Solo: A Star Wars Story's second-weekend gross at the box office is the lowest for the Star Wars franchise since 1983's Return of the Jedi. Since its debut in 1977, the galaxy far, far away has been one of the industry's most lucrative properties, with even the maligned prequel trilogy posting strong numbers commercially. It would be reasonable to assume a Star Wars movie is a financial lock, but that couldn't be further from the case for Solo. Over its opening Memorial Day weekend, the spinoff came in well below expectations with $103 million over four days. That was a harbinger of things to come.
Some incredibly optimistic projections suggested Solo could earn $60+ million this weekend, but reality paints a very different picture. After dropping a whopping 77 percent Friday-to-Friday, Solo proved to have no legs at all and scored one of the worst second weekends the franchise has ever seen.
According to Box Office Mojo, Solo earned just $29.2 million to raise its domestic total to $148.8 million. The figure is the lowest Star Wars second weekend since the days of the original trilogy, when Return of the Jedi earned $17.2 million (unadjusted for inflation, of course) in June 1983. Solo is now in free fall and there's a good chance it doesn't make its money back during its theatrical run.
Considering Solo was predicted to break the Memorial Day record at one point, this development is rather eye-opening. Since the reviews were mostly positive and audience word-of-mouth is good, Lucasfilm largely has themselves to blame for how things turned out. They misjudged initial interest in Solo by piecing together a confused marketing campaign that tried to skate by on the brand name, rather than make an extra effort to sell the movie. Additionally, Solo's numbers look even worse because the production budget ballooned to at least $250 million due to Ron Howard's extensive reshoots. If the film was made for its original price tag of $125 million, it would have recouped its costs with the current $264.1 million worldwide gross and be on its way to turning a minor profit right now.
Lucasfilm is in a position where they can take a loss (the first three Star Wars movies of this renaissance collectively earned $4 billion globally), but this is a far cry from what they wanted to see with Solo. While there were no concrete plans for sequels to the spinoff, it was definitely a thought in the studio's mind, as star Alden Ehrenreich signed a multi-picture contract. Unfortunately, it seems unlikely the actor will get an opportunity to play Han again, since interest in Solo is quite low.
Source: Box Office Mojo
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019