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‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ Blasts to Record $14.1 Million at Thursday Box Office

Action-adventure movie starring Alden Ehrenreich is expected to earn at least $140 million this Memorial Day weekend

“Solo: A Star Wars Story” earned $14.1 million at the Thursday box office, breaking the Memorial Day record that was previously held by “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End,” which grossed $13.2 million in previews.

In comparison, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” earned $45 million when it opened in previews last year, while “The Force Awakens” grossed $57 million and “Rogue One” rocketed to $29 million. “At World’s End” earned a total $139.8 million, a four-day record, in 2007.

“Solo: A Star Wars Story” is expected to break the record for the biggest four-day opening on Memorial Day weekend with at least $140 million. However, a $140 million opening for “Solo” would be the lowest opening total for a Disney-released “Star Wars” film.

And with the staying power of “Deadpool 2” and “Avengers: Infinity War,” the combined weekend box office could climb into the top five Memorial Day weekends of all time. That’s a huge leap from last year, when the box office suffered the worst Memorial Day weekend results since the turn of the century, as “Baywatch” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” failed to draw many moviegoers.

“Solo” follows future Rebel Alliance leader Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) in his first mission as a smuggler after being separated from his childhood sweetheart Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke). His search for her leads him to a smuggling ring led by a grizzled bandit named Tobias Beckett (Woody Harrelson). Along the way, Han meets his lifelong buddy Chewbacca (Joomas Suotamo) and “Empire Strikes Back” frenemy Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover) as they embark on a mission with Tobias to pay back a bloodthirsty crime lord (Paul Bettany).

Ron Howard stepped in to direct after Phil Miller and Chris Lord exited the project due to “creative differences” halfway through production. Miller and Chris still received executive producer credits.

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