Interest in Solo: A Star Wars Story appears to be way down with the latest opening weekend projections. Part of Lucasfilm's plans to keep Star Wars around for the long haul was expanding beyond the Skywalker Saga films. They did so with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and have no plans of slowing down. This comes even after Rogue One and Solo had well-documented difficult productions. Despite the turnover that each experienced, it didn't hurt Rogue One and appeared to barely be influencing Solo.
Solo is officially out in theaters and all indications pointed to a record-setting Memorial Day weekend domestically and a major debut worldwide. It pulled in $14.1 million in Thursday night previews, but it appears there is a disturbance in the Force when it comes to the rest of the weekend.
Deadline is now reporting that Solo is falling well behind the early projections despite the solid Thursday night. Estimates now have Solo earning $33M for the day on Friday, which as a result only put Solo in the $80-$90M range for its three day haul. It gets a little better with projections pointing to a $105-$115M four day total. These numbers could fluctuate as the day goes on, but this would be a much softer opening than expected.
No one expected Solo to be in the same range as The Force Awakens or The Last Jedi's $200M+ openings, but it was long expected to be close to Rogue One. That movie opened to $155M in three days during the winter and while the summer slot for Solo puts it in competition with Deadpool 2 and Avengers: Infinity War, the standalone movie does feature Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich), Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover), and Chewbacca. If these projections are accurate, Solo won't just have the lowest opening for Star Wars under Disney, but possibly even less than Revenge of the Sith.
The strengthened competition could be one reason Solo may come in under early projections, but there's also a few other factors. The May release put Solo on Memorial Day weekend. While holiday weekends are typically viewed as a strength, Memorial Day is historically a lesser one. The movie is receiving generally good reviews but they're below the other films in the Disney era, so some may not feel the need or buzz around Solo to warrant another trip to the theater. It also comes just six months after the previous Star Wars movie. That's not to say there is fatigue for this franchise, but The Last Jedi divided plenty of fans, so many may not have had interest to begin with (or are boycotting it). Whatever the case may be, the final numbers on Tuesday will paint a much clearer picture for Solo: A Star Wars Story's box office performance.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019