Sunday’s box office results only barely improved the fortunes of “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” as it has clocked in with a three-day opening of $84.7 million and a projected four-day opening of $103 million.
That’s slightly up from yesterday’s projection of $101 million, but still well below the $130 million projection expected before the weekend by Disney.
The three-day opening is also a whopping 46 percent below the $155 million launch of the last “Star Wars” anthology film, “Rogue One,” and 23 percent below the $108 million made by “Episode III: Revenge of the Sith” during its first weekend in 2005.
“Solo” will still have the biggest Memorial Day weekend opening since “X-Men: Days of Future Past” in 2014, but won’t have one of the top five highest openings for the holiday as was expected last week. A $103 million finish will match the four-day start of 2011’s “The Hangover Part II,” which currently sits sixth among all Memorial Day weekend releases.
Despite a global opening of below $150 million and a production budget of over $250 million, distribution reps at Disney said they weren’t worried about long-term box office problems.
The studio passed the $4 billion mark for 2018 at the global box office this weekend and had a 33.5 percent domestic market share before the release of “Solo.” That share could get even bigger after returns for “Solo” are accounted for and after Pixar’s “Incredibles 2,” which is projected to open to $130 million or more, is released on June 15.
Still, the decision to move the next “Star Wars” film, “Episode IX,” out of Memorial Day weekend 2019 and back to December may end up being the smart move, as all three of the other Disney “Star Wars” films grossed $1 billion or more from that release slot.
It remains to be seen whether the future installments for the franchise, such as the recently announced Boba Fett spinoff, will also be released during the holidays. Starting in 2020, the holiday season will be filled with James Cameron’s “Avatar” sequels; but since those are Fox releases, that may change if Fox merges with Disney before then.
For a deeper look at “Solo” and its global box office struggles, read our Sunday box office report here.