“Solo: A Star Wars Story” has been confirmed for a mainland China theatrical outing on May 25, giving the spinoff film a day-and-date outing alongside North America and most of the rest of the world.
The film has its worldwide premiere later this month, on May 15, at the Cannes Film Festival, before beginning its worldwide commercial career in a few markets from May 24. The film is directed by Ron Howard and produced by Disney’s Lucasfilm from a screenplay by Jonathan and Lawrence Kasdan.
The original “Star Wars” franchise was not screened in China until several years after its initial release in other territories. Contemporaneous screening of the newest episodes began in the new, modern era of Chinese cinema in 2016 with the release of “The Force Awakens.” That film earned a very respectable $124 million from its Jan. 9, 2016, release.
But without the traction and fan base that the series has elsewhere, the franchise has struggled in China to maintain those numbers. “Rogue One,” released on Jan. 6, 2017, grossed $69.5 million, and “The Last Jedi,” released on Jan. 5, 2018, slipped to $42.7 million.
“Solo” stars Alden Ehrenreich as Solo. It also has a cast that includes Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Paul Bettany, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and Joonas Suotamo.
The official Chinese poster released by Disney sports the title (in Chinese) “Knight-Errant Solo.” The artwork features the movie’s stars under the slogan: “Unbridled hero. Extraordinary partners.” In a move that slightly distances the new film from the main franchise movies, the new poster even uses a different Chinese font. It includes an English-language logo in the corner that simply reads “Solo: Star Wars.”