Ron Howard’s Solo: A Star Wars Story has failed to meet its box office projections. (Our take: it’s an entertaining, uncomplicated little flick!) In fact, it’s the lowest opening for a Star Wars film in the Disney era. Reports on its poor performance started trickling in over the weekend (cue all the “So Low” jokes), and while a strong Sunday has closed the gap between reality and its projected $130M take, it’s still sitting somewhere around $103M. Hence the “So Low” jokes.
So, how low was it?
Well, here comes a parallel Disney can’t like: the film’s lackluster performance is garnering comparisons (financially, at least) to DC’s disastrous Justice League release. Deadline reports that “Solo is coming in well below Justice League’s $93.8M 3-day, and could match that pic’s 4-day of $101.3M, even though the DC film wasn’t technically a four-day opening bolstered by a holiday Monday.” Woof. Well, at least Solo doesn’t have to contend with Henry Cavill’s inconvenient mustache.
There’s no shortage of theories about the reasons for its underperformance, and it’s probably a combination of several. The most likely is that Solo’s arrival after both Avengers: Infinity War and Deadpool 2 has led to a bit of blockbuster fatigue. Again, per Deadline:
“You often hear about lines around the block for a Star Wars movie and the over-filling of multiplexes, but anecdotally we’re hearing about low turnouts at certain showtimes. One small Delaware exhibitor wrote Deadline over the weekend, “We never got close to selling out our big houses or our little houses on Solo. The poor spacing of the tentpoles just adds to it under performing. The moviegoer is on a budget: They just spent money to go to Avengers than two weeks later Deadpool 2 now a week later a lot of moviegoers are out of money by the time Solo comes out.”
The film’s well-publicized behind-the-scenes issues may also have contributed, and The Last Jedi’s relatively recent release might keep people at home — after all, didn’t we just see a Star War? One theory being tossed around, however, rings particularly false. As RogerEbert.com’s Matt Zoller Seitz put it:
Regardless, it was still a great weekend for people who make money when movies make money: “Despite Solo being the lowest start for a Disney Star Wars movie, the pic along with a solid performance by Deadpool 2 in weekend 2 of $55M over four, and Avengers: Infinity War with $21.2M helped push overall Memorial Day weekend tickets sales to $225M, the best results the marketplace has seen for the holiday since 2014 with a 24% boost over last year.”