‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ Disappoints At Box Office

Image via Lucasfilm

Image via Lucasfilm

Contrary to most event pictures, Star Wars movies are not driven by offshore turnstiles.

Disney estimated Sunday that "Solo" will gross $101 million over the four-day Memorial Day weekend, a figure below even the opening weekends of the much-derided "Star Wars" prequels. By Memorial Day on Monday, it's estimated that it will have taken in $101 million. Forecasts last week ran as high as $150 million for the four-day haul. That makes "Solo" the smallest opening for a "Star Wars" film since 2002.

In contrast, Solo opened only one week after Fox's Deadpool 2 bowed to $125.5 million domestically. We learn that since his encounter with the Jedi on Naboo, Maul survived being cut in half and eventually went on to become the leader of the Crimson Dawn Criminal Syndicate, which is shown in Solo. The movie sold $14.1 million in Thursday preview ticket sales, which is a record for the Thursday before Memorial Day Weekend.

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But there were also questions beyond the effect the calendar had on "Solo". The Collider crew got to see the movie before it was released in theaters and the film left them with some questions about what we saw in the film and where the film ended. When it was announced it was met with a resounding meh from Star Wars fans. But the comparisons to Rogue One are noteworthy, given that was a spinoff as well and it did considerably better. However, the film faced tough competition from Deadpool 2 and Avengers: Infinity War, which took second and third place, respectively.

Not even Hollis tried to sugarcoat Solo's global performance so far, which includes a paltry $10.1 million launch in China. We will have to wait over a year to see if the next "Star Wars" film, "Episode IX", will prove "Solo" to be an aberration or signs of a longer downward trend. Now, Qi'ra is stepping into the animated spotlight with a new episode of Star Wars: Forces of Destiny. Also, things are a lot easier when both movies close to one another are great.

But by the end of day Friday, Disney hinted that the weekend wouldn't go according to plan as it drastically adjusted that projection to between $105 million and $115 million over the four-day weekend.

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Star Wars fans for years have been accustomed to the same blockbuster formula, a group of heroes fighting for freedom against not only tyranny but a dark force that enveloped everything it touched.

It's not often - i.e. ever - that you see the words "Star Wars" and "box office bomb" in the same sentence, but...

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