As Solo: A Star Wars Story prepares to open in theaters, it's looking at a substantial global box office haul in its first weekend. The fourth new Star Wars film in this Disney era, Ron Howard's spinoff is the first to brave the competitive landscape of the summer movie season. In the last three years, the galaxy far, far away has dominated the holidays with December premieres, which proved to be a very successful strategy. The Force Awakens, Rogue One, and The Last Jedi collectively grossed $4 billion worldwide, positioning themselves as events and taking advantage of minimal competition.
Arriving just one week after Deadpool 2, Solo won't have that luxury, but it looks to be in fine shape commercially. Even if its domestic opening weekend is the lowest of the modern Star Wars films, expectations are it will break the Memorial Day opening weekend record. Of course, the franchise is just as popular worldwide as in the United States, and audiences all around the globe are going to come out to see the adventures of young Han and Chewbacca.
According to Deadline, industry projections for Solo's worldwide debut are said to be in the range of $285 - 340 million. The Stateside estimates have not changed much from the earlier figures, with the 4-day Memorial Day haul said to be between $135 - 170 million. For their part, Disney is capping their domestic projections at $150 million, which would still be enough to set an all-time mark.
Solo, which underwent substantial reshoots following its unprecedented director change, was not exactly a cheap movie to make. Reports indicate it cost Lucasfilm in excess of $250 million, which would be higher than the $245 million price tag of The Force Awakens. Because of the production woes, Solo finds itself in a position where it needs to do massive business in order to turn a profit. Fortunately, it's poised to recoup its production budget in a single weekend, setting the stage for a lucrative run. Since the Solo reactions aren't as enthusiastic as previous Star Wars movies, it'll be interesting to see how strong its legs are, but there's no reason to think right now there'll be a drop-off.
While Deadpool 2 is still early in its run, Solo doesn't have much to worry about for the next few weeks. Avengers: Infinity War has already done the majority of its damage at the box office, and there isn't another four-quadrant blockbuster until Incredibles 2 comes out in the middle of June. As long as Solo connects with viewers and goes down as the fun heist movie many say it is, it should be considered a success - despite everything it went through.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019