Disney suffered its first box office disappointment with the Star Wars brand, as Solo: A Star Wars Story fell short of expectations both domestically and internationally over the weekend.
Though the film scored decent, if not spectacular reviews from critics, Solo failed to meet Disney and Lucasfilm’s projected $130 – 150 million target for the Memorial Day weekend. Domestically, the film earned $83.3 million Friday-Sunday and is estimated to make just over $100 million when the four-day holiday weekend is over.
The situation was even worse overseas, with a total haul of $65 million. Solo performed especially bad in China — where, it should be noted, each successive Star Wars film released since 2015’s The Force Awakens has earned less than its predecessor — with a paltry $10.1 million.
By comparison, Rogue One opened with an estimated $155 million domestically in 2016, while The Last Jedi made $220 million over its opening weekend just five months ago. The Force Awakens remains the high point for the series under Disney’s stewardship with a staggering $238 million.
With an estimated budget of $250 – $300 million (thanks to expensive reshoots), Solo is the most expensive Star Wars movie ever made and will likely be the franchise’s biggest flop when all is said and done. It’s now being projected that Solo will struggle to hit $600 million worldwide and when you factor in marketing and other costs, we’re looking at a big money loser for Disney and one they’re sure to look at closely to see where things went wrong.
“We are all over it, and will spend a lot of time digging into why things happened the way they did. We have a year and a half before Episode IX comes out,” says Disney distribution chief Dave Hollis. “We’ve had so much success. The previous three Star Wars films did $4 billion worth of of business at the box office, so it doesn’t feel like saturation is necessarily an issue, but we are still answering all of the questions.”
Here are the top 10 films at the North American box office this weekend, according to Box Office Mojo:
1. Solo: A Star Wars Story – $83.3 million
2. Deadpool 2 – $42.7 million
3. Avengers: Infinity War – $16.5 million
4. Book Club – $9.5 million
5. Life of the Party – 5.1 million
6. Breaking In (2018) – $4.1 million
7. Show Dogs – $3.1 million
8. Overboard (2018) – $3 million
9. A Quiet Place – $2.2 million
10. RBG – $1.1 million