Disney had intended to release ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’, ‘The Last Jedi’ and ‘Rogue One’ in May of their respective years, but wound up bumping them to December, where they dominated. So why is it that one year before the planned May release of ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’, when original directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord were fired and replaced by Ron Howard, Disney insisted on keeping ‘Solo’ locked into its May date? Initially, it was reported that Disney was frustrated with the delays of the prior ‘Star Wars’ movies and didn’t want to push back another installment. But it appears that the real reason is much more… financial.
Disney’s fiscal year runs from October 1-September 30. If they had pushed ‘Solo’ back to December, that would have placed it in their 2019 fiscal year rather than 2018. Why is that a bad thing? Because when Disney releases its financial figures for 2018. They will be reporting on two massive hits, ‘Black Panther’ which topped $1 billion and ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ which surpassed $2 billion. ‘The Incredibles 2’ just released but appears to be doing quite well so far. At the end of the financial year, ‘Solo’s lack of success will be far outshone by these huge successes.
But Disney only has one sure-fire smash for 2019– ‘Avengers 4’. Among the other titles that are expected to do well are ‘Mary Poppins Returns’, ‘The Lion King’, ‘Toy Story 4’, and ‘Dumbo’, plus ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ but that is a co-production with Sony. The live-action ‘Beauty & The Beast’ and ‘Jungle Book’ did extremely well, but not ‘Star Wars’ well.
Basically what this means is that Disney knew ‘Solo’ wasn’t going to do well, regardless. Yes, it had stiff competition from ‘Infinity War’ and ‘Deadpool 2’, and it may have done a little better in the winter, but probably not that much better. But by releasing it during the 2018 fiscal year, it will be cushioned by ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Infinity War’. But in the 2019 fiscal year, its failure would have been much more glaring and would have impacted the value of Disney’s stock, dragging it down.
And when you add the planned acquisition of 21st Century Fox looming, Disney stock is already expected to take a temporary hit.
So basically, Disney knew that ‘Solo’ wasn’t going to do as well at the box office as its prior ‘Star Wars’ movies and strategically planned to release it at a time when the damage done would be minimal.
What do you think? Do you think ‘Solo’ should have been pushed back to December like the other ‘Star Wars’ movies? Or would it even have mattered?
Source: Cinema Blend