Solo: A Star Wars Story opens to a disappointing $83 million domestically, which is close to $10 million lower than 2017’s Justice League . Lucasfilm is pushing the galaxy far, far away forward while also staying close to what has come before. The idea of standalone movies brought Rogue One: A Star Wars Story to life, but their second installment gave an origin story to Harrison Ford’s Han Solo – one that many people thought was unnecessary.
Despite the possible hesitance towards Solo: A Star Wars Story, it is a Star Wars movie, after all, and it looked poised to be a major hit in the summer season. With A- Cinemascore and a holiday weekend behind it, tracking in the lead up pointed to a record setting weekend for Solo: A Star Wars Story. The studios’ weekend estimates are now in and it doesn’t look to be setting any new records. In fact, it didn’t even top Justice League‘s opening.
Box Office Mojo reports that Solo: A Star Wars Story‘s 3-day weekend opening coming in at just $83.3 million domestically. That’s the lowest nationwide opening in the entire franchise, adjuted for ticket price inflation, of course. It isn’t even in the same ballpark as Disney’s other major releases of the year and it came in so far below expectations that Justice League managed to earn more money in its first weekend with $93.8 million.
Justice League was one of 2017’s biggest box office disappointments, but it’s possible that Solo: A Star Wars Storymay be an even bigger one. Both movies, ironically, had storied productions and director switches, but Solo fared better with critics than Justice League did. Even though expectations were high for a movie featuring DC’s most iconic heroes on the screen together for the first time ever, it is truly surprising that a movie centered around one of the most beloved characters in possibly the biggest franchise in movie history couldn’t come out on top.
Another similarity the movies may share is having superhero movies take away some of their appeal. Justice Leaguecame just two weeks after Thor: Ragnarok hit theaters, and now, Solo is being released just a week after Deadpool 2. The Ryan Reynolds-led sequel looks like it will have a massive drop but may still pull in $43 million this weekend. The target audiences are a bit different thanks to Deadpool’s style of comedy and violence (not to mention its R-rating), but it is clear that Deadpool 2 (which moved up two weeks to release before Solo instead of after ) attracted plenty of people in its second weekend.
With Solo and Deadpool 2 coming in at the top two spots on the domestic chart, it’s Avengers: Infinity War only dropping 44% and adding an additional $16 million that keeps it in the top three. Book Club ($9.5 million) and Life of the Party ($5.1 million) look to round out the top five for the full weekend. Both experience small dips and continue to be counter programming for those uninterested in superhero or space opera movies.