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Solo: A Star Wars Story had an opening weekend that many films would sell their soul to get, but for a summer blockbuster Star Wars film, it came in below expectations. Now, Disney is starting to examine why. While there will certainly be a lot of questions that need answering, Disney distribution chief Dave Hollis certainly has some thoughts on why Solo barely broke the $100 million mark over the four-day weekend. One potential issue is that there were simply too many big movies coming out in too small a window. According to Hollis...
There's a question of frequency, and how many times people will go to the movies. Is this too much and too soon for a third time in a five-week period? Let's measure how we feel about this until more time passes.
Theater competition is always an important component of the box office and it's something that, for the most part, Star Wars hadn't had to deal with previously. While the holiday season has become the second biggest time of year at the movies, the competition simply wasn't as stiff for the previous Star Wars films that Disney has released. As Dave Hollis points out to THR, Solo: A Star Wars Story went up against Deadpool 2 as well as Disney's own Avengers: Infinity War, and it's certainly possible that a lot of moviegoers simply needed a break from the theater after the first two. A lot of people go to the movies frequently but the majority of fans can't be there every weekend for any number of reasons and they had to make choices.
Of course, It bears pointing out that Lucasfilm had an opportunity to avoid this issue. When Solo went through major changes behind the scenes and found itself with a new director it had every reason to delay its release, but Lucasfilm held firm to the May 25 date it had chosen. Now, it seems maybe they're wondering if that was the right call.
Of course, there could be any number of reasons why the box office did what it did, the good news, for Lucasfilm, is that they have some time to analyze things and figure out what happened before their next movie comes out.
We have a lot of work to do in trying to understand this. We are all over it and will spend a lot of time digging into why things happened the way they did in various markets. We have a year and a half before Episode IX comes out.
While Solo: A Star Wars Story didn't turn out as expected, it likely would have still been ok for the film to make less money. The problem is that due to everything that happened behind the scenes the budget for the film clearly ballooned and cost a lot more than it was supposed to. The studio will likely wait for the dust to clear and see where Solo finally ends up before really trying to understand what happened, but you can be sure this will be a major topic of conversation at the studio for a long time to come.