Solo Disappoints at Box Office, Possible Franchise Fatigue to Blame
Lucasfilm’s latest movie Solo: A Star Wars Story wrapped up its Memorial Day debut at the box office at around $103 million over four days.
Overseas projections are looking worse, with Solo only rounding up $65 million despite hitting every major movie market, minus Japan. Initial projections for the weekend believed the movie would garner upwards of $300 million globally, but currently Solo has reached roughly $168 million, causing concern for Disney and Lucasfilm.
For comparison, the last Star Wars spinoff film, Rogue One (2016), opened to $155 million in North America within its first three days in December. With a notable drop off compared to recent Star Wars movies, many are beginning to point towards franchise fatigue as a possible explanation for the unexpected numbers.
So what’s really going on? Well, it’s hard to pinpoint but there are many factors to take into consideration. For one, it doesn’t help that Solo is fresh off the heels of both Avengers: Infinity War and Deadpool 2, two recent box office smash hits. Coming third to those two movies does expose Solo: A Star Wars Story to potential moviegoer fatigue. However, it is interesting to note that Deadpool 2 beat Solo in many overseas markets in its second weekend. Of course, Star Wars has always been more of a juggernaut franchise in North America than it has been overseas, but it still came in behind a movie in its second weekend. It is quite possible that Marvel’s two recent hit movies are hindering Solo in foreign markets.
Another potential explanation is Star Wars fatigue. Releasing just five months after The Last Jedi makes this the first time two Star Wars films have released within a 12 month timeframe. Solo is also the first Star Wars movie since the prequel trilogy to receive less-than-glowing reviews, which may account for some of the already deterred Star Wars fans not being interested, in the wake of a divided fanbase following The Last Jedi. With plans for an Obi-Wan film in the works, as well as the recently talked about Lando and Boba Felt movies, Lucasfilm and Disney might have to consider restructuring the release schedule of upcoming Star Wars spinoffs.
Of course, one factor that can’t go ignored is that Solo is the first Star Wars movie since The Force Awakens to be release outside the December window. 2017 saw a the slowest summer box office in over 20 years, beginning with labor day box office disappointment Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. It is quite possible that Solo is just falling victim to the resent downward trajectory that summer movies have been facing in recent years.