What if I told you that the box office was now under the control of a Dark Lord of the Sith? Well, it’s not (as far as we know), but we do find its lack of faith in Solo: A Star Wars Story disturbing.

Solo was just a simple film trying to make its way in the universe. Young Han Solo joins forces with a gang of galactic smugglers, and along with our beloved Chewie, they devise a plan to steal a batch of valuable coaxium. The quest obviously requires a YT-1300 freighter that has been heavily modified to become faster, stronger, and more powerful, so Solo outsmarts smooth-talking Lando Calrissian, winning a game of Sabacc and acquiring the perfect vessel for the mission – the Millennium Falcon. Adventure ensues…

… box-office success does not. The film made under $400 million worldwide in 2018, making Solo is the lowest-grossing Star Wars film in history.

Some suggest the film’s downfall is due to its May release. Since 2015, Disney has released the Star Wars films in December – until Solo. (Interestingly though, prior to 2015, Star Wars films had been released in May for decades.)

Instead of a Force-filled December, 2018 brought with it The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, Ralph Breaks the Internet and Mary Poppins Returns, earning only $388 million domestically. Disney reports that it expects operating income from its theatrical and home entertainment businesses to be $450 million to $500 million lower than in the second quarter last year, which was the best second quarter in the studio’s history.

Comparatively, in December 2017, Coco and Thor: Ragnarok accompanied The Last Jedi to the big screen. The three films allegedly grossed more than $1 billion at the box office. The Last Jedi was a retail and box office hit. The Force was strong with that one.

Just like fear is the path to the Dark Side, December appears to be the path to modern release success. Though, how future Star Wars releases will fair at the box office is obviously unclear. Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future.

Author

Jess is an Aussie, an attorney and a die-hard Disney fan. She grew up in a city not too far from P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney; and she still enjoys running around in Snow White pajamas and serenading her family members with Sleeping Beauty’s “Once Upon A Dream” (though, unlike Princess Aurora, she is not blessed with the gift of song). She recently became an Honorary Princess of the Magic Kingdom after her Flynn-Rider lookalike fiancé proposed at Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner at the Grand Floridian Resort. Jess is an Elvis-lover like Lilo, and is otherwise singing along to her Frozen, Moana and Coco soundtracks (anyone listening will wish Ursula would pay her a voice-taking visit). When she doesn't have her nose stuck in a book, Jess delights in writing for The Disney Blog and sharing with fellow fans all things Disney.

3 Comments

  1. I thought Solo was a fun little film. I wish it had done better so we could have seen more like it…

  2. Where Rogue One succeeded, an original story with original characters that ultimately intersected the Star Wars films, Solo failed.It was chunky and disjointed- probably the result of writers coming and going and Ron Howard taking over directing half-way through filming.
    It seemed too eager to check off the boxes of the known narrative, without much depth or development so it was very anti-climatic.
    We know he and Chewbacca are fast friends-the how they met, not that impressive-met in jail.
    We know he won the Falcon from Lando. On film, it was meh. The rematch at the end of the movie was like Apollo and Rocky in Rocky III (ding ding)
    We know the Falcon does the Kessel run in 12 par secs. Again, a big lunch bag letdown in the execution. There was no build up. It was “hey you can’t do the Kessel Run in 12 par secs” “I can’t? here, hold my beer”.
    We know he owes a debt to Jabba the Hut, the why is laid out in the original movie.

    Other characters with unknown stories may have fared better. An Obi-Wan story after the Clone Wars and before A New Hope- that could have worked. New worlds, new characters. Solo blasted that one out of possibility quicker than doing the Kessel Run (maybe on the new Disney streaming service perhaps).

    Not every Star Wars film will make a billion dollars. What Solo has done is dampen any enthusiasm the studio may have to invest in those movies outside of their streaming service.

  3. I attribute Solo’s poor showing to TLJ sucking all the life and momentum out of the new Star Wars films.

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