'Solo' sputters in takeoff with $83.3M at box office

Rosalie Gross
May 29, 2018

The film was significantly reshot, and the version released in theaters this weekend has a distinctly Ron Howard feel to many elements. Those projections were adjusted down on Friday to $105 million to $115 million.

The "Star Wars" prequel is the latest installment of "Star Wars" films. Movie theaters, even on opening day, appeared closer on the solo side than packed. Overall, the film made $148 million worldwide. The film passed The Last Jedi today to become the seventh-biggest domestic film of all time, and should pass the original Avengers tomorrow to move up to number six on the chart. Although the film earned a typically rather decent $83 million in the US in its first weekend, its preceding "Star Wars Story" Rogue One earned $155 million on the first weekend, while Episode VII generated a whopping $247 million and episode VIII an equally stellar $220 million.

Solo: A Star Wars Story had its work cut out for it from the very start.

Disney is attempting to pull off a complicated generational hand-off - trying to please older fans while paying keen attention to millennials and children in a bid to keep the property healthy over the long term. For example, Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be coming to Netflix late next month, coming just over six months after its release date.

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Mr Steve Sansweet, president of Rancho Obi-Wan, a non-profit Star Wars memorabilia museum, said: "There is a growing feeling among fans that the movies are starting to come out a little too frequently". The film was met with a decent reception once the critics got to see it, with a respectable 70% on Rotten Tomatoes, and the performances of Donald Glover and Phoebe Waller-Bridge being singled out for praise.

Moviegoers gave Solo an A-minus grade in CinemaScore exit polls. Gareth Jennings still retained his director's credit, and by all accounts, the first Star Wars standalone spin-off was a success both critically and commercially.

And if "Star Wars" fatigue is real, then Disney has time to recover.

That time might also be valuable for Lucasfilm and Disney to find a way to counter the diminishing returns of its multi-billion-dollar franchise. It ultimately earned US$523 million overseas.

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