'Solo' looks to edge past $100M for holiday weekend

Emmett Rice
May 29, 2018

That might sound harsh-especially as I personally really liked Solo-but there is no way to spin the movie falling well short of expectations with an opening three-day weekend that looks to be about $83.3 million and a four-day weekend that is closer to $101 million (as per official studio estimates). Previously, Howard's highest grossing film had been The Da Vinci Code, which opened to sales of $77 million domestically.

Not even Hollis tried to sugarcoat Solo's global performance so far, which includes a paltry $10.1 million launch in China. As a matter of fact, no film has ever grossed more than $140 million over this particular weekend.

"Solo" came in with a Millennium Falcon's worth of baggage following the mid-production firing of directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who were replaced by Ron Howard.

Despite a global opening of below $150 million and a production budget of over $250 million, distribution reps at Disney said they weren't anxious about long-term box office problems. It's also the only film to stand pat in the top ten this week as everything slipped down one spot (with Rampage vacating the list altogether) to make room for top-finisher Solo: A Star Wars Story. Fox's Deadpool 2 finished in second with a strong $42.7 million in its second weekend, and Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War finished third with $16.5 million in the F-S-S period, padding its five-week haul of $621.7 million. From Solo's ending, it's also apparent that Lucasfilm had planned more installments in the story of the scruffy-looking scoundrel.

In Australia the weekend BO dipped by 10 per cent to $17 million, according to Numero, as the sci-fi adventure which co-stars Donald Glover, Emilia Clarke, Thandie Newton and Woody Harrelson drummed up $6.6 million on 780 screens. "Star Wars: Episode IX" hits theaters on December 20, 2019.

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With so many Star Wars films and stand-alone projects in the works, it's possible fan interest is dying out. That's plenty of breathing space.

As it turns out, an intended franchise with the title Solo may have to be just that-a solo, one-and-done affair. "These days it seems like we're approaching a time where anything can be called "Star Wars' if it has the right branding". To help propel "Solo" internationally, Disney brought the film to Cannes Film Festival, flooding the French film festival's red carpet with Storm Troopers. But you might not realize the legacy that L3-37 has left on classic Star Wars...retconned of course.

Hollis even admitted that impressive worldwide box office returns aren't enough t save it. There was story and plotting flaws carried over from Force Awakens and even Return of the Jedi.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at US and Canadian theaters, according to comScore.

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