A week ago Disney and Lucasfilm’s “Solo: A Star Wars Story” was said to be tracking for a domestic opening at around $130-150 million over the four-day holiday and a worldwide total haul of about $300 million. Those estimates are proving far rosier than expected.
The domestic total continues to be revised down with the three-day haul at $83.3 million and the four day haul estimated to be at $101 million. That means the film’s three day opening was just over half that of the previous ‘A Star Wars Story’ entry “Rogue One”. In fact it’s a lower opening than “Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith” with $108.4 million back in 2005.
The news overseas is far more dire. The film outright flopped on arrival in China, opening in third place to just $10.1 million (that’s one-third of the haul of both “Rogue One” and other sci-fi films like “Star Trek Beyond”). Its overseas haul was just $65 million for the weekend, giving it a three day global total of $148 million – just under half that of the $300 million that “Deadpool 2” brought in worldwide in its opening weekend last week.
Various attempts to justify the lack of interest have been thrown about. A common one is that the divisive reaction to “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” caused it, but reaction doesn’t bear that out as “Solo” was the first of the Disney-era ‘Wars’ films to earn an A- Cinema Score from audiences – whereas the previous three all earned full A’s.
With critics ‘The Last Jedi’ holds a stellar 85/100 Metacritic score compared to 63/100 for “Solo”, while on Rotten Tomatoes the five month old ‘Jedi’ stands at 91% (8.1/10) to ‘Solo’ with 71% (6.4/10). On both critical aggregate sites, the user vote has “Solo” in front but not by a lot – earning a score of a 5.8/10 to Last Jedi’s 4.6/10. “Solo” is less divisive, but there’s seemingly far less passionate reaction to it.
Were it being embraced, the word of mouth would already have an impact and estimates would be revised up – not down like they have been since it opened. Due to the reshoots, the film’s production budget is said to be in the $300 million range meaning the film has to pull in close to the $1 billion mark to be in profit.