In Star Wars Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back, Han Solo, played by Harrison Ford famously said, “Never tell me the odds!” On the other hand, unless Solo: A Star Wars Story performance improves, odds are good that the origin story behind the man is set to come in severely behind expectations, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Everything seemed to be falling into place for Solo to be the newest summer blockbuster. For one thing, the movie landed the best preview gross for a release on Memorial Day. Another is that the first 24-hour advance ticket sales for the movie looked impressive, breaking 2018 records for “best first day of presales for Fandango,” reports Deadline. The first day of presales for Solo fell in second place only to Avengers: Infinity War, and the presale numbers even surpassed Black Panther.
Lucasfilm was projected to rake in $170 million in theaters during the four-day Memorial Day extended weekend. Unfortunately, that projection will come in short if moviegoer attendance doesn’t increase by Saturday. If the trend continues, Solo: A Star Wars Story is poised to only rake in $105 million to $110 million during the four-day holiday weekend. Likewise, the tally over the three-day weekend will probably be in the range of $80 to $90 million.
In comparison, Solo isn’t performing as well as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. In mid-December 2016, Rogue One made $29 million during previews on Thursday and then went on to make $71 million by Friday. During the three-day weekend of its premiere, it grossed $155 million. To put the performance of Solo: A Star Wars Story into perspective relating to its fellow standalone movie, Rogue, it grossed $14.1 million in ticket sales Thursday and it is poised to take in $35 million Friday. The three-day weekend haul for Solo is expected to be $105 million to $110 million vs. $155 million for Rogue.
Solo: A Star Wars Story is also experiencing a slow start overseas as it launches in theaters around the world at the same time that it debuts in the U.S. Disappointing sales figures coming in from the first 43 international theaters showed the spinoff grossing $11.4 million on Wednesday and Thursday. International ticket sales coming from China were not yet announced by Disney, but the Friday debut of Solo was at $3 million, and total weekend sales were expected to be in the $10 million range, according to box office sources.
CNN writes that one of Solo’s reasons for underperformance might be attributed to Star Wars fatigue. The movie, which is one of the four titles in the rejuvenated Star Wars universe to venture into summer theaters, “opens just five months after Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi” did.
Shawn Robbins, who is a chief analyst at BoxOffice.com scoffed but admitted that fatigue could possibly play a role. He also added that the odds are still good that the movie will do well.
“[Fatigue] is certainly possible after four movies in two and a half years, although fatigue is a relative term in the case of Star Wars. This is a spinoff with established characters that still has a shot at a $100 million or more opening. Every movie franchise would love to have that level of fatigue.”
Some fan’s early reaction on social media is that Solo: A Star Wars Story is definitely worth seeing.
Solo: A Star Wars Story tells of Han Solo venturing into the criminal underworld for the first time, and his first encounter with Lando Calrissian. Fans of the big Wookie, Chewbacca, can enjoy seeing their first meeting that happened before Solo joined the rebellion. Han Solo is played by Alden Ehrenreich, and the film has a star-studded cast that includes Emilia Clarke, Woody Harrelson, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Paul Bettany, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge.