A few weeks ago, the early box office projections for Solo: A Star Wars Story came in. At the time, we were wowed by the excitement around the film, noting that- based on pre-sales and social media buzz- box office prognosticators were projecting a Memorial Day weekend haul between $165 and $175 million. That figure came from Variety, a trusted industry news outlet, and it seemed like something you could take to the bank. In fact, traditionally speaking, these kinds of numbers tend to skew rather conservatively and the figures they project end up being lower than the final tally.
Well, that view of box office projections is going to have to start being re-thought.
While projections for several 2017 blockbusters were blown away, like when Wonder Woman and Spider-Man: Homecoming both performed way more heroically than initially predicted, Deadpool 2 recently showed that these estimates can be very far off the mark. That film was, at one point, said to heading towards an opening weekend north of $150 million. Ultimately, it opened to $125M.
Perhaps in response to that, or possibly because the reviews have only offered faint praise with a Rotten Tomatoes score of only 71%, the projection for Solo: A Star Wars Story has plummeted from that initial $165-$175M range down to $130-$150M range for the four-day weekend. If that comes to pass, and that’s where it ends up, then that would give Solo the lowest opening of any of the new wave of Star Wars films.
Let’s recap how the new Lucasfilm has done so far in terms of domestic openings, in chronological order:
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens – $248M
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – $155M
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi – $220M
Now, it should be noted that Memorial Day Weekend actually poses challenges at the box office, because it’s traditionally viewed as the kickoff for the summer season with beaches opening and families rushing out to do outdoor activities or to travel for the four day weekend. That’s why the record for the weekend is actually within reach for Solo: A Star Wars Story, as all it has to do is surpass a figure of $139.8M to knock Pirates of The Caribbean: At World’s End out of the top spot to become the all-time Memorial Day Weekend champ.
With that in mind, there’ll be plenty for Lucasfilm to celebrate on Tuesday if the film lands in the top end of these new projections. The only area where Solo will really fall short by landing in that range will be when compared to its fellow Star Wars brethren. And, honestly, with Rogue One making $155M during a standard three-day weekend, it seems like a tall order for Solo to top that.
We’ll see how things play out. It’ll be fascinating to see how audiences take to this film, considering it boasts an unknown actor in a beloved role, had a very truncated marketing campaign that only began in February, and is the second Star Wars film to be released in a span of just six months.