solid, yet unremarkable haul, and certainly much smaller earnings than what Star Wars is accustomed to. For instance, The Last Jedi ended up at $417.5 million in the black after earning $1.3 billion globally. In the aftermath of Solo, Lucasfilm is going to need to rethink some strategies as they move forward.
Fortunately, it looks like any required fixes will be relatively easy to make. Solo's biggest problem appears to be its uninspired marketing campaign, which was compounded by the May release date. Solo, which was never positioned as a must-see event, came out in the shadow of Avengers: Infinity War and Deadpool 2, which hurt its box office prospects. As long as Lucasfilm is smarter about where they put their Star Wars films and how they sell them, they should be fine. It's hard to see Episode IX coming up short at the box office next Christmas.
Source: Ron Howard
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019