Solo: A Star Wars Story has received an A- CinemaScore. After enduring one of the most bizarre and unprecedented Hollywood productions in recent memory, Lucasfilm's second Star Wars spinoff finally arrived in theaters on Friday, May 25, just as they had planned years ago. The general consensus from reviews is that Solo is a good, not great, ride through the galaxy far, far away, fueled by strong performances and thrilling action scenes. For a while, there were concerns about the film's overall quality, but it seemed to have come together just fine.
Early box office projections for Solo indicated the movie would easily surpass the Memorial Day opening weekend record with a 4-day haul of around $170 million. Unfortunately, those estimates have considerably declined recently, with the forecast predicting something in the range of $105-115 million. Audiences aren't jumping at the chance to see Solo right away, and it appears those who have are mixed about what they saw.
CinemaScore tweeted today that Solo earned an A- score from audiences. At first blush, that seems like a strong mark (any student in school would be thrilled by getting an A- on an assignment). Unfortunately, things work a bit differently with CinemaScores. That A- for Solo is the lowest of the four Disney era Star Wars films, and matches the three installments of the maligned prequel trilogy, which continue to divide audiences to this day.
While that doesn't seem great, there are key factors to keep in mind. Participants in a CinemaScore poll only account for a fraction of the total number of people who saw it. The organization sends a handful of representatives to major cities in North America on opening day. So, this is a relatively small sample size in the grand scheme of things. This isn't to say the data isn't helpful for studios, but it doesn't provide the larger picture. Additionally, there are some recent tentpoles that have fared worse than Solo (Justice League received a B+ last fall), so moviegoers seem to be generally enjoying themselves with Ron Howard's spinoff. The director has spent the last few days retweeting responses from fans that indicate Solo is going over well with audiences.
Still, it'll be interesting to see how this development impacts the future of the Solo sub-franchise. Star Alden Ehrenreich had signed a three-picture deal with Lucasfilm, indicating the door was open for possible sequels. Between a lukewarm CinemaScore and box office earnings well below expectations, perhaps the studio will shift their focus to other spinoffs like ones revolving around Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi and leave Han's story in the movies as it is. We've now had five films with the smuggler in a prominent role, so it might be time to give someone else the spotlight.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019