×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Solo’ Heads to Opening Below Forecasts Over Memorial Day Weekend

Disney-Lucasfilm’s “Solo: A Star Wars Story” is flying well below forecasts, heading for a Memorial Day weekend launch of around $110 million domestically, early estimates showed Friday.

The four-day figure is significantly under the studio’s recent estimates in the $130 million to $150 million range at 4,380 North American locations. First-day grosses are coming in at about $32 million — including $14.1 million from previews, which set a Memorial Day weekend record.

Should the holiday estimate hold for “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” it will raise questions about franchise fatigue and Disney’s strategy of opening the tentpole a mere five months after “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” debuted on Dec. 16. “The Last Jedi” debuted impressively with $220 million in North America, and went on to earn $620 million domestically and $1.3 billion worldwide.

“Solo” is the 10th Star Wars movie and fourth from Disney in less than four years. Critics have been mostly positive with a current 70% “fresh” score on Rotten Tomatoes for “Solo: A Star Wars Story.”

At $110 million, “Solo” would be only the sixth-biggest film to open on Memorial Day weekend. Disney’s 2007 release “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” currently holds that title with $139.8 million, followed by “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Crystal Skull,” “X-Men: The Last Stand,” “Fast and Furious 6,” and “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”

The performance by “Solo,” Disney’s second spinoff from the “Star Wars” franchise, may have also been muted by the strong ongoing attraction from Ryan Reynolds’ “Deadpool 2.” Fox’s superhero spoof is heading for a second weekend in the $55 million range for the four days — which will give the sequel around $220 million for its first 11 days.

Audience reaction to “Solo” from comScore’s PostTrak survey was strong with an 87% total positive score — consisting of a 52% rating of “excellent” and 35% with “very good.” A total of 73% of those surveyed said they would “definitely recommend” the movie.

“Solo” follows Alden Ehrenreich as a young Han Solo, who befriends his future co-pilot and Wookiee companion Chewbacca, and meets the gambler Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover) in the standalone movie. Emilia Clarke, Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton, Paul Bettany, Joonas Suotamo, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge round out the cast. Ron Howard directed from a screenplay by Jonathan and Lawrence Kasdan. Howard replaced the directing team of Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who left the project in June, citing “creative differences.”

“Solo” is the second of the “Star Wars” anthology films, which are being spun off as origin stories, following “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” which launched domestically with $155 million in December 2016, on its way to $532 million in North America and $1 billion globally. Disney and Lucasfilm are also developing spinoffs for Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Disney is in pre-production on “Star Wars: Episode IX” with J.J. Abrams directing as a sequel to “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” It’s set for a Dec. 19, 2019, release date.

Disney’s fifth weekend of “Avengers: Infinity War” should remain a draw in third place over the Memorial Day weekend with around $20 million. The Marvel superhero vehicle became the eighth film to top $600 million domestically on May 22.

Paramount’s second weekend of the comedy “Book Club” is pegged for fourth place with around $10 million to $12 million, followed by Melissa McCarthy’s “Life of the Party” at about $6 million.

A trio of films are opening in limited release — IFC’s “Feral,” IFC’s “Mary Shelley” starring Elle Fanning, and A24’s “How to Talk to Girls at Parties.”

“Solo” will represent an improvement on the 2017 Memorial Day weekend, which was led by Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” launching domestically with $78.5 million, while overall business totaled $181 million.

RELATED CONTENT: 

More Film

  • '2019 Oscar Nominated Short Films: Live

    Film Review: ‘2019 Oscar Nominated Short Films: Live Action’

    The Academy skewed dark in its choice of live-action shorts this year, selecting four films to slit your wrists by — each one featuring child endangerment in a different form — and a fifth, about a diabetic on her death bed, that finds a glimmer of uplift at the other end of life. If that [...]

  • How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes

    How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes Sports and Showbiz in an Entertaining Mix

    Walking through the El Segundo studio where veteran sportscaster Rich Eisen tapes his daily “Rich Eisen Show,” the sheer density of sports memorabilia is overwhelming — everything from game balls to jerseys, gear, autographs and uncountable photos are crammed onto every inch of wall and desk space. But step into Eisen’s dressing room, and the [...]

  • Yorgos Lanthimos

    Film News Roundup: 'The Favourite' Director Yorgos Lanthimos Boards Crime Drama

    In today’s film news roundup, Yorgos Lanthimos has set up a crime drama, “Here Lies Daniel Tate” is being adapted, and Donna Langley becomes a member of the USC film school board. DIRECTOR HIRED “The Favourite” producer-director Yorgos Lanthimos has signed on to write and direct crime drama “Pop. 1280,” an adaptation of Jim Thompson’s [...]

  • Brody Stevens Dead

    Comedian Brody Stevens Dies at 48

    Prominent Los Angeles comedian Brody Stevens died Friday in Los Angeles, Variety has confirmed. He was 48. “Brody was an inspiring voice who was a friend to many in the comedy community,” Stevens’ reps said in a statement. “He pushed creative boundaries and his passion for his work and his love of baseball were contagious. [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business

    Hollywood Agents Blast Writers Guild Over New Proposals

    The war between the Writers Guild of America and Hollywood agents has escalated as the two sides battle over the rules on how writers are represented. The latest volley emerged Friday from Karen Stuart, executive director of the Association of Talent Agents, who accused WGA leaders of misleading its members and asserted that the guild [...]

  • Xavier Legrand Custody

    Cesar Awards: Xavier Legrand’s ‘Custody’ Wins Best Film

    Xavier Legrand’s feature debut “Custody,” a tense portrait of a family torn by domestic violence, won best film, actress (for Lea Drucker), and original screenplay at the 44th Cesar Awards, which took place at the Salle Pleyel in Paris. The awards are France’s highest film honors. “Custody,” which marks Legrand’s follow up to his Oscar-nominated [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    'Crazy Rich Asians,' 'Late Show With Stephen Colbert' Win Publicity Campaign Awards

    Hollywood publicists have selected “Crazy Rich Asians” as the top movie publicity campaign for 2018 and “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” as the best television campaign. Warner Bros.’ “Crazy Rich Asians” topped the campaigns for Disney’s “Black Panther,” Fox’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Paramount’s “A Quiet Place,” Sony’s “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” and Universal’s “Halloween” for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content