'Solo' Wins Box Office Crown, But Feels Like Loss for 'Star Wars'

Getty Images for Disney

Getty Images for Disney

The estimated four-day take of $US101 million over the Memorial Day weekend in the USA was around $US30 million less than most pundits predicted. At its current rate, Solo may not gross much more than $400 million all in. The movie is tracking to make around $101 million in the U.S. and Canada over this Memorial Day long weekend, according to Entertainment Weekly.

In order for Solo to take Pirates' record for the full Memorial Day Weekend, the film will have to surpass $153 million.

Underlining the origin story's wavering appeal, the United Kingdom was the top worldwide market with $10.3 million followed by China's mediocre $10.1 million. The Collider crew got to see the movie before it was released in theaters and the film left them with some questions about what we saw in the film and where the film ended. Perhaps Memorial Day wasn't the ideal time.

But the mediocre reviews probably haven't helped either.

"Rogue One" had its own drama, as director Gareth Edwards had to take a backseat to the more experienced helmer Tony Gilroy during the reshoots of the movie, and that went on to earn over $1 billion at the global box office.

In this field, the "Solo" opening doesn't look so bad.

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And that is for the four day holiday weekend. Nevertheless, Disney has Episode IX on the calendar for December 20, 2019, and is mulling standalone movies about Boba Fett, Lando, and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Solo: A Star Wars Story hit theaters on May 25, and reviews were mixed. Even tired franchises like Pirates of the Caribbean and Transformers that bombed domestically past year made up for low turnout at home with big numbers overseas. Fox's Deadpool 2 finished in second with a strong $42.7 million in its second weekend, and Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War finished third with $16.5 million in the F-S-S period, padding its five-week haul of $621.7 million. Star Wars debuted on just 43 screens, Empire increased to 126 screens, and Return of the Jedi was up to 1,002 screens.

The failures of Solo appear to be a result of a yearlong buzz of doubt and insinuation, as well as a general resistance in the culture to see someone other than Harrison Ford play one of cinema's most iconic rogues and scoundrels.

If "Solo" was a better movie, this would all be moot.

Disney disagrees, noting that Marvel movies come out at even shorter intervals - "Thor: Ragnarok" in November, "Black Panther" in February, "Infinity War" in April. Also, things are a lot easier when both movies close to one another are great.

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