Oh screw it, I LOVED Solo: A Star Wars Story.
If you follow me on social media, you’ll probably be aware of my massive love for Solo and my inability to shut up about it. Sorry, I can’t help myself. I went into that film expecting nothing and came out with the biggest grin on my face. Alas, I seem to be in the minority on that front, and it seems that the Star Wars fatigue may be hitting hard. After initial projections of a $130-150m 4-day Memorial weekend, the film only made about $83.3m over three days. Can it make it to $100m domestically by Monday? It may not happen, and frankly, that makes me sad. Look, I loved my frenetic space heist movie with sexy-goofy Alden Ehrenreich, a freedom fighting feminist robot and Paul Bettany menacingly munching on entrees, okay?! I haven’t felt this wholeheartedly enthusiastic about a $100m+ blockbuster since The Man from U.N.C.L.E., so maybe that was a sign this was going to under-perform.
I’m not ready to write this one off as an unmitigated disaster - this is Disney, after all, they can afford the occasional 9-figure oopsie - nor am I sure this is proof that the Star Wars fatigue has totally hit. For one, it’s May, and competition was very tough. There are two major comic book blockbusters out right now, one of which is also a Disney film, so audiences were divided. I keep hearing about the lack of enthusiasm for a Han Solo movie, and the supposed lack of necessity for such an endeavour, so whether or not that’s true (I obviously don’t think it is because I LOVED this film), that narrative is hard to shake. For me, I think of Star Wars as big Xmas event movies, even though the franchise is partly why we even have a Summer blockbuster season. If I were Kathleen Kennedy, I’d stick to that schedule. I’d also hire some directors who aren’t white dudes.
Deadpool 2 slid to number two with a 66% drop in ticket sales, but that was still a $42.7m weekend gross, and the film is already close to making back double its budget domestically. Avengers: Infinity War pushed its domestic gross past $621m, putting it at number 7 on the list of all-time domestic grosses. That’s 4 spots behind Black Panther.
Holding on pretty decently this weekend was Book Club, at number 4 with $9.45m, only dropping 30% from last week. There’s a film that knows its demographic and plays well to it. Not doing so well is Show Dogs at number 7 with $3m. It’s averaging about $958 per theatre. Ouch. The film did break ground in some ways, as it became the rare instance of a movie that underwent major edits while still in theatres. Turns out parents aren’t wild about family friendly movies featuring weird endorsements of unwanted genital touching. Who knew?!
In the indie world, some hot titles saw their releases expanded into the dozens, with solid results, including Paul Schrader’s First Reformed ($282k from 29 theatres), Chloe Zhao’s The Rider ($184k from 107 theatres), Claire Denis’s Let the Sunshine In ($104k from 69 theatres) and On Chesil Beach with Saoirse Ronan ($91k from 25 theatres).
Newer indie releases include John Cameron Mitchell’s How to Talk to Girls at Parties, a new A24 movie, which brought in $13,179 from two theatres. Mary Shelley had similar grosses from a similar limited release ($12,016 from 2 theatres).
Next week sees the release of the new Blumhouse movie, Upgrade, a Shailene Woodley film called Adrift, and Action Point, the latest injury laugh-fest from Johnny Knoxville.
You can check out the rest of the weekend box office here.
What did you see this weekend? Do you want to come and geek out with me about Solo? Don’t @ me if you don’t. Answers in the comments.