It’s safe to say that in the movie business these days, there’s Star Wars and Marvel money at the box office, and then there’s everyone else. Star Wars, in particular, has paid off for Disney, as the franchise has already made back the $4 billion it cost to buy Lucasfilm in the first place. So in theory, anyway, everything beyond this point is just gravy for the House of Mouse, but box office pundits are worried that Star Wars may be losing its luster.
Make no mistake, Solo: A Star Wars Story is going to make a boatload of money. The question Hollywood seems overly preoccupied with is whether or not it will make the kind of money we’ve come to expect from the Star Wars franchise, which has august bodies like Forbes and Hollywood Reporter wringing their hands:
Unless it comes in ahead of official projections, the Han Solo origin story will post the lowest domestic opening of the four films; Force Awakens debuted to a then-record $248 million in 2016, followed by $155.1 million for spinoff Rogue One in 2016 and $220 million for Jedi, a follow-up to Force Awakens.
One can fire back that we see a bit of a pattern here: The “off-year” prequel Rogue One made less than the central Skywalker saga, and Solo seems about in line with the decline between The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi if it “only” makes $130 million. That seems unlikely: The fans that have seen it have been enthusiastic and it’s the only new movie in theaters this Memorial Day, with its main competition being Deadpool 2.
To some degree, of course, this is all a bit silly: Disney CEO Bob Iger, two years ago, had to get in front of his shareholders and tell them with a straight face that Rogue One might, horror of horrors, only make a billion dollars before they sold all that merchandise and all those DVDs. But it is perhaps a fair question, because the main franchise is about to run out of road. Solo might be a hint as to where the franchise goes after the Skywalker saga comes to an end, at least in terms of box office. Still, though, it’s hard to argue with a large pile of money, and no matter what, by the end of this weekend, that’s exactly what Han and Chewie will be sitting on.
(via The Hollywood Reporter)