Disney Exec Reflects On “Solo” Opening

“Solo: A Star Wars Story,” a film that should’ve been a safe bet, is closing out the Memorial Day holiday weekend making headlines for the wrong reasons. The film is finishing up the four-day holiday weekend with an estimate of around $101 million domestically. Internationally it made $65 million as of the end of Sunday.

That’s a far cry from the $155 million domestic and $134 million international three-day opening weekend haul of the previous ‘A Star Wars Story’ entry “Rogue One” and has led to understandable questions as to what happened. Speaking with THR, Disney distribution chief Dave Hollis expressed his concerns:

“We have a lot of work to do in trying to understand this. We are all over it and will spend a lot of time digging into why things happened the way they did in various markets. We have a year and a half before Episode IX comes out… There’s a question of frequency, and how many times people will go to the movies. Is this too much and too soon for a third time in a five-week period?… Let’s measure how we feel about this until more time passes.”

Hollis adds he’s hopeful the film will enjoy a strong run over the next two weekends before juggernauts like Disney’s own “Incredibles 2” and Universal’s “Jurassic World: The Fallen Kingdom” hit in mid-late June.

Even so, it looks like Lucasfilm may have re-evaluate its release plans moving forward, with insiders telling the trade that the company is highly unlikely to release two “Star Wars” movies so close together again – no matter what kind of film they are. The end-of-year slot has served Disney well in recent years and they’re likely to stick to it from now on where there’s less competition for eyeballs.

For now the company has nineteen months until the release of the J.J. Abrams-directed “Star Wars: Episode IX” which gives them time to re-group and rethink their approach.