Published: Tue, May 29, 2018
Life&Culture | By Ben Goodman

'Solo' flies well below predictions with woeful $103 million holiday opening

'Solo' flies well below predictions with woeful $103 million holiday opening

Those projections were adjusted down on Friday to $105 million to $115 million.

In Solo: A Star Wars Story, L3-37 is a progressive, self-made droid who has upgraded and improved herself with scraps of other droids.

Overseas ticket sales are even lower.

Disney had been hoping that the movie, focused on a young Han Solo and directed by Ron Howard, would take in closer to US$140 million. This gives the remake of the 1987 comedy a four-week total of $41.5 million which is, sadly, nearly twice as much as the original made when it was first released. Paramount's latest comedy took in $9.5 million for the three days on 2,810 screens.

Multiplex gridlock, for a start. The Force Awakens, Rogue One, and The Last Jedi enjoyed big box office hauls thanks to their Christmas release; it's still unclear why Solo has deviated from a tried and tested release schedule, but what is clear is that competing in the summer against Deadpool 2, and Infinity War was a mistake. In fact, "Solo" is now forecast for a four day holiday weekend of $105 million to $115 million domestically. That's one reason Disney keeps pushing the Star Wars series in the country, where Solo secured a rare concurrent release with North America, even though it lacks the familiarity won in the USA by decades of sequels and prequels since its 1977 premiere.

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Disney is attempting to pull off a complicated generational hand-off - trying to please older fans while paying keen attention to millennials and children in a bid to keep the property healthy over the long term. It was also the subject of a 1997 video game, with the critically derided Star Wars: Masters of Teras Kasi seeing the likes of Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, and more go one-on-one in an underwhelming fighting game. Star Wars: The Last Jedi exited the theatres just a month before Solo hit the screens, and hence, the poor performance.

CNET's Mike Sorrentino calls the film "simple and fun" but said it "lacks the epic feeling we normally get from comparable Star Wars movies".

However, the film was generally praised by critics when reviews first came out. Disney distribution chief Dave Hollis told the film news website.

Moviegoers gave Solo an A-minus grade in CinemaScore exit polls.

Even as Disney has perfected the art of the credits scene in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, they've somehow resisted shoehorning them into Star Wars. But it only became a reality when Disney purchased Lucasfilm in 2012.

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