Solo Disappoints at Box Office, Possible Franchise Fatigue to Blame

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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.

For more on Solo: A Star Wars Story be sure to check out our full written review!

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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  • Or it’s coming off the heels and still competing with Avengers and Jurassic Park and Incredibles comes out in a few weeks.

    Should have come out in the fall or winter

  • Which is what I’ve been saying. It’s arrogant to build two entire lands in two parks themed to one specific IP that the public will eventually get sick of. Star Wars will not be popular forever. Bad move on Disney’s part in my opinion.

  • It’s a shame because Solo is such a good movie. I was hoping for a sequel. People should go see it, it’s worth their time and money.

    • could not agree more! honestly its possibly the best of the new movies I know thats a hot take but its a fun movie.

  • There’s nothing about the Han Solo character that’s interesting. He’s played out. It’s boring. Star Wars also suffers from being inconsistent in quality while being predictable in plot. The Last Jedi was an exercise in pissing off their base with purple haired lady spouting off diatribes against her subordinate. And Rose is all about love from an unattractive character. Why are they even in the story? Admiral Leia floating in space in a dream state is the most awkward scene ever. What the Heck?

    Pansexual Lando. That’s a new word I’d rather not deal with it.

    • How can you say Han Solo is played out? That really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. He hasn’t been in a movie in a few years and it was 30 years before that. Great argument.

      • He’s dead. That takes the wind out of the character. We already know his backstory between the two trilogies. No One cares. Boring.

  • One thing I feel that many are failing to consider is how much bad press and bad reviews, as well as bad rumors, there were floating around on the internet months and months ahead of its release. I firmly think that this has caused many of the casual fans to shy away thinking that it wasn’t going to be any good. And of course, any critic worthy of their high, judgmental horse would never admit to being wrong about the movie, especially if they had not seen it before they “reviewed” it or helped spread the rumors without seeing the finished product first. I think that it was bad timing to release it in such close proximity to the Marvel juggernauts. Combine that with all the bad reviews and rumors, is why I think it may not be as successful as it could be or maybe deserves to be.

  • Maybe this is just a subject that people weren’t that interested in. Was the fan base really clamoring Han Solo origin story? Do we NEED to know where he came from? I think it’s okay that our first exposure to him is that cantina in Mos Eisley. The mystery about his past is what makes him interesting as a character.

    This would’ve been much more interesting if it were just Lando’s origin story. He is character we know but he is fringe enough to make an interesting story. Telling Lando’s backstory doesn’t ruin or change anything else in the original trilogy.

    I guess I’m just sensitive to the way the prequels ruined what was interesting about Boba Fett (turns out he’s just Jango’s clone kid) or the reveal of Yoda in Empire Strikes Back.

  • Without relitigating The Last Jedi debacle, enough Star Wars fans were so turned off by that movie that they are no longer enthusiastic about the franchise (me included.)

    To add to that, there might be some sort of deflating effect now that you now know the fate of Solo, plus Disney has already pushed the “out with the old characters, in with the new ones” mantra.

  • At this point in expanding the Star Wars universe, it just seems like there are more interesting stories to be told. See what happens after the emperor takes control and the rise of rebels could be interesting; seeing Darth Vader train as a Sith apprentice, fighting rebels, and growing in the ranks of the military; seeing the rebels struggle to regain control and reform the senate while most of the galaxy is still under the control of the empire because there is no reason for the empire to simply collapse just because the Emperor and Vader died (some high ranking general somewhere would fall next in line as commander); and what about the rise of the First Order? Is the First Order just a new name for the Empire, a sort of rebranding by the generals who took over after the emperor was killed? Or were the First Order separate from that and had to fight for control over the fallen empire?
    Just a lot of other stories out there and other ways to expand on the Star Wars universe

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