UPDATE: Solo's actual Thursday box office haul is $14.1 million, which is a new Memorial Day record. The original article follows.
Early estimates for Solo: A Star Wars Story's Thursday night preview box office have the spinoff in the same range as some Marvel blockbusters. After dominating the December holiday season for the past three years, Lucasfilm returned the Star Wars franchise to its original summer home with Ron Howard's spinoff. Despite the infamous production difficulties and the unprecedented director change, Solo arrived in theaters on time, opening to mostly positive reviews that paint it as a fun tentpole with thrilling action.
Because of the mixed buzz surrounding the project and stiff competition from major holdovers (Infinity War and Deadpool 2), Solo was never expected to be as big commercially as some of its predecessors. However, the hope is the film will be able to challenge for the all-time Memorial Day weekend record, and based on its initial start, it's on its way to a nice haul.
According to Deadline, it's thought Solo brought in between $13-15 million from its Thursday screenings. That puts it in the neighborhood of Thor: Ragnarok ($14.5 million) and Iron Man 3 ($15.6 million), both of which scored healthy debuts in their respective opening weekends. On the heels of The Avengers, Iron Man 3 grossed $174.1 million in its first three days, while Ragnarok earned $122.7 million last fall. Odds are, Solo ends up in between those figures for its opening.
It's worth pointing out that these are just projections and could swing when the final numbers come in. While Solo probably won't challenge the Thursday performance of Rogue One ($29 million), it's still one of the strongest Memorial Day titles in years, easily topping movies such as X-Men: Days of Future Past ($8.1 million) and Fast and Furious 6 ($6.5 million). This development is highly encouraging for Lucasfilm, seeing that Solo looks to be their most expensive production to date. Because of the reshoots, the original budget was allegedly doubled and the price tag came in at over $250 million. If Solo is going to turn a profit, it needs to do exceptionally well at the box office.
It'll be interesting to see how Solo holds up over the course of its run. One advantage the previous Disney Star Wars movies had was minimal competition (outside a rare challenger like Jumanji), and Solo could benefit from that as well. While Deadpool 2 should continue to be a moneymaker, there aren't any new releases until Incredibles 2 that will dominate the marketplace. Heist film Ocean's Eight is expected to do solid business when it comes out, but it's targeting a different demographic from Star Wars. Solo isn't going to go down as the most financially successful installment in the franchise, but it should be a hit.
Update Source: The Wrap
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019