It would appear that nothing, and I mean nothing, can slow the Star Wars franchise down. With Solo: A Star Wars Story arriving at the end of this month, there were a number of reasons to think the film could be the first misfire for the series since Lucasfilm was sold to Disney:
- It didn’t get a trailer, or even revealed to mainstream audiences in a significant way, until February- a mere four months before its release
- It faced a tumultuous production that found the studio axing directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller a mere two weeks before principal photography wrapped- with Ron Howard coming onboard and redoing a ton of the film
- It’s led by an unknown actor taking over a fan-favorite role that’s only ever been played by the legendary Harrison Ford
- It’s arriving only five months after the last film in franchise, Star Wars: The Last Jedi
So whether it’s fatigue, concern, disinterest, or lack of general awareness, there were plenty of reasons to think fans might be luke(skywalker) warm to Solo: A Star Wars Story.
As it turns out, none of that matters.
Variety is reporting that the initial box office tracking numbers have arrived for Solo, and they’re pretty phenomenal. As of this writing, analysts think the film is going to bring in between $165M to $175M over its four-day Memorial Day opening weekend. And these numbers tend to be conservative, and decidedly lower than what they end up being. On April 19, for example, Variety said that Avengers: Infinity War was looking at a $235M opening weekend. The film ended up making $258.
With that in mind, as long as the buzz around the film is positive, there’s no reason to think Solo couldn’t go as high $190M or even $200M. And that’s unbelievable when you consider that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story– which didn’t really have any negative baggage around it for mainstream audiences and featured Darth Vader in its trailers- opened to $155M over three days. It would appear that fans are loving what they’ve seen so far, and that the Han Solo character is just that big of a pop culture icon that he can sell tickets even without Harrison Ford playing him.
Tickets for Solo: A Star Wars Story go on sale tomorrow. May the 4th be with you…