After a significant second weekend drop at the box office for Solo: A Star Wars Story, it's looking like we may have the first Star Wars movie that isn't going to be a record-breaking hit. Exactly how bad the damage is going to be at this point is unclear, but it looks likely that Solo won't be profitable by the time it leaves theaters. This has many people wondering what this means for Star Wars in general. How will Disney respond? What's going to happen to the franchise? Hopefully, not much of anything.
While Solo's box office performance is certainly interesting and a topic worthy of discussion, it's not the end of the world for Star Wars fans, for Lucasfilm, for Disney, or even for Solo. There are several reasons why everybody can just relax. Let's discuss them:
Solo's Budget Was An Anomaly
Tentpole movies aren't cheap and Star Wars movies have been some of the most expensive films made in recent years, but Solo: A Star Wars Story was even more expensive than most. However, the primary reason Solo was so expensive was because of the behind the scenes issues that resulted in Lucasfilm hiring another director and reshooting large portions of the film. While we have no idea what Solo's budget would have been if things progressed normally, we can guess it would have been a lot cheaper. It's entirely possible that based on the original budget, Solo's current box office would be enough for the movie to be in the black. It still wouldn't be a massive hit, but it would be profitable, and at the end of the day, that's literally all that matters to the studio.
Solo Still has A Long Life Ahead Of It
The box office may not be very nice to Solo right now, but that's hardly the end of the story when it comes to a film's lifespan these days. Solo is going to be released on Digital storefronts and on Blu-Ray. It will stream, on Disney's upcoming service if nowhere else. It'll end up on cable TV. In each of these places, Solo is going to make some money. In a few years, Disney is going to release the Star Wars Story Blu-ray Collector's Edition with Rogue One and Solo and Obi-Wan and Boba Fett and whatever the hell else they come up with, and fans will buy it. The diehard fans certainly will, and if the rest of the movies in the collection are well liked, lots of others will too. Even if people don't love Solo, they'll buy it just to keep the collection intact.
Disney Still Made A Pile Of Money
During the two weekends that Solo: A Star Wars Story has been in theaters, Avengers: Infinity War made an additional $30 million, and that's just domestically. The fact that Solo had some pretty significant competition at the box office was certainly part of the reason that it didn't do as well as it might have, but some of that money still went in Disney's pocket. Certainly, Lucasfilm can't expect Marvel to bail them out every time, but to the parent company, the total amount of money made at the box office is the bottom line.
It's A Question Of Scale
Solo: A Star Wars Story did not do as expected at the box office, but if you look at what the expectations for Star Wars movies are, they're sort of ridiculous. Adjusted for inflation, the lowest grossing Star Wars movie to date is Episode II: Attack of the Clones, at just short of a half-billion dollars domestically. The rest of Hollywood would kill to "underperform" like Solo has. With an appropriate budget, there's nothing wrong with a movie that's made over $250 million around the world. Just because it's Star Wars doesn't mean it has to set records.
Episode IX Will Make Up For It
Whatever the reason for Solo's lack of box office success, it's proximity to The Last Jedi, the competition from Deadpool 2 and Infinity War, or just the fact that nobody really cared about this movie, Episode IX is coming, and none of these things will be a concern. It won't face significant box office competition, it will have the longest gap in Star Wars movies since the franchise started up again, and people certainly want to see how the trilogy ends. Episode IX is going to set records again and the idea that people don't want Star Wars movies is going to be utterly forgotten.
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