Box Office Wrap Up: Solo Flies Under Expectations at Box Office.
Disney’s second Star Wars spin-off was the top film on Memorial Day, but performed well under expectations.
Memorial Day weekend continues to be unkind to big blockbuster hopefuls. Last year it took the wind out of the sails for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, and this year even Star Wars took a tumble over the long weekend. Solo: A Star Wars Story did manage to unseat Deadpool 2 for the top spot, but its performance set off all kinds of red flags. At home and abroad, the smuggler couldn’t quite recapture his glory days.
This Week in Box Office History.
The Memorial Day frame was once the kick-off to the blockbuster season. All throughout the 2000’s, the weekend was dynamite. Big franchises lined up to get a part of the action: Shrek, Men In Black, Pirates of the Caribbean, X-Men and the Star Wars prequels all delivered individual openings of 125 million, and cumulative openings of 200 million or more across all films. This trend started to decline around 2014, with only this year converting a tally higher than 200 million.
Solo led the box office to a modest gain of 2% over last year, which jumped to 24% on the final day of the long weekend. Monday helped most of the big films out tremendously, turning a large tumble for Deadpool 2 into a more reasonable total and helping to push Solo over the 100 million dollar mark. Even with the boost, Solo wound up 20-50 million dollars below expectations and well below the earnings of the other Disney Star Wars movies. It even managed to underperform Revenge of the Sith!
Top Movie Last Year: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.
Top Movie Last Decade: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
Solo: A Star Wars Story had a shaky first weekend in first place. While it did unseat the incumbents, there were too many obstacles for this Star Wars spin-off to fly very high. Arriving just 5 months after the last, contentious outing for Star Wars, it may have arrived to soon. It was not helped at all by having to follow up Avengers: Infinity War and Deadpool 2, both of which play to the same audience. It also had a dismal debut worldwide, taking in just 65 million dollars from all markets. This includes China, which has become the king-maker when it comes to big blockbuster successes.
It certainly wasn’t hated by fans (as you can see in our positive review) but it was the first Disney Star Wars to get an A- instead of a solid A from Cinemascore. It’s 70% Rotten Tomatoes score is also much lower than other Disney treatments: Rogue One pulled in a solid 85% and even The Last Jedi cracked the 90’s.
Second place went to Deadpool 2. In its second week it slipped a precarious 65%, but managed to right the ship on Monday, coming back to 56%. Not a fantastic hold on its second week, but at least better than disastrous.
Avengers: Infinity War held on for third place. The film added 21 million over the frame to improve to 626 million dollars. This puts it above The Avengers, but still under Black Panther for Marvel’s all time domestic earnings. Disney may have hurt the chances for it to unseat Panther by pitting Solo against it so early in its run.
No other wide release films stepped into the ring, so the rest of the top ten remained largely unchanged. Including RBG still holding tenaciously onto the tenth spot in limited release. That is one tough judge!