Solo: A Star Wars Story debuted this Friday at the box office to some rather poor numbers for Memorial Day weekend. The film was projected to bring in around $130 to $150 million during the four day weekend.
However, it doesn’t look like the film will hit those projections. Box Office Mojo reports the film brought in an estimated $35.6 million on Friday and is now projected to bring in around $108 to $115 million. That’s a pretty significant drop off compared to the previous projections.
While the movie isn’t living up to projections and the name brand of Star Wars, the film still broke the Thursday previews record for Memorial Day with $14.1 million. It topped the previous record holder Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End which set the record for Thursday previews for Memorial Day back in 2007. The Pirates film also holds the four-day Memorial Day weekend record at $139.8 million.
There’s quite a few reasons why Solo: A Star Wars Story may not be performing as well as expected. Probably, the most significant factor is the competition the film is facing from its fellow Disney company, Marvel Studios. Avengers: Infinity War is still performing strong and is expected to bring another $17.5 million to $22 million over the holiday weekend. Not only is Solo, facing competition from Avengers: Infinity War, but Deadpool 2 is also tracking to bring in around $52.5 million.
Disney might also be flooding the market with Star Wars films. Solo: A Star Wars Story debuts just six months after Star Wars: The Last Jedi hit theaters around Christmas. The film also had a truncated marketing campaign due to complications with the actual production of the film. Notably, directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were replaced by Ron Howard after “creative differences” were cited. This meant the trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story didn’t drop until just four months until the movie was expected to debut. For comparison, Rogue One’s first trailer dropped eight months before the film’s release.
However, the biggest reason might actually be the brand of Star Wars has been significantly damaged after Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi. While critics praised the film, audiences were not as kind. The current score on Rotten Tomatoes shows the audience score at a rotten 46% and if you look at the average rating it’s 2.9/5.
The film deviated from the feeling of Star Wars while introducing some ridiculous plot moments including the infamous Leia Poppins scene as well as the introduction of Admiral Amilyn Holdo. It also suffered from poor characterizations with General Hux and infamously Luke Skywalker. There was also a rather pointless side quest that didn’t really do anything for the story or push character growth.
All of these factors seem to have done a number on the profitability of Solo: A Star Wars Story as audiences are finding other things to do with their time than watch the latest Star Wars film.