Solo: A Star Wars Story Leads but Disappoints
Solo: A Star Wars Story may have taken the top spot at the box office over the long Memorial Day weekend, but its 4-day debut of $103.02 million (and 3-day take of $84.42 million) is significantly below even the most conservative industry expectations.
Not only was its Friday-Sunday take by far the lowest debut of any of the recent Star Wars installments released by Walt Disney Studios — the second lowest, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, brought in nearly double that amount with $155 million – it is less than even the $108.4 million debut of 2005’s Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, which was released when ticket prices were considerably lower. The story was even worse overseas, as the film launched to only $65 million, a fraction of what the last three Star Wars films debuted with internationally.
While Solo’s opening weekend numbers are nothing to sneeze at – it ranks as the fourth-highest opening weekend of 2018 after Avengers: Infinity War, Black Panther and Deadpool 2 and the biggest Memorial Day weekend debut in four years – it is a disappointment for Disney, which has a lot riding on the franchise’s continued success. Mixed reviews may have been a factor in the lower-than-expected earnings, but Star Wars and/or blockbuster fatigue could also be playing a role. It has only been a few months since Star Wars: The Last Jedi hit theaters, while Avengers: Infinity War and Deadpool 2 are still playing strong. Simply put, it’s a crowded field out there, and perhaps Solo wasn’t given a wide enough berth to perform as strongly as it otherwise might have.
With good audience reviews and mostly positive word of mouth on social media, it is possible Solo could hold up well in the coming weeks and make up some ground. Nonetheless, this debut was surely low enough to make Disney reconsider its strategy with the franchise going forward, particularly when it comes to the spinoff films it has in development – namely, the forthcoming standalone installment centered on intergalactic bounty hunter Boba Fett.
Falling to second place in its second weekend, 20th Century Fox’s Deadpool 2 fell a rather hefty 57.1 percent for the 4-day to $53.83 million ($43.46 million 3-day). That would give the tongue-in-cheek sequel a very good $218.54 million after 11 days of release. The Ryan Reynolds sequel is currently about 9 percent behind the first Deadpool, which also enjoyed a holiday-weekend boost over President’s Day 2016 and dropped 57 percent in its second weekend. Keep in mind that Deadpool was released with far less competition, while Deadpool 2 has had to contend with likes of both Avengers: Infinity War and this weekend’s Solo.
Speaking of Avengers: Infinity War, the Disney/Marvel Studios sequel came in third in its fifth weekend with $22.40 million 4-day ($17.29 million 3-day), giving the superhero epic an incredible $627.65 million through Monday. That puts it in sixth place on the list of all-time domestic earnings, surpassing both Star Wars: The Last Jedi with $620.2 million and the first Avengers with $623.4 million. It is also now the second highest-grossing Marvel Comics Universe release of all time in North America behind only this year’s Black Panther with $698.6 million.
In fourth place is Paramount Pictures’ sleeper hit Book Club, which took in $13.12 million for the 4-day ($10.07 million 3-day), representing a drop of just 3.4 percent Friday-to-Sunday. Starring Jane Fonda, Mary Steenburgen, Candice Bergen and Diane Keaton, the film has tapped into a hugely underserved audience of older women and has been terrific counter-programming on the part of the studio. With strong midweek business last week and a fantastic second weekend, the film has earned $35.33 million after 11 days.
Fifth place went to Warner Bros. Pictures’ Life of the Party, which earned $6.88 million over the 4-day ($5.38 million 3-day). That gives the Melissa McCarthy comedy a so-so $40.86 million after three weeks, a result that represents a significant drop from her previous films. In sixth place, Universal Pictures’ Breaking In took in $5.50 million for the long weekend ($4.28 million 3-day) for a total of $37.09 million after three weeks, while seventh place went to Global Road Etertainment’s Show Dogs, which is fading fast with a second-weekend earnings of $4.33 million for the 4-day ($3.27 million 3-day), which is down 28.1 percent. That gives the comedy a disappointing $11.93 million through Monday.
Rounding out the Top 10, Lionsgate/Pantelion’s Overboard dropped to eighth place with a gross of $4.14 million over the 4-day weekend ($3.13 3-day), bringing it to $42.63 million total after four weeks. Paramount Pictures’ A Quiet Place finished in ninth place with $3.13 million for the 4-day weekend ($2.44 million 3-day), bringing its total earnings to $180.83 million total after eight weeks. Rounding out the Top 10 was Magnolia Pictures surprise hit documentary RBG with $1.73 million for the 4-day weekend ($1.29 million 3-day) for a total of $6.24 million after four weeks of limited release.
The top 10 films grossed $218.13 million over the 4-day weekend. That is 8.8 percent ahead of the previous 3-day weekend’s $200.40 million total. It is also 28.5 percent ahead of the $169.81 million on the long Memorial Day weekend last year, when Pirates of the Carribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales led with $78.48 million. Year-to-date, the domestic box office stands at $4.86 billion, 8.2 percent ahead of the same point last year.
May 25-28, 2018 (4-day totals)
|This Week||Last Week||Movie||Weekend Gross||Cumulative Gross||Weeks|
|1||New||Solo: A Star Wars Story||$103.02M||$103.02M||1|
|3||2||Avengers: Infinity War||$22.45M||$627.65M||5|
|5||4||Life of the Party||$6.88M||$40.86M||3|
|9||8||A Quiet Place||$3.13M||$180.83M||8|