The box office estimates for the Solo Memorial Day opening weekend are in. And they are not pretty. According to Boxoffice Mojo Solo had a 3-day opening weekend of $84.7 million and a 4-day opening weekend of $103 million. Which means Solo is the first live action Star Wars movie ever in danger of becoming a serious flop. What does that mean? What are the reasons? Click through for a discussion!
So far, Disney and Lucasfilm had a good ride. Three very successful movies are under their belt.
The Lucas era movies are also veritable box office successes, with only Attack of the Clones not clinching the number 1 title for the whole year at the box office, it was beat by Spider-Man and LOTR: The Two Towers, but it still was the number 3 movie and made a profit.
So far, Star Wars seemed to be unbeatable, a beloved pop culture juggernaut at the box office.
That all might change, probably will change with Solo. To put it into perspective a quick list of the 3-day opening weekend numbers for the Disney Star Wars movies:
Global box office is not very good either. The three previous Star Wars movies all made something between 49%-54% of their money outside of North America, which is already a very low number for a modern blockbuster franchise, some of the successful movies make 60% or even 70% outside of North America. As of now, Solo’s foreign box office percentage is slighly less than 39% with only Japan still opening, all the major markets already show the movie. It flopped pretty much everywhere. In China, even in Germany, a major Star Wars market, Solo only sold about 50% of the tickets Rogue One managed to sell on its opening weekend. This is a global phenomenon.
These are just the basic numbers. The plain facts.
So what went wrong?
I have some theories.
Now, these are all just my thoughts, trying to make sense of Solo’s low box office. Because word of mouth is mostly ok, positive, most people who actually saw the movie seem to enjoy it a lot. It is, according to many, the most fun Disney Star Wars movie yet. But as things are now, it might not break even. The inflated production costs make sure of that. Solo has to make at least $700 million worldwide to break even. This seems very unlikely.
What will happen?
Disney chief of distribution David Hollis says this: “We have a lot of work to do in trying to understand this. We are all over it and will spend a lot of time digging into why things happened the way they did in various markets. We have a year and a half before Episode IX comes out.”
It sounds as if Disney has no real clue yet why Solo failed at the box office. Whereas most fans will probably come up with one or two good reasons right away.
So, what do you think? What do you think is the reason for Solo’s bad performance at the box office?
And do you think Lucasfilm might change their strategy now? Rethink their overall plans for the franchise? Or do you think things will go on like before and only if something similar happened to Episode IX there would be massive changes at Lucasfilm? Will we still get a Boba Fett movie? An Obi-Wan movie? So many things hinge on the success of the movies. Hasbro, the Disney streaming channel and even the new Star Wars theme parks.
My opinion: Lucasfilm should stop dismissing fan criticism, should stop painting the fans who criticize The Last Jedi and Disney Star Wars in general in a wrong light, neither are the fans (the very vast majority) afraid of women (JJ Abrams), nor did dames ruin a caveman like debilitating obsession (Pablo Hidalgo), nor do average out of shape white guys shake in horror because Han gave the Falcon to a girl (Freddie Prinze Jr.). Insulting fans never helps. Fans might not like that. Fans might choose not do buy a ticket to your movie.
It’s somewhat of a shame that Solo suffers from various negative effects, it might send the wrong message to Disney. If Solo fails then not because it’s a bad movie, it might fail for reasons entirely outside of its control, which have nothing directly to do with the quality of the movie itself.
In the end, I believe the very fact that even most fans said that Solo is not really needed, combined with the backlash created by The Last Jedi is mostly responsible for the low box office. I believe Lucasfilm should listen more to its fans, the alarm bells should have rung when the announcement of Solo was not met with enthusiasm, what convinced Lucasfilm in the first place that we need a Solo origin movie? And most of all, Lucasfilm should not have insulted its fans after the controversy surrounding The Last Jedi.
Do you agree? Or do you think this is wrong and the reasons lie elsewhere? Leave your comment! And always remember, keep it civil!
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