'Solo: A Star Wars Story' struggles to take off in opening weekend

'Solo: A Star Wars Story' struggles to take off in opening weekend

'Solo: A Star Wars Story' struggles to take off in opening weekend

All of this is not necessarily a sign that "Star Wars" is in a long-term decline, but it's an even worse situation for "Solo" considering that the film cost over $250 million before marketing due to extensive reshoots following Ron Howard's much-publicized replacement director hire.

A Star Wars Story, the latest prequel in the hugely popular film franchise, struggled to achieve escape velocity this holiday weekend, with an estimated US$101 million four-day take falling far below expectations.

Business isn't exactly booming for the galaxy's favorite space smuggler this Memorial Day weekend. For context, the last major Memorial Day new release hit was X-Men: Days of Future Past in 2014, which grossed $90 million in three days and $110.6 million over the full four days. Internationally the film has brought in an estimated $65 million for the weekend, making its three day global total $148 million.

That time might also be valuable for Lucasfilm and Disney to find a way to counter the diminishing returns of its multi-billion-dollar franchise. Additionally, Disney hired the creators of Game of Thrones for a new Star Wars film series, while The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson is making his own new trilogy of saga films after JJ Abrams' Episode IX next year. While Solo establishes Qi'ra's past with Han on their homeworld, Corellia, it also leaves several aspects of her history to be revealed at a later time.

For me, It's not just one thing, but I don't think you can say it's oversaturation when we see three Marvel Studios movies a year and they have not had a flop yet. Nevertheless, Disney has Episode IX on the calendar for December 20, 2019, and is mulling standalone movies about Boba Fett, Lando, and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Even if "Solo" hit the high-end of its original industry projections, it wasn't likely to even have the opening weekend of 2016's "Rogue One", which took in $155 million, the lowest opening weekend for a "Star Wars" movie since "The Force Awakens".

It appears the force is weak with Solo: A Star Wars Story.

A bigger cause for concern though for Disney is the growing sense of apathy and rejection of Star Wars properties in China. But the comparisons to Rogue One are noteworthy, given that was a spinoff as well and it did considerably better.

And that is for the four day holiday weekend.

Disney disagrees, noting that Marvel movies come out at even shorter intervals - "Thor: Ragnarok" in November, "Black Panther" in February, "Infinity War" in April.

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