Jon Kasdan, co-writer for Solo: A Star Wars Story, wonders if the film would have done better had it been released in December. Kasdan, alongside his father Lawrence Kasdan, wrote the script for what was expected to be the first in a trilogy. The film served as an origin story for the character, revealing how he met Chewbacca as well as how his ownership of the Millennium Falcon came to be. Unfortunately for Lucasfilm, Solo turned out not to be the hit they expected, despite starring such a beloved character.
Solo struggled from the start. After losing the original directors, Phil Lord and Chris Miller to creative differences, the film was handed off to Ron Howard. Under Howard, almost the entire film was reshot, resulting in Solo's budget reaching over $250 million, making it the most expensive film in the franchise. Thanks to its hefty price tag, Solo had its work cut out for it to become another box office success. Instead, the film made only $392.9 worldwide, becoming a box office flop and the first Star Wars film to lose money. Because of its poor performance, Solo is considered a failure. But Kasdan thinks that could have been avoided with one change.
On his Twitter account, Kasdan raises a question that will likely haunt Lucasfilm and Disney: Would Solo have performed better had it been released in December instead of May?
It's a question that has been raised before. The last three Star Wars films, The Force Awakens, Rogue One, and The Last Jedi all came out around the holidays. Together, the three films made over $4 billion, so it would sound logical to continue the holiday trend with Solo. However, Disney decided to keep the May release date, despite Lucasfilm requesting the film be pushed back to December 2018. So the film was forced to forgo any fine-tuning Howard wished to perform and likely suffered for it.
It's hard to know if a December release date would have been the deciding factor in the success or failure of Solo. But the May opening undoubtedly played a significant part in the film's reception. Not only would Solo have benefited for more production time, but by being released in the summer, it was left in the shadow of Avengers: Infinity War and Deadpool 2. That and the May release date may have been too close to The Last Jedi, resulting in franchise fatigue for even the most loyal of fans. The response to Kasdan's tweet has largely been of agreement, with fans saying they'd be more likely to go see the film had it come out today. Sadly no one will know if Solo's fate could have been avoided. Hopefully Disney will learn from this mistake and turn things back around for the franchise.
Source: Jon Kasdan
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