'Solo: A Star Wars Story' Box Office Disappoints, Pulling In Roughly Half As Much As 'Rogue One'

Solo: A Star Wars Story arrived in theaters over the Memorial Day weekend, and while box office projections predicted the Star Wars spin-off might set some holiday records, the numbers turned out to be far more disappointing. In fact, the Solo box office numbers have it making barely half as much as Rogue One, the first movie to kick off the Star Wars Story moniker. Deadline reports the three-day total for Solo: A Star Wars Story in the United States is just $83.3 million. That's barely over half of the $155 million that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story took home during its opening weekend in December 2016. Even the four-day holiday weekend haul is only going to hit $101 million when all is said and done. These aren't the final, official numbers, but estimates from the industry analysts who delivers these numbers, and they're on par with what Disney is estimating themselves.

Overseas, the movie isn't performing well either, with the international numbers only hitting $65 million. Again, that's far below the expectations set by Rogue One, which raked in $178 million in international markets alone in its opening weekend. Solo's global box office only amounts to $148.3 million.

Is Solo a Box Office Bomb?

The budget for Solo: A Star Wars Story is reportedly somewhere between $250 million to $300 million (thanks to the cost of those reshoots with director Ron Howard), and that apparently doesn't include the marketing costs. The movie has a lot of heavy lifting to do in order to break even, but Forbes breaks down why the disappointment of Solo isn't exactly going to break the Star Wars bank:

"Let's play worst-case-scenario ball here and presume that Solo makes exactly $543.2 million worldwide and loses around $300m. That's presuming a $300m budget, $300m in marketing and then $250m back to theaters in ticket sales. Yes, I'm intentionally overexaggerating here. That still puts the first four Disney Star Wars movies at $5 billion worldwide in pure theatrical grosses on a combined budget of around $1b. That's still five times the budget in just worldwide theatrical, with no accounting for post-theatrical, merchandise or Disney's sheer market share advantage."

So while the movie is disappointing by Star Wars standards, the movie won't result in catastrophic failure for Disney/Lucasfilm, though it might have them reconsidering their approach to the standalone movies.

Why Did Solo Disappoint?

Some are saying Star Wars fatigue is settling in, others are blaming the talk of production woes. But maybe fans and general audiences just weren't interested in a Han Solo movie that didn't feature Harrison Ford as the character, especially when they movie was getting middling reviews, ending up with a 70% on Rotten Tomatoes. That puts it below Revenge of the Sith at 79% and above Attack of the Clones at 66%.

Solo wouldn't have been such a disappointment if Rogue One didn't perform so well at the box office, but it set the bar pretty high for these spin-off episodes. But that movie had the benefit of pulling in general audiences who had no idea it was a prequel (seriously, there were people who had no idea it took place before the original trilogy). Meanwhile, Solo is very obviously a prequel kind of story, and that could have easily kept fans from thinking it's a must-see.

Maybe Solo being released in the heart of blockbuster summer ended up hurting the film's box office take. Audiences are just coming off the anticipated Avengers: Infinity War and Deadpool 2, and Solo didn't seem like nearly as much of a priority. If Solo was released in December with far less competition, it might have done better. But we'll never know now.

Taking It in Stride and Looking Ahead

For what it's worth, Ron Howard is taking the numbers in stride. He's been retweeting positive reviews all weekend, but he's also gone out of his way to retweet fans who thought the movie was just okay, and even some who have said they didn't care about the movie, saying he hopes that they give it a chance at some point. As far as the box office is concerned, he offered this response to one fan on Twitter:

Reactions from fans have been all over the place. Some have had a blast watching it while others have come away disappointed. There are those who didn't like Star Wars: The Last Jedi saying they wish the new trilogy was more like Solo while there are others saying that Disney/Lucasfilm are turning Star Wars into something that isn't special anymore.

It'll be interesting to see what Lucasfilm takes away from Solo's performance at the box office. We know that there was hope of sequels following this first adventure, especially with a certain big reveal setting the stage for a continued story. But maybe Lucasfilm will rework their approach and not put the focus on young Han Solo. After all, there are talks of a Lando Calrissian movie that fans seem to be pretty keen on, and there's a Boba Fett movie officially in the works. So maybe this storyline can continue without focusing on only Han Solo, while still allowing the smuggler to come in and out of these spin-off movies.