Things Are About to Get Worse for ‘Solo’

Box office watchers have a bad feeling about this

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After posting a worse opening weekend than “Justice League” and nearly every “Star Wars” film released since the turn of the century, things are about to get even worse for “Solo: A Star Wars Story” as it faces its second weekend in theaters.

The spinoff made just $143 million worldwide on its opening weekend, less than half of the $290 million global opening made by the last “Star Wars” anthology film, “Rogue One.” The overseas markets that pushed the last three “Star Wars” releases to more than $1 billion worldwide are simply not showing up to this Han Solo origin story, and that means the film might not even reach the half-billion mark.

Analysts who spoke to TheWrap said the current estimated range for “Solo”‘s final global total sits at just $400-450 million. That is easily the lowest total for any “Star Wars” film, including the Original Trilogy when inflation is taken into account. Given the film’s pricey production budget of $250 million after reshoots, it’s possible “Solo” may need home release and other ancillary revenue to even make back its marketing expenses and turn a profit.

A bad bellwether coloring those predictions: “Solo” is expected to make less than $40 million domestically this coming weekend. That’s a steep drop-off of at least 53 percent from its already anemic $84.7 million three-day debut.

“We’re still waiting for mid-week numbers to really get an idea of what the second weekend will look like,” said Boxoffice analyst Shawn Robbins. “But right now I think we’re looking at $30-40 million.”

That’s not what movie theaters want to see on a second weekend studios steered clear of, expecting that “Solo” was going to dominate moviegoers’ attention to the exclusion of other titles. Neither of this week’s main releases, Paramount’s “Action Point” and STX’s “Adrift,” are expected to make more than $15 million each. It will be a slow going for the box office for the next two weekends until Pixar gets things going again with “The Incredibles 2,” which is projected to make $120 million. (That’s a big leap from the $70 million the first “Incredibles” made in 2004.)

Fortunately theaters can afford to take the hit after box office revenue went soaring in the last month with “Avengers: Infinity War” — which is on the cusp of surpassing the rare feat of $2 billion worldwide.

Currently, the year-to-date combined domestic box office grosses sit at $4.86 billion, up a staggering 8 percent from this point last year — so theater revenue should still stay ahead of last year’s pace by the time “Incredibles 2” and “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” arrive to kick the charts back into high gear again.

For now, moviegoers can look forward to “Action Point,” which features MTV “Jackass” alums Johnny Knoxville and Chris Pontius in a raunchy slapstick comedy inspired by the true story of New Jersey’s Action Park, one of the most unsafe amusement parks ever built. Directed by Tim Kirkby in his feature film debut, the film is projected to make $6-9 million from 2,000 locations this weekend, with Paramount projecting a $4-7 million start for this $19 million film.

“Adrift,” meanwhile, stars Shailene Woodley and Sam Claflin in a romance drama based loosely on the true story of Tami Oldham and Richard Sharp, two sailors in love who voyaged into a hurricane in 1983. Directed by Icelandic filmmaker Baltasar Kormákur, “Adrift” will sail into 2,800 locations this weekend and is projected to open in the low-teens. Along with distributing the film, STX co-financed the film’s $35 million budget with Lakeshore Entertainment, Huayi Brothers and Ingenious.

Though the wind behind “Solo”‘s sails is weaker than everyone had initially predicted, both new titles pose little threat to the Star Wars movie this coming weekend. Still, lack of competition isn’t enough to let “Solo” thrive in theaters.

UPDATE 4:00 PM PT: Updated with studio projections for “Action Point” and “Adrift”