There are a lot of theories being bandied about after ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ had the weakest opening in the franchise since 2002’s ‘Attack of the Clones’. It only managed to rise to $103 million after stronger than expected holds on Sunday and Monday but that was still far below other recent hits like ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ and ‘Deadpool 2’. While there are probably several reasons why audiences didn’t flock to theaters to see this picture, it seems the immediate explanation that Disney has come up with is that ‘Solo’ opened too quickly after ‘The Last Jedi’, with less than six months between the films. While no official word has been given by Disney, insiders say that this is the general consensus behind closed doors.
According to these insiders, expect Disney to go back to releasing ‘Star Wars’ movies in December, avoiding the crowded summer market, and to put at least a year between releases.
Over the weekend, Disney’s worldwide distribution chief, Dave Hollis pointed out that the company plots out all of its releases at the same time and that includes their other action franchise, Marvel, who put out three movies a year with no sign of viewer fatigue. But for the time being, that looks to have been a big factor in ‘Solo”s underwhelming performance.
And it isn’t just the fact that ‘Solo’ opened so quickly after ‘The Last Jedi’, but so quickly after so many other blockbusters. Casual moviegoers don’t necessarily see a new movie every single weekend but ‘Solo’ arrived just one week after ‘Deadpool 2’. As Hollis said, “There’s a question of frequency, and how many times people will go to the movies. Is this too much and too soon for a third time in a five-week period?”
It also must be noted that Memorial Day Weekend is not the beast it once was. There hasn’t been a huge hit for that weekend since the early 2000s. More and more, studios are spreading their big releases earlier into the spring to get the jump on the competition. ‘Solo’ was also the first Disney ‘Star Wars’ movie to open in summer instead of in December where the previous three reigned supreme and in just weeks managed to become the highest-grossing movies of their entire respective years.
Of course, there are other possible explanations, but Collider bluntly refuted any claims that ‘Solo’ was boycotted by fans who were unhappy with ‘The Last Jedi’. “Boycotts have been called for all kinds of movies, and they never, ever work.”
But refuting all of this, Scott Mendelson of Forbes says don’t buy into the ‘Star Wars fatigue’ hype.
If you saw the previews, TV commercials, blog posts and posters for Solo: A Star Wars Story and said to yourself, “That is something that I would like to see immediately upon release,” you wouldn’t have given two figs about it being the second Star Wars movie in five months…
If audiences who showed up for Rogue One and Last Jedi thought Solo was worth their time and money, they would have shown up if it was the first Star Wars film in five months or five years. The fault lies not in the brand or in oversaturation, but with the movie itself. Solo: A Star Wars Story bombed because of Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Did you see ‘Solo’ this weekend? Would you recommend it to others?
Source: The Hollywood Reporter