Solo: A Star Wars Story

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    [Total: 123 Average: 2.9]
  • Directed By: Ron Howard
  • Written By: Jonathan Kasdan, Lawrence Kasdan
  • Release Date: May 25, 2018
  • Domestic Distributor: Disney
  • Cast: Alden Ehrenreich, Joonas Suotamo, Woody Harrelson, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton

Box Office Info:
Budget: N/AFinanced by: Disney
Domestic Box Office: $213,767,512Overseas Box Office: $179,095,231

solo: a star wars story box office
To begin with, there is no official budget listed for Solo: A Star Wars Story.  The project went into production under the coded UK company name Stannum 50 Labs and eventually Disney will release a required up to date financial report filing for that company, which will list all revenue spent on the film.  You will be able to find that filing here.  This article will be updated when the actual budget is listed.  In the meantime, an estimated budget north of $250M will be the frame of reference here.

Disney’s model of releasing fewer films, but with colossal budgets looking for colossal returns, requires each of their movies to reach near record breaking box office numbers to get into the black — and an underperformer like Solo: A Star Wars Story could top out at nearly a massive $400M worldwide and ultimately fall nine figures short in theatrical receipts.  So how the hell does a movie like Solo: A Star Wars Story, which was a blueprint for success, pull in about $600M less than the previous spin off Rogue One?

Quality? It would be easy to point to a broken movie if the quality was abysmal, but despite the much publicized firing of original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the movie landed decent reviews and strong audience scores.

Release date?  When studios are releasing giant tent-poles week after week, the market will inevitably bloat.  With Deadpool 2 released the weekend prior, Disney’s own Avengers: Infinity War released four weeks earlier (and still pulling in auds) and Disney’s Incredibles 2 booked for three weeks later — the market share for Solo was under intense competition, plenty of which was from its own studio.

Too close to The Last Jedi?  Another speculative argument was the close proximity to the previous Star Wars release Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi, which opened only 5 months earlier and actually concluded its theatrical run on April 19, 2018 — only one month before Solo: A Star Wars Story.

It’s just a spin off?  There’s the usual rule of diminishing returns for a spin off.  Outside of the main Episodes’ narrative, a spin off will inevitably have a more narrow audience, as that’s the nature of the beast — it’s an extraneous story that couldn’t exist without its parent narrative.  It’s not must-see material for those who are not enamored with the Star Wars universe.

Yes, a less crowded place on the calendar would have certainly helped Solo, but it’s doubtful it would have added over $600M in worldwide receipts to reach the box office of Rogue One.  If anything, Solo has shown that audience interest in all things Star Wars actually has a ceiling and ultimately like all massive money losers, it boils down to gross overspending.  Even if the original directors completed their almost finished production before they were terminated and Ron Howard reshot nearly the entire picture — the budget was still originally set near $200M, with a global P&A spend set to be far north of $150M.  A break even point requires complete global market domination.

Disney released Solo: A Star Wars Story over the Memorial Day frame — which of course was the frame each of the original movies opened on.  It was the only wide release opener and was tracking to bring in up to $170M over the 4-day holiday period.  It disappointed with $103,016,812 ($84,420,489 over the 3-day weekend) — absolutely incredible numbers, if the film did not cost such a gargantuan amount.  Solo then took a 65.2% nosedive to $29,396,882 the following weekend — despite only lower budgeted fare opening — Adrift, Upgrade and Action PointSolo closed its domestic run with $213,767,512.

Solo also struggled in the international market, where the film pulled in a fraction of previous Star Wars installments.  The offshore cume stalled at $179M.  The worldwide total was $392.8M and Disney would see returned about $216M after theaters take their percentage of the gross — which would cover the global P&A blitz, but leave most of the budget untouched by the theatrical receipts.

21 Comments

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  1. I believe it didn’t do well because it wasn’t released around the Christmas area, it was released in MAY. People were confused and didn’t see it because they believed it wasn’t a necessary pic to see if it wasn’t part of the ‘Force Awakens’ saga, (which is wasn’t but still) because the Star Wars movies were always released in the Christmas Area. More people probably would’ve been more likely to see it if it had been released in the Christmas area, like Rogue One (which had nothing to do with the ‘Force Awakens Saga at all but was still a huge success) because people would’ve thought this was an important movie in the saga or something like that. Not so much in May.

  2. I actually liked it but I agree a smaller budget would’ve been better. The setup for a sequel was very intriguing and I hope it gets made in some form.
    Really they made the wrong movie. Something with Vader covering the pre-New Hope would’ve been better, Rogue set that up.
    I hope we get that Knights of the Old Republic series. I think Disney learned its lesson.

  3. When will the budget be released? Do we have to wait until Disney releases full 2018 financials in (what I assume will be) March?

  4. People do not want to see the original characters recast. The guy playing Solo looks NOTHING like a young Harrison Ford. Pity, I liked Solo a lot and wanted to see Darth Maul’s come back. Ron Howard did a great job.

  5. I’m surprised this movie failed because it’s a Star Wars movie. I know that’s a stupid thing, but it’s Star Wars! What’s next, is Captain Marvel gonna fail at the box office as well? Probably not.

  6. Backlash from that abysmal piece of crap called the last Jedi. People who are fans didn’t want to see another total disappointment in the star wars universe happen. Filled with total disregard of the characters history or how the characters persona is within the Star Wars cannon.

    • That’s just the estimated budget. The budget was around 250 to 300 MILLION DOLLARS. And that’s NOT including marketing. With the box office results the film had(which were GOOD if the budget wasn’t massive like this), the film was a failure for Disney. Luckily, they had their billion dollar films(“Black Panther”, “Avengers: Infinity War”, and “Incredibles 2”) cover up whatever losses this film and “A Wrinkle In Time” had, “Ant-Man and The Wasp” is doing good at the box office with more than 430 million dollars worldwide, and if it continues(since it has only been a week since it came out), “Christopher Robin” is doing okay for itself so far at the box office, unless it has a huge drop. Disney is still having a strong year regardless of “Solo” and “Wrinkle” flopping.

    • “Episode 9” hasn’t even come out yet(at least for another year). I though it was “The Last Jedi” you were talking about. Sure, there people who ABSOLUTELY hate the film, but there are just as many people who ABSOLUTELY love the film as well. I think “Episode 9” will be another massive, billion dollar box office smash for Disney and Lucasfilm. By the time it comes out next December, we will all think that the box office failure of “Solo” was just a distant memory, and the main “Star Wars” films will continue to make billions and billions of dollars at the box office. We can all hope and dream.

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