Facepalm: A cornucopia of factors led to an underwhelming opening weekend at the box office for Solo: A Star Wars Story. It's not a complete disaster, mind you, and there's still time to recover but it does raise some interesting questions for Disney moving forward.
Solo: A Star Wars Story got off to a great start in May with pre-ticket sales that doubled that of another 2018 hit, Black Panther. Enthusiasm for the spin-off wasn’t quite as high as other entries in the once-in-a-lifetime franchise, however, especially considering this was the second Star Wars film in five months.
Such was evident in the box office showing over the weekend.
According to Box Office Mojo, Solo: A Star Wars Story brought in $84.7 million between Friday and Sunday (the figure climbed a bit to around $101 million when adding in Memorial Day sales). It led box office sales in North America and for many films, that’d be a very successful opening weekend but Star Wars isn’t your ordinary franchise.
As Rotten Tomatoes highlights, it’s the lowest debut for a Star Wars film since Attack of the Clones in 2002. So, what went wrong for Disney?
For starters, Memorial Day weekend isn’t exactly the best launch window. It’s warm out and lots of people would rather spend time grilling out with friends and family than occupying a theater. Also, the competition was stiff this year with Deadpool 2 and Avengers: Infinity War still lingering in theaters and doing quite well (Deadpool 2 brought in $42.7 million between Friday and Sunday while Infinity War collected $16.5 million during the same period).
Plus, as mentioned, this is the second Star Wars film in less than six months – could franchise fatigue be a real thing?