"Star Wars" has come down to earth.
Disney/Lucasfilm's "Solo" instead had a $103 million domestic debut for the four-day holiday and grossed $84.8 million for the standard three-day weekend - or barely one-third of what Disney's first Star Wars reboot, "The Force Awakens", opened to ($248 million) less than three years ago.
Solo also sputtered overseas, where initial ticket sales stood at about US$65 million. Rogue One followed in 2016 and grossed $155 million over its opening weekend. The budget soared past $250 million.
Solo: A Star Wars Story is nevertheless a tremendously enjoyable chapter in the ever-expanding Star Wars universe.
"Now what should have been either a victory lap after three-straight $1 billion-plus hits or an acceptable mulligan is going to only add to the "Egad, Star Wars is doomed" drumbeat", Mendelson said.
"A Star Wars Story" as a "creative experiment".
LUCASFILMRay Park returned as Darth Maul's body in Solo
"Deadpool 2" should easily score the second slot, heading for a $42 million three-day sophomore frame and a four-day total of around $54 million. Plus, Solo's baggage heading into theaters may have dampened the appeal of a new Star Wars film. Initially, it was to be directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the geniuses behind The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street - which was great news as those guys have an excellent track record.
Cast member Alden Ehrenreich poses for a portrait while promoting the movie "Solo: A Star Wars Story" in Pasadena, California, U.S., May 12, 2018. Unlike any "Star Wars" release before, "Solo" was deemed - gasp - skippable. 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.
"Anytime the numbers come in lower than projections, there is a feeling of disappointment and the 'Star Wars" brand for better or worse is always subject to lofty box office expectations", said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at comScore. 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.
Fatigue or not, Disney has pushed forward on "Solo", despite production issues.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at USA and Canadian theaters, according to comScore.More news: Brad Stevens lauds LeBron James for 'special night'