Movies - TV
Why Solo:
A Star Wars Story Bombed, And What We Can Learn From It
Ron Howard’s "Solo: A Star Wars Story” is the only “Star Wars” film that lost money during its theatrical run, with a franchise-low of $393.1 million. The origin story didn’t really tell us anything new about Han Solo, and the film was negatively affected by the decisions of the higher ups behind the scenes.
Production Issues
Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller wanted to make “Solo” into an action-comedy like their previous films, and they allowed for a lot of improvisation on-set. This was a cause for concern for producers like Lawrence Kasdan, and Disney ended up firing the pair with only three weeks left of principal photography.
After Lord and Miller’s firing, Ron Howard was hired as the new director, and reshoots caused the budget to increase from $125 million to $275 million. What’s worse is that even though it was the lowest-grossing “Star Wars” film, it would’ve still made a profit if the original budget had been maintained.
Release Date
Although “Solo” was up against competitors like “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Deadpool 2,” the bigger issue was that it came out only six months after “The Last Jedi.” Fans were experiencing franchise fatigue, and Disney CEO Bob Iger admitted that “we might've put a little bit too much in the marketplace too fast.”
In trying to appeal to everybody, “Solo” ended up being a costly disappointment. Had Lucasfilm followed the film’s original trajectory, it might’ve led to less expensive “Star Wars” spin-offs that were more experimental in tone, instead of Disney axing future spin-offs and turning them into TV series.