Solo: A Star Wars Story is falling short of expectations at the box office, and now director Ron Howard has weighed in. Despite its status as a heavily marketed tentpole blockbuster, the film's financial performance has been decidedly underwhelming so far. Both domestically and overseas, the story of a young Han Solo is failing to set the world on fire. So far, it's only brought in half of what Deadpool 2 did just two weeks ago. Despite the generally positive reviews, Solo isn't exactly wowing audiences either. Its A- CinemaScore - on-par with George Lucas divisive' prequels - reflect this.
Some of this could be attributed to Solo's notoriously troubled production. The original directors, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, were famously fired due to creative differences. Ron Howard, who'd passed on directing 1999's The Phantom Menace, was brought in to reshoot roughly 70 percent of the story. As the first anthology film about a beloved character from the classic Star Wars trilogy, Howard was likely brought in to make a safe, reliable popcorn movie. Though he delivered exactly that, Solo is still coming up short when it comes to box office gross.
Earlier today, Howard took to Twitter to address the issue directly. In a reply to a user named JD-09, Howard admits the film "didn't meet projections," but calls it "a new personal best." He also encourages fans to see it themselves "on the big screen." Howard's known to be optimistic, but this box office disappointment could certainly have a significant impact regarding all those potential Solo sequels and spin-offs. Still, he's right about it being a personal best, as his previous highest opening weekend as a director came with 2006's The Da Vinci Code, which opened to $77 million domestic. Solo, meanwhile, opened to $83 million stateside. His tweet can be seen below.
Part of the problem could be that Solo is the third major blockbuster to hit theaters in in just four weeks. First, Avengers: Infinity War kicked off the summer movie season at the end of April. Deadpool 2 was passed the baton just a couple weeks later. Even though Solo had Memorial Day weekend to itself in terms of new releases, it's even lagging behind box office disappointments like Justice League.
Solo's underperformance could also have something to do with the timing of its release. Since Disney relaunched the franchise in 2015, the films have all come out in December. Solo is the first one to have its release date moved up to May, meaning less than six months have passed since The Last Jedi hit theaters. Thus, this could all be a simple case of Star Wars fatigue. The next installment, J.J. Abrams' currently untitled Episode IX, isn't due out in theaters until next December. That year-plus rest period could very well be exactly what the franchise needs to get people excited about Star Wars again.
Source: Ron Howard
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019