Opening Weekend: A Solo Story

Solo

There are those who will be very interested in rewriting the history of opening weekend.  So let’s go ahead and chronicle the events of the opening weekend of Solo, just to make such a venture a wee bit harder.

EARLY MAY 2018

So in early May, Variety reported that Solo was projected to do $170 over the 3 day holiday weekend.

‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ Tracking for Huge $170 Million Memorial Day Launch

Early tracking projections have placed Disney and Lucasfilm’s “Solo: A Star Wars Story” in the $170 million range for its four-day opening over Memorial Day weekend.

The first tracking estimates for the “Star Wars” origins story were released Thursday in the $165 million to $175 million range. 

Some outlets like Collider, were celebrating that Solo would even outdo the opening weekend for Rogue One.

‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ Aiming to Beat the Opening Weekend for ‘Rogue One’

According to Deadline, industry projections have Solo raking in over $170 million on its four-day holiday weekend. That puts it well ahead of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which earned $155 million on its opening day weekend. Even in the tracking fluctuates and the projections drop to only $150 million on the weekend, that will still be good enough to give Solo the record for Memorial Day weekend, beating out Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End ($139.8 million) and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull ($126.9 million).

At one point we were even told, that Fandango pre-sales for Solo doubled that of Black Panther.  According to Variety:

‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ Fandango Presales Double ‘Black Panther’s’ Haul

Tickets for “Solo: A Star Wars Story” went on sale Thursday night on Fandango, and presales have doubled those for “Black Panther” in the first 24 hours of their release.

But some skeptical fans such as Low Dog from FilmGoblin.com, later questioned the accuracy of these claims, particularly given all of the images of empty seating on local theater websites that people were posting all over Twitter.

RegalCinemas

Then as we got closer to the film’s release date, projections started lowering to $130 to $150 million.  According to SyFy Wire:

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY’S LATEST TRACKING SUGGESTS $130 TO $150 MILLION OPENING

Earlier this month, the box office projections for Solo: A Star Wars Story indicated that the spinoff film would hit $170 million during its opening weekend. However, with the opening only a few days away, the numbers have come down by a considerable margin. 

According to Variety, the current estimate is that Solo will reach $130 to $150 over the weekend, which will be more than enough to unseat Deadpool 2 and Avengers: Infinity War for the weekend crown. However, that’s potentially $40 million less than the initial predictions. 

What happened to that $40 million? It’s difficult to accurately predict a film’s performance when the projections are so high. The pre-sale numbers for Solowere reportedly robust three weeks ago, with greater sales than any other film this year except for Infinity War. As Variety notes, there is still a chance that Solowill beat its current projection. It could even potentially get $180 million when the entire four-day holiday weekend is included in the total.

Then something intriguing happened, and maybe even a bit fishy.  For a time around May 22nd, boxofficepro.com was reporting a $120 Million projection for Solo.

120tracking

But later that same day, boxofficepro.com’s prediction went back up to $150 Million.

THURSDAY MAY 23rd

Thursday began with Solo being the lowest rated live action film on Rotten Tomatoes since Episode II: Attack of the Clones.

Then on opening night, Solo pulled in $14 Million; less than half of Rogue One’s opening Thursday night, as Scott Mendelson laments at Forbes.com:

‘Star Wars’ Box Office: ‘Solo’ Starts Slow With Just $14M On Thursday

Solo: A Star Wars Story earned $14.1 million in Thursday previews last night. Yes, it is essentially half of what Rogue One: A Star Wars Story made ($29m) in its Thursday previews and a heck of a lot less than Force Awakens ($57m) and Last Jedi ($45m) earned in their Thursday preview grosses.

All day Thursday on Twitter, users were posting images such as this:

Even Aftermath author Chuck Wendig and his fellow Star Wars authors from Del Rey seemed to have the theater largely to themselves for their viewing of Solo.

It wasn’t a good sign.

FRIDAY MAY 25TH

Then on Friday, projections started to tumble.

According to The Los Angeles Times:

Ahem.  You mean as high as $170 Million.

According to Yahoo News:

‘Solo’ Currently Flying Low For Disney ‘Star Wars’ Opening With $105M-$115M 4-Day

Industry estimates this morning are pegging around $33M today for Disney’s Solo: A Star Wars Story with a $80M-$90M three-day and $105M-$115M play over four days. That’s a very early read on opening figures, which do not come from Disney. We could see a different picture by tonight. We hear that exit polls showed a four-out-five stars and that there should be a promising turnout by boys tomorrow.

Huh.  Would those be the same male boys that Kathleen Kennedy said she didn’t feel the need to cater to?  But I digress.  The Yahoo article continued:

Meanwhile rivals aren’t impressed with Solo‘s Thursday night. Commenters are crying that Solo‘s preview figure is too close to Justice League‘s $13M which fell apart with a $38.4M opening day and $93.8M weekend. To get to a $140M weekend, Solo will have to do a mid-$40M start, and that may not happen with early morning projections under $115M for four-days. Critics really hated Justice League at 40% Rotten and the difference is Solo‘s RT score is higher at an OK 70% fresh. Heading into the weekend, Disney spotted $130M-$150M, not to mention Solo advance ticket sales were out of the gate in their first 24 hours, besting Black Panther, but we heard they slowed heading into this week.

“Crying?”  This writer just let us see her sabacc cards.  Nevertheless, what this writer failed to take into account with the Rotten Tomatoes critics score for Solo, is that the critics have effectively discredited themselves with their reviews of The Last Jedi.  Their ratings led to The Last Jedi having a ridiculously high critic score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Then word came in that not only was it doing poorly domestically, but sales overseas were crashing as well.  According to The Hollywood Reporter:

Box Office: ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ Struggling to Hit $110M in U.S., Crashes Overseas

Disney and Lucasfilms’ Solo: A Star Wars Story is struggling in its debut at the Memorial Day box office, where it could come in well behind expectations with $105 million-$110 million for the four-day holiday weekend unless traffic picks up in earnest on Saturday. The projected three-day weekend tally is $80 million-$90 million.

The news is grim overseas, where Solo is launching in most points around the globe timed to its U.S. launch, including China. The movie took in a dismal $11.4 million from its first 43 markets on Wednesday and Thursday. Disney hasn’t yet provided numbers from China, but box-office sources there show the movie opening to roughly $3 million on Friday for a possible weekend debut in the $10 million range.

It was right about this time, that SJWs on Twitter began to recite the response that World Class Bullshitters correctly predicted they would:

And another:

Then the excuses about franchise fatigue started coming out.  From CNN:

Is ‘Solo’ suffering from ‘Star Wars’ fatigue?

Is Disney’s Han Solo spinoff, which tells the origin story of the smuggler, suffering from a bit of “Star Wars” fatigue?

“It’s certainly possible after four movies in two and a half years, although fatigue is a relative term in the case of ‘Star Wars,'” said Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at BoxOffice.com. “This is a spinoff with established characters that still has a shot at a $100 million or more opening. Every movie franchise would love to have that level of fatigue.”

Still has a shot at a $100 Million?  Funny how those expectations keep falling.

While many outlets were busy spinning Solo’s Thursday night as record breakingBusiness Insider had a more measured view.  Their perspective was that while it may have broken a record for any old movie on Memorial Day weekend, it was actually performing poorly for a Star Wars film:

‘Solo’ is already breaking records at the box office, but it’s nowhere close to previous ‘Star Wars’ movies

Whether you chalk it up to “Star Wars” fatigue or mistakenly releasing this movie in the summer instead of in December, which has been the home for the franchise since “The Force Awakens,” this weekend will be the first time Disney and Lucasfilm executives will feel a little uncomfortable.

Other outlets decided to place the blame on the long Memorial Day weekend, and other movies.  From Star Wars News Network:

HOLIDAY WEEKEND DOLDRUMS MAY SLOW SOLO’S RUN

Outside of the holiday weekend to deal with, Solo is also dealing the a lot more competition than other recent releases saw in December. Both Deadpool and mega-blockbuster Avengers: Infinity War are pulling people into theaters still and there is a significant overlap in the target audience for all three films.

Strangely, Lucasfulm released news about James Mangold directing a Boba Fett movie, on the opening day for Solo.  Some felt that this was Lucasfilm’s strategy to shift the Narrative away from the failing Ron Howard film.

There were even rumors circulating that Billy Dee Williams might return for Episode IX.  It seemed as though Lucasfilm was attempting to get people talking about something other than Solo and its failing box office.

Then Friday night, Grace Randolph dropped this bomb:

Lucasfilm would be in for a very long holiday weekend.

SATURDAY MAY 25th

Ethan Van Sciver started Saturday out with one of his hysterical videos:

Box Office Mojo posted estimates for Friday’s earnings:

As did the-numbers.com

Variety reported:

Box Office: ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ Headed for Underwhelming Holiday Weekend Debut

“Solo: A Star Wars Story” is struggling to make the kind of opening weekend impact now expected from a Star Wars film, with an estimated $114 million from 4,381 domestic sites over the four-day Memorial Day weekend. Earlier estimates had pegged the film in the $130-$150 million range.

“Solo” earned about $35.6 million through Friday, including $14.1 million from Thursday grosses, the highest Thursday for a Memorial Day opener. But a $114 million opening would have “Solo” trailing the three-day debut of the last anthology film, “Rogue One,” by $41 million — to say nothing of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi’s” $220 million opening.

The Disney-Lucasfilm venture is the 10th Star Wars movie and fourth from Disney in less than four years. Should the holiday estimate hold for “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” it will raise questions about franchise fatigue and Disney’s strategy of opening the tentpole a mere five months after “The Last Jedi” debuted on Dec. 16.

Even Scott Mendelson from Forbes was forced to confront reality:

Box Office: ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ Disappoints With Mere $36M Friday

If the Star Wars prequel/origin story plays like a “normal” Memorial Day release, then the initial Friday numbers are pretty awful. Memorial Day weekend releases tend to do around 3x their Friday number and then earn around 2-2.25x their four-day debut figures. So, if Solo plays like a “normal” Memorial Day release, we’re looking at a $111m Fri-Mon debut and a domestic total of around $221-$250m. So, yes, considering the additional expenses incurred by the reshoots and the likely lack of overseas rescue that would make a $250m domestic gross a mere stepping stone to a $700m+ global cume, the odds are pretty grim for this Star Wars story.

Things seemed so dismal, that Variety declared Deadpool to be cooler than Han Solo.

It’s Official: Deadpool Is Now Cooler Than Han Solo

Deadline remained hopeful, as they laundry listed a cavalcade of excuses:

Why Is ‘Solo’ Flying So Low At The B.O.? Memorial Day Opening Now At $114M+

While moviegoers are slow to arrive to Solo perhaps due to skepticism, hopefully those leaving the auditorium will preach the good word, and PostTrak shows a healthy 73% definite recommend.

Some commenters here are eager to declare Solo an all-out failure in the Justice League sense of the word, but it’s still too premature. The film could see a spike in younger audiences today and tomorrow. However, at this minute it’s a blasé start for a Disney Star Wars title considering the hope the studio had for a new franchise. Furthermore, with overseas collapsing, profit is doubtful on Solo especially when factoring in an estimated production cost well north of $300M before P&A. Unlike other event titles, recent Disney Star Wars movies aren’t driven by overseas ticket sales where foreign reps 60% or more of a title’s global B.O.

But, really, why is Solo flying so low?

Most rival distribution sources argue it’s less about the spinoff’s behind-the-scenes melodrama in its change-up of directors or the fact that Alden Ehrenreich doesn’t look like a young Harrison Ford, but rather that Disney is pumping out another Star Wars way too soon.

“They’re over-saturating the market with Star Wars, and bleeding the golden goose! We just had The Last Jedi!” yelled one distribution boss on Friday. But wait a minute, what about those Marvel movies? Avengers: Infinity War arrived two months after Black Panther. Our sources believe that the Marvel movies are disparate in their universe, and that’s why they work in close proximity to each other on the release schedule. Star Wars is a different animal whereby anticipation is ratcheted up in how far apart the movies are spread on the calendar.

Another factor in why Solo is the lowest of all Disney Star Wars titles is because it’s playing during the summer. Force Awakens, Last Jedi and Rogue One fared better because there was less tentpole competition during the year-end holiday: Those movies were the main event. Returning Star Wars back to summer puts Solo in a tentpole sandwich with other big pics around it: This weekend alone Deadpool 2 and Infinity War combined will account for $76.4M business, and that’s money that Solo can’t claim.

The irony is that if we were living immediately in a Disney-Fox merger, this entire analysis is arguably moot considering that both studios are projected to control 83% of the four-day box office with $192M from Solo, Deadpool 2, Infinity War, Black Panther, Super Troopers 2, and Isle of Dogs.

Finally, Solo arrived to the marketplace with too much baggage for a Star Wars movie. Yes, there was noise about Tony Gilroy fixing Rogue One as both a director and writer during its final phases of production, but it wasn’t as loud as what went on here with Solo. When the Super Bowl trailers dropped, already there was a jaded response from fans, and much of that comes from the whole firing of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, Ehrenreich’s looks, the pic’s dark Blade Runner 2049 tone and, yes, frustration over Luke Skywalker getting killed off at the end of Last Jedi. Distribution executives swear that any behind-the-scenes turmoil doesn’t factor into the average consumer’s movie ticket purchasing decisions. But seriously, it’s the social media age, and negative buzz has the potential to quickly capsize a film and even cloud a critic’s judgement, witness Solo‘s 71% Rotten Tomatoes score. A wise studio marketing chief once told me around the time when Ghost in the Shell drowned in its whitewashing controversy that if you’re trying to generate solid word of mouth, a wrench thrown in doesn’t help as you’re getting to the finish line. Negative buzz can easily distract audiences from whatever message you’re hoping to convey.

Also given how precious Star Wars fans can be, casting is tricky when producing these movies about the younger lives of its legendary heroes. RelishMix in its updated social media conversation analysis reports, “Some people really do have an issue with Ehrenreich as the title character, that he doesn’t look like the original Han while Donald Glover as a younger Lando definitely fits…Convo is mixed. We have folks coming out of Thursday screenings saying, ‘The film’s great, Chewie is awesome, Lando really looks like a young Lando should, etc., while others are saying it’s a low point for the series.”

Hollywood Reporter wondered if anyone else could ever play the role of Han Solo:

Can Anyone Else Truly Be Han Solo?

The short answer is “not really.” Ehrenreich acquits himself as well as possible in Solo, but there’s never a point at which his performance becomes so convincing as to feel like a natural extension of the character we all fell in love with in the original Star Wars trilogy. Ehrenreich isn’t attempting to do a perfect impersonation of Ford, but does sound a bit more clipped and gruff than he did in his comic turn in the Coen Brothers’ Hail, Caesar! Yet even though Ehrenreich is embodying, as best he can, the larger-than-life character and actor, there’s simply too much excitement within the performance and the character, so much so that it feels at odd with Ford’s famously dismissive attitude towards Han Solo. It’s strange that such dismissiveness can translate into such a great performance, but that’s a major part of what makes Han so fascinating.

CBR.com had a much more sober take:

Solo Misfires Its Opening Weekend at the Box Office

As Solo: A Star Wars Story heads into its opening week, industry analysts have slashed estimates for the new Star Wars film’s Memorial Day weekend earnings in the face of lower than expected ticket sales on Thursday and Friday.

Solo is now on track to earn around $114 million during the four-day Memorial Day weekend window, placing it as the lowest opening weekend for any Star Wars film since LucasFilm’s acquisition by Disney. Industry forecasts based on audience polls and advance ticket sales had initially placed the Star Wars spinoff earning $170 million its opening weekend, which would’ve given it the all-time record for largest Memorial Day weekend box office earnings.

RELATED: The Origin of Han’s Name May Be the Most Controversial Thing About Solo

The new box office forecasts come after Solo earned $35.6 million through Friday, with $14.1 million on Thursday night. While these earnings set a new record for Thursday box office leading into Memorial Day weekend, they still came in lower than anticipated. Coupled with a mixed critical reception and slow box office performance overseas, the adjusted opening weekend estimates mean 2007’s Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End maintains its record as the largest Memorial Day weekend opening while Solo is now on track to take the fifth place slot.

Geeks + Gamers offered some commentary:

John Talks Star Wars discussed an article at Breitbart entitled, Go Woke, Go Broke.

SC Reviews offered his own perspective:

But there were some people seeing this film.  A very curious story came out on this day, which detailed how 400 actors were paid to see the film in Australia, in order to fill the theater.  According to Scott Rhodie at mumbrella:

After Scott Rhodie received a $77 ticket to watch Solo: A Star Wars Story three hours before anyone else in Australia, he was more than a little disappointed after he realised 400 of the 500-strong crowd were paid actors.

So a few of us got to chatting to more people and found out that out of the 500 people needed, they had only sold 100 or so tickets. The rest of the 500 was made up of paid actors, paid extras etc.

But, there were still two more days in the weekend.  Anything was possible.

SUNDAY MAY 26th

Then on Sunday the bottom started to drop.

It started being reported, that Solo which was originally projected to do $170 Million, was now heading for an $83 Million 3 -day weekend.

Box Office Mojo reported:

‘Solo’ isn’t Flying So High, Delivering Soft Memorial Day Weekend Debut

With an estimated $83.3 million over the three-day weekend, Solo: A Star Wars Story is the weekend’s #1 film and while Disney is currently anticipating a $101 million, the question remains as to whether it will be able to bring in enough to reach $100 million over the four-day holiday frame. Disney entered the weekend projecting a performance anywhere from $130-150 million for the four-day weekend and with a reported $300 million price tag before prints and advertising this weekend’s performance is extremely disappointing.

CNN seemed to understand the distinction between a Memorial Day weekend for a run-of-the-mill movie, and a holiday weekend for a Star Wars movie:

‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ disappoints at the box office

Disney and Lucasfilm’s “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” a prequel film about the origins of Han Solo, made an estimated $101 million domestically for its four-day weekend opening which includes the Monday holiday, according to Disney. That makes “Solo” the smallest opening for a “Star Wars” film since 2002.

The number, while being the biggest Memorial Day Weekend debut in the last four years, is also solidly under industry expectations. Initial projections on Tuesday had the film bringing in $130 million to $150 million in North America. Those projections were adjusted down on Friday to $105 million to $115 million.

So even though $101 million is still a solid opening that most film franchises would love to have, success is judged differently for the galaxy far, far away.

independent.co.uk updated the international situation:

Solo: A Star Wars Story ‘struggling’ at the box office

One trade publication called the movie’s international numbers ‘dismal’

At the international box office, things are not looking too good either. After launching in 43 territories – including the UK and China – the movie took just $11.4m on Friday, with an estimated $10m weekend total in China. The Hollywood Reporter called the figures “dismal”.

And then Lucasfilm’s invincibility started to be questioned by Vanity Fair:

Disappointing Solo Box Office Proves Lucasfilm Is Not Invincible

Star Wars used to be a sure bet at the box office, but the Force is not with Disney’s latest entry.

Solo: A Star Wars Story, the latest Star Wars spinoff movie, hit theaters in a prime spot on Memorial Day weekend, a time that usually spells big profits for movie studios. But the Force, apparently, is not with Solo; so far, the film is performing well under the studio’s initial estimation.

Solo, which relays the heist-themed backstory of famed galactic smuggler Han Solo, earned an estimated $83 million domestically over the weekend, and is projected to make just $101 million by Memorial Day. That’s almost $30 million behind Solo’s low-end projection, according to Business Insider. By as late as the middle of last week, the film was expected to break box office records with a projected take of between $130 million and $150 million on 4,381 screens. Solo falls well below every other Star Wars opening weekend—even Rogue One, the franchise’s first foray into one-shot spinoffs. They’ll need to do more than rob a spice mine to make up the difference.

$101 million over Memorial Day weekend would be a great opening for pretty much any other movie at any other studio, but it’s well under the bar for the precedent Star Wars has set. Worldwide, the film has also made less than the domesticopenings of all three of Lucasfilm’s last Star Wars movies, according to a Buzzfeed report, falling just behind Rogue One. It’s even doing worse than the much-maligned (but financially solid) Star Wars prequels.

inverse.com pointed out that Lucasfilm’s other planned Star Wars spin-offs were now in jeopardy.

‘Solo’: Slow Opening Weekend Could Put Spinoffs in Jeopardy

Call it Star Wars fatigue or simply strong weekend competition, but Solo: A Star Wars Story making it the lowest performing Star Wars movie on its opening weekend, which could mean Lucasfilm will need to rethink its plans for future spinoffs.

With a budget of $250 million — which is more than the $245 million for Star Wars: The Force Awakens — Solo will have a tough time surpassing that amount with a busy summer blockbuster season. Its performance at the box office may also put in jeopardy other spinoff films such as the rumored Obi-Wan and Boba Fett standalone movies.

Then something strange happened.  Old articles started to appear in searches and on social media blaming fired directors Lord & Miller.

‘Star Wars’ Firing Reveals a Disturbance in the Franchise

New details emerge from the set of the troubled Han Solo movie (an editor fired, a last-minute acting coach hired) as insiders debate whether problems trace to directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, or if the Disney and Lucasfilm series can accommodate divergent styles.

Meanwhile, Lord and Miller, the exceptionally successful team behind The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street, were chafing, too, according to a source close to them. There were “deep fundamental philosophical differences” in filmmaking styles, this person says, and the directors felt they were being given “zero creative freedom.”

There are some in the industry who see an emerging pattern suggesting that Kennedy’s appetite for creative license and risk-taking will have to be curbed.

Wanting to hire directors for their “creative license,” and then not giving them any creative freedom, does not reconcile.

So hat appears to have happened from an outside perspective, is that Kathleen Kennedy wanted the prestige that comes from hiring “creative license” names, but then really just wanted them to take orders like a line cook.

Some were wondering if Lord & Miller fired for mocking Kathleen Kennedy with the L3 Droid character?

But the whole world would see what sticking to the plan rather than improvising would result in it at the box office.

Even cheerleader Scott Mendelson would be forced to shed a tear in his beer by the middle of the day.

‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ Bombs With $148M Global Debut

Walt Disney and Lucasfilm’s Solo: A Star Wars Story performed at near-worst-case scenario levels this Memorial Day weekend. The film opened with a soft-ish $35.6 million on Friday, including $14m in Thursday previews, before comparatively cratering over the holiday for an $83.3m Fri-Sun and projected $101m Fri-Mon frame.

But going from three $1 billion+ grossers to an installment that may struggle to hit $600 million is a horrible look. That a vocal minority skewed the narrative of the well-reviewed and mostly well-received The Last Jedi so that its $1.33bgross was viewed as a failure didn’t help.  Nor did the online narrative around Rian Johnson’s sequel being that it disappointed fans by being too different/bold/unconventional or too “politically correct.”

So, let’s cool it on the calls that Disney has ruined Star Wars (they don’t produce the movies, that’s Lucasfilm’s responsibility). And doubly so on the cries for Kathleen Kennedy to be fired (me thinks the cries wouldn’t be so loud if Kathleen’s first name was Kevin). Here’s the good news: Lucasfilm has shown itself, for better or worse, as a company willing to vastly overspend, even on what was supposed to be a glorified one-off, to deliver what they think is the best possible movie.

No.  Let’s not.

Geeks + Gamers added their commentary to the day’s events:

Disney put their best spin on a dismal situation according to the New York Times:

‘Solo’ Sputters at Box Office, Raising Worries of ‘Star Wars’ Fatigue

“We’re going to judge ‘Solo’ by where we finish rather than where we start,” said Dave Hollis, Disney’s president of theatrical distribution. “The base is a little smaller than we had hoped for, but it’s very respectable, and there is no substantial competition for the next couple weekends.” Moviegoers gave “Solo” an A-minus grade in CinemaScore exit polls.

Which makes sense, given that Solo started with an estimated $400 according to The New York Times:

“Solo,” which cost Disney and its Lucasfilm division at least $400 million to make and market worldwide, will collect roughly $101 million over the entire Memorial Day weekend in North America, according to comScore.

Then Deadline reported that Disney was finally admitting the need to examine the current state of the Star Wars franchise.

‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ Stalls With $65M Overseas Bow; What Clipped The Falcon’s Wings? – International Box Office

Disney’s worldwide distribution chief Dave Hollis, who is exiting the studio this week after 17 years, allowed that expectations were certainly higher on the movie and said Mouse execs will “spend a lot of time digging into every question in every market to get the answer” to why Solo so under-performed. “We came into the beginning of the year with this one of the most anticipated films. We gotta spend some time looking at the exits and get a better handle on all the questions.”

Business Insider declared Star Wars to be no longer bullet-proof.

‘Solo’ bombs at the box office taking in only $83 million over the weekend and $101 million by Memorial Day.

It turns out “Star Wars” is not bulletproof.

The beloved franchise released its latest “A Star Wars Story” movie over Memorial Day weekend by telling the origin story of space scoundrel Han Solo, and it greatly underperformed.

Meanwhile in China, Solo bombed in third place according to The Hollywood Reporter:

China Box Office: ‘Solo’ Bombs With Third-Place $10.1M Opening

With one of the worst opening-weekend performances of any Hollywood tentpole in recent memory, Solo: A Star Wars Story earned just $10.1 million in its first frame in China, according to Disney and Lucasfilm. Industry estimates in Bejing had the total even lower at $9.8 million.

The sputtering start left the Han Solo origin story lagging in a distant third place behind two holdovers. Chinese romantic comedy How Long Will I Love U dominated with $24.2 million in its second weekend, while Avengers: Infinity War also trounced its fellow Disney title, earning approximately $17.6 million in its third frame.

The overall international picture wasn’t much better according to Variety:

‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ Stalls Overseas With $65 Million Launch

“Solo: A Star Wars Story” is struggling in a galaxy not so far away.

The Han Solo origin film began its international run with a dismal $65 million this weekend. Its three-day domestic total of $84 million and four-day estimate of $101 million would bring “Solo’s” worldwide launch to $148 million.

“Solo” is currently tracking the lowest opening for a “Star Wars” movie. The most recent “Star Wars” installment, “The Last Jedi,” opened internationally in December 2017 with $230 million and went on to generate $712 million overseas. “Rogue One” — the first standalone “Star Wars” anthology film — debuted in 2016 with an international total of $134 million. It ultimately earned $523 million overseas.

The United Kingdom leads “Solo’s” overseas market with $10.3 million, followed by China with $10.1 million, Australia with $5 million, and Germany with $4.3 million. Other key territories include France ($3.9 million), Russia ($3.6 million), Spain ($2.6 million), Mexico ($2.5 million), and Italy ($2.2 million). “Solo” opens next weekend in Croatia and Trinidad. The only key market it didn’t launch in is Japan, where it bows on June 29.

By the end of the day, even director Ron Howard had to tweet out an admission that the film did not meet projections.

Meanwhile, Disney was trying to create more distractions from “the worst opening weekend in recent franchise history by far” with curiously timed releases about its theme park:

John Talks Star Wars discussed an interesting article from MSN:

But there was still one disastrous day left for the Holiday weekend.

MONDAY MAY 28th – Memorial Day

The Monday morning reports were grim.  Variety reported:

Box Office: ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ Stumbles With $103 Million Holiday Opening

The force was not with “Solo: A Star Wars Story” at the box office.

The latest installment struggled over the Memorial Day weekend, securing $103 million in 4,381 North American locations over the four-days, according to Monday estimates. It came in way under projections, opening with $84.7 million over three days, and just $148 million globally.

“Solo” represents the lowest opening for a “Star Wars” film since Disney took over the franchise starting with 2015’s “The Force Awakens.” As the first film in the sequel trilogy, “The Force Awakens” launched with a massive $248 million three-day total. A year later, “Rogue One” debuted with $155 million, while the most recent installment prior to “Solo” — “The Last Jedi” — bowed just five months ago in December 2017 with $220 million.

In the aftermath, there were more of the the usual anti-white male comments from unthinking SJWs that World Class Bullshitters correctly predicted weeks earlier:

And the usual SJW activists attempted to pad ratings and polls in desperation, as Maximus pointed out:

Maximus

For many SJWs, the reality that it is, in fact, they who are they “tiny vocal minority” will simply never penetrate.  But that’s reality nonetheless.

Geeks + Gamers offered some early Monday commentary on the situation:

The Hollywood Reporter wondered if Lucasfilm will be forced to rethink its future plans:

Will Soft ‘Solo’ Box Office Cause Disney to Rethink ‘Star Wars’ Strategy?

“Until the Star Wars universe is firing on all cylinders like the Marvel universe, I think it would behoove them to ease their foot off the pedal in terms of spinoffs,” says box-office analyst Jeff Bock, who is with Exhibitor Relations. “Marvel [likewise owned by Disney] has proven time and time again you can release movies year-in-and-year-out, but they are dealing with a cast of all-new characters for the most part, while sprinkling in old favorites here and there. That’s a model that would also benefit Star Wars going forward.”

Bock also questions whether Solo suffered from a bad release date — or an underlying “content” problem. “If you have an above-quality product, the release date is a secondary concern,” says Bock. “I think that’s true for any film — it matters more if you’re trying to pull a fast one on audiences.”

Variety reported on box office analyst Jeff Bock, who was one of the very few to admit that the problems lie primarily within Lucasfilm:

‘Solo’ Box Office Disappointment is Wake Up Call for ‘Star Wars’

“Oversaturation is always a concern,” box office analyst Jeff Bock said. “You can’t make an inferior ‘Star Wars’ film. Audiences will call it out. It makes them hesitant to buy a ticket to the next film.”

“When you have fans that are that religiously enthusiastic about the ‘Star Wars’ property, any change can cause a shift in the force,” he said. “‘Star Wars’ fans have a high standard of what they expect. The type of things that most audiences wouldn’t really that much about, ‘Star Wars’ fans care about it.”

“It’s become obvious there’s problems within Lucasfilm,” Bock said. “You don’t see that in a lot of big name franchises. There is something that’s not working.”

“There’s so much possibility within the ‘Star Wars’ franchise,” Bock said. “It seems to me [Disney and Lucasfilm] are cutting their own hand off in terms of creativity. They’re playing it much too safe.”

By Sunday afternoon, Grace Randolph had a break down of the weekend events up to this point, in which she declared, “It was a female executive, who ruined Star Wars.”

Alex Becker added his own two cents:

Meanwhile, Last Shot author Daniel Jose Older deluded himself by believing Solo to be the most successful heist movie evah:

THE AUTOPSY

No doubt pundits will spend days and weeks examining what went wrong.  Most of them, will never zero in on the real problem, because they focus on excuses rather than the actual problem.

A plethora of excuses have been cited including the production drama, the holiday weekend, BBQs, other movies at the theater, franchise fatigue, lack of female/minority leads, the presence of a straight white male lead, etc.

It’s worth noting, that none of these excuses were factored in to the original $170 Million forecast.

Very few outlets focused on the real problems.  The poor treatment of critical fans by Lucasfilm representatives, the imposition of moronic social justice propaganda and the subsequent SJW fatigue, the massive box office drop off after opening day of The Last Jedi which portended of bad things to come, the waning toy and merchandise sales which indicated waning interest, letters written by the fans and sent to Lucasfilm and Hasbro, the in-your-face announcement of Lando Calrissian’s pansexuality and the celebration of a social justice droid, shortly before release, the refusal to even audition fan favorite Anthony Ingruber as Han Solo, marginalizing the same criticisms coming from women and people of color, and of course, the boycott.

Only three people outside of the standard Lucasfilm critics seem to see the real picture.

Box office analyst Jeff Bock hit the nail on the head when he said:

“It’s become obvious there’s problems within Lucasfilm,” Bock said. “You don’t see that in a lot of big name franchises. There is something that’s not working.”

Grace Randolph accurately determined:

“It was a female executive, who ruined Star Wars.”

And Disney’s worldwide distribution chief Dave Hollis, wisely dismissed the claims of franchise fatigue:

For Hollis, it’s too soon to jump to “fatigue” as a reason for Solo‘s opening. “This is just the fourth movie and the first three did $4B combined. I’m not sure it’s so much that people aren’t excited for additional stories.” A silver lining here is that Episode IX isn’t due until Christmas 2019 so there will be more spacing.

John Talks Star Wars has his own take on the franchise fatigue excuse:

As did Stephanie Janiczek:

Retroblasting has a very insightful perspective on the current state of Star Wars overall:

While there is a slim chance that Solo’s box office performance could improve in the coming weeks, many now question how Lucasfilm moves forward after this debacle.  One can only imagine what Lord & Miller might have to say about that now, were they not restrained by NDAs.

LordMiller.gif

#boycottSolo #boycottStarWars #SOYWARS #Soylo #Soycott

UPDATE:

As World Class Bullshiters suggests, this is only the beginning…

UPDATE:

You can read about Solo’s second weekend here.

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