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Star Wars “Solo” falls short of expectations

“Solo” box office sales struggled during liftoff

The prequel story of Han Solo, a main character played by Harrison Ford in the Star Wars films, disappointed in its opening weekend.

On Tuesday, box office projections anticipated the Disney and Lucasfilm movie to rake in between $130 and $150 million in domestic sales. On Friday, this was adjusted to somewhere between $105 and $115. Yet “Solo” still fell short, making an estimated $101 million domestically and $148 million globally thus far.

This figure gives the film the weakest Star Wars box office opening since “Episode II: Attack of the Clones” in 2002.

Moreover, in comparison, “The Force Awakens” made $290 million globally in its opening weekend – this is nearly twice the amount of global sales of “Solo.”

However, the massive Star Wars franchise has always been under heavy scrutiny. Although their most recent film may not have met expectations, it still posted the highest Memorial Day Weekend debut sales in the past four years. The fact is, most films – even franchises – would be elated at a $100 million opening weekend.

In fact, “Solo” falls at just the 83rdbest opening weekend of all time. Its debut sales are higher than films like “Avatar,” “Frozen,” “Fast and Furious,” and “Zootopia.” Now, all of these movies some of the top-100 highest grossing films of all time. Thus, “Solo” still has hope; it may not be “The Force Awakens,” which is the highest-grossing film of all time, but it will likely still end up as a top-100 film.

So, why is it disappointing?

Shawn Robbins, an analyst at, believes that it could be because of the sheer amount of Star Wars films that have been released recently. In just two and a half years, the franchise has released four films (“The Force Awakens” (2015), “Rogue One” (2016), “The Last Jedi” (2017), and “Solo” (2018)).

Disney (DIS) could be trying to push too many films forward for the franchise. In its initial days, Star Wars released Episodes IV, V, and VI three years apart from one another. Episode I took sixteen more years to release. Disney rolled out Episode VII ten years after the last movie in the prequel series. Episode IX won’t release until December 2019, more than a year away, which will be refreshing for fatigued fans.

Additionally, some analysts believe that Disney’s attempt to expand the Star Wars universe beyond the Skywalkers is hurting them. Consumers love a linear storyline, and straying away from this often doesn’t make them more excited for the films that follow the main plot. The addition of more films takes away the anticipation and rarity of the films. Indeed, it is gradually causing the franchise to lose its luster.

Nonetheless, “Solo” is still performing great. Fans love Alden Ehrenreich, who plays the young Han Solo, and Donald Glover, who plays the young Lando Calrissian. Donald Glover alone, who is popular in television with “Community” and his own show “Atlanta,” music, and comedy, will generate countless viewers just by being in the film.

Thus, at the end of the day, although “Solo” may not be performing to its highest potential, it is still generating sales. One lackluster opening weekend doesn’t define a movie, as seen by “Avatar.” “Solo” will likely be in the top-100 highest-grossing films in a matter of weeks.


Featured image via Wikimedia Commons

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