Solo: A Star Wars Story director Ron Howard recently appeared on the Happy Sad Confused podcast and discussed what he saw were the reasons for the film’s box office failure. He specifically noted that “trolling” was one of the reasons to blame.
Howard came onto Solo: A Star Wars Story late in the game after replacing Phil Lord and Chris Miller.
He spoke to Josh Horowitz on his Happy Sad Confused podcast about Solo: A Star Wars Story and noted that he felt good about the way the movie turned out.
“I feel very good about the way it turned out. I love the way it played to audiences, which I witnessed and was a part of. So all of that I’m able to feel good about. Sure, I wish it would’ve done [better] and lived up to the box office and so forth, so that’s disappointing.”
He would then go onto explain why he thought the film failed at the box office.
“Why? Maybe it’s the release. Maybe it’s the idea that it’s sort of too nostalgic, going back and revisiting an origin story for a beloved character may not be what the fans were looking for. It kind of seemed to me, looking at it, the opening — which was big, not as big as the others, it was probably my biggest opening, personally, it was still disappointing to them — I think those are the hardcore fans. It sort of tells you how many people are tagalongs who need to wait to see what people think and whether it’s essential, if it’s a zeitgeist movie or not, and whether it’s just ‘I love Star Wars and I want to see what’s next.’So whatever millions [Solo] made worldwide, those were the core fans, but it didn’t hit that zeitgeist point, for whatever reason. Timing, young Han Solo, pushback from the previous movie, which I kept hearing was maybe something.”
He would then point to trolling as one of the causes for the film failing at the box office. He specifically points to trolling on Rotten Tomatoes.
“And some trolling, definitely some trolling. Some actual aggressive… It was pretty interesting. Not so much, a little bit the Twitter feed, yes, but it was especially noticeable prior to the release of the movie. Several of the algorithms, whether it was Metacritic or Rotten Tomatoes, there was an inordinate push down on the ‘want to see’ and on the fan voting. And when you look at it, it’s like 3, 4, 5 — or whatever the rating is, I forget what the rating is on Rotten Tomatoes, whether it’s a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 — but pretty high, and then a series of 0s or .5s or 1s.”
Solo: A Star Wars Story had a 70% Tomatometer from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. It received a 64% Audience Score. The film made $392.9 million at the global box office, but had an estimated production budget of $275 million. It’s the worst performing live-action Star Wars film.
Howard is not the only Star Wars director to blame “trolling” or the fans for a negative reception to a Star Wars film.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson called Star Wars fans “manbabies” after the majority of fans rejected his film.
Johnson began blaming fans for Star Wars: The Last Jedi by attempting to connect the people who did not like his movie to ComicsGate members and GamerGate members.
He would go on to blame Russian trolls citing an “academic paper” by Morten Bay, which I highly criticized for its research method and enormous assumptions it makes.
What do you think about Ron Howard’s explanation for the reason why Solo: A Star Wars Story bombed at the box office?