All kinds of theories hit last week when Disney’s “Solo: A Star Wars Story” underperformed at the box office, but now that it has plummeted 65 percent, more opinions are coming. The biggest is this could be a bad sign for upcoming “Star Wars” films, but also that Disney needs to rethink the rollout strategy for the next one. Having two come out in less than a year might have been too much for fans.
“Solo: A Star Wars Story” is losing momentum quickly at the box office, even with a relatively quiet weekend free of any new blockbuster competition. After an underwhelming launch, the space saga fell 65 percent in weekend two with $29.3 million from North American theaters, according to studio estimates on Sunday.
“Solo” has now earned $148.9 million domestically, which is still shy of “Rogue One’s” December 2016 opening weekend of $155.1 million and over $135 million short of where “Rogue One” was in its second weekend. “Rogue One” made $96 million then.
The 65 percent drop off is one of the highest in recent “Star Wars” history, although it is less steep than the second week fall of the franchise’s last film, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” which slid 67.5 percent in weekend two this past December — but, that was also after a $220 million debut.
Internationally, “Solo” added $30.3 million, and globally the film has netted $264.2 million.
Paul Dergarabedian, the senior media analyst for comScore, thinks that all the media attention given to “Solo’s” less-than-impressive opening weekend numbers could have actually negatively affected its second weekend earnings.
“Box office got conflated with perceived value of the movie, and that might have affected its second weekend,” Dergarabedian said. “Sometimes news of the box office can impact a movie’s bottom line.”
He noted that in comScore’s audience survey, most of the over 1,000 people polled “really liked” the movie.
“Solo’s” tumble brought it even closer to “Deadpool 2,” which is now in its third weekend in theaters and still managed to reel in an estimated $23.3 million to take second place. With a domestic total of $254.7 million and a crowded marketplace with both “Solo” and “Avengers: Infinity War” surrounding it, “Deadpool 2” is still only about $30 million behind where the first film was in its third weekend and is approaching $600 million worldwide.
The results may make Disney reconsider its ambitious “Star Wars” rollout strategy over the next few years, with at least nine more films in the works. “Solo” came out just five months after “The Last Jedi,” whereas previous installments had always arrived with at least a year’s worth of space.
The film also continues an underwhelming string of box-office performances for the director Ron Howard. This is his fifth domestic flop in a row, following “In the Heart of the Sea,” “Rush,” “The Dilemma” and “Inferno.” But Mr. Howard was brought on just a year ago to salvage the project after Philip Lord and Christopher Miller, the directors behind “The Lego Movie,” were ousted; “Solo” was roiled in turmoil for much of its production.
Disney’s other blockbuster “Avengers: Infinity War” picked up another $10.4 million in week six, and it’s looking to hit $2 billion worldwide. It would be a bizarre thing if Disney wound up having to write off a “Star Wars” film as a loss for 2018.
Shailene Woodley’s lost-at-sea drama “Adrift” fared the best of the three newcomers with a reported $35 million budget, which included the horror pic “Upgrade” and a Johnny Knoxville comedy “Action Point.” ″Adrift,” from STX Entertainment, washed up in third place with $11.5 million, while the others struggled to make a significant impact. “Action Point” truly bombed at $2.3 million showing that the “Jackass” audience has grown up or just lost interest.
“Upgrade” opened In sixth place with $4.5 million, behind both “Avengers: Infinity War” ($10.4 million) and “Book Club” ($6.8 million), and “Action Point,” which was not screened for critics, landed in ninth place with a dismal $2.3 million.
This weekend also saw a few smaller studio landmarks for Magnolia Pictures, whose Ruth Bader Ginsburg documentary “RBG” became its highest-grossing film ever with $7.9 million, and Pantelion Films, which scored a similar feat with “Overboard,” which is now up to $45.5 million. “RBG” pulled in another $1.1 million in 432 locations.
Even with “Solo’s” stumble, the year-to-date box office is still up 6.2 percent as June kicks into gear with some big movies on the horizon, including “Ocean’s 8,” ″Incredibles 2″ and “Jurassic World.”
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to comScore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.
- “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” $29.3 million ($30.3 million international).
- “Deadpool 2,” $23.3 million ($41.6 million international).
- “Adrift,” $11.5 million.
- “Avengers: Infinity War,” $10.4 million ($24.3 million international).
- “Book Club,” $6.8 million ($1.1 million international).
- “Upgrade,” $4.5 million.
- “Life of the Party,” $3.5 million.
- “Breaking In,” $2.8 million ($300,000 international).
- “Action Point,” $2.3 million.
- “Overboard,” $2 million ($1.5 million international).
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to comScore:
- “Deadpool 2,” $41.6 million.
- “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” $30.3 million.
- “Avengers: Infinity War,” $24.3 million.
- “Doraemon the Movie: Nobita’s Treasure Island,” $23.7 million.
- “How Long Will I Love U,” $15.8 million.
- “Believer,” $9.2 million.
- “Happy Little Submarine 20000 Leagues,” $8.9 million.
- “Sherlock Gnomes,” $3.3 million.
- “Truth or Dare,” $2.5 million.
- “A Quiet Place,” $2.4 million.