Weekend Box Office

Weekend Box Office Results: Solo Flies Low with $103 million Memorial Day Weekend Haul

Meanwhile, Infinity War Continues to Make History on the weekend of May 25-28.

by | May 28, 2018 | Comments

Solo: A Star Wars Story opened to underwhelming $103 million to lead the North American box office over the Memorial Day long weekend, the lowest debut for a Star Wars movie since Attack of the Clones in 2002. With apologies to Shakespeare – a phrase you don’t hear so often at RT – Disney and Lucasfilm  appear to have been hoisted upon their own lightsaber, guilty of overestimating the appeal of a Han Solo origin saga and underestimating the strength of holdover hits Deadpool 2 and Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War.

King of the Crop: Solo For the Win, But Can It Make a Profit?

Solo‘s domestic haul is the biggest Memorial Day opening since 2014, when X-Men: Days of Future Past brought in $114 million. That sounds impressive, and it is, but less so when you consider that Disney’s aggressive pre-release projections ranged as high as $150 million, and the film’s mammoth price tag, which is likely well north of $400 million for production and global marketing.

(Photo by © Lucasfilm/ © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Making matters worse is that Solo has failed to strongly connect internationally and won’t be offsetting its soft domestic debut with strong foreign performance to get into the black, as many films do. Opening in every major territory except Japan, it managed just $65 million overseas. Star Wars movies have always been far more popular in the United States than abroad, but that Solo number isn’t even half of the $135 million that the franchise’s previous anthology film, Rogue One: A Star Wars Movie, rolled up in its overseas debut in December of 2016.

The movie, loaded with costly reshoots after original directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord were dismissed last year, currently has a 70 percent Tomatometer rating — Fresh, but still the lowest for a live-action Star Wars film since the prequels. Opening weekend fans gave Solo, directed by Ron Howard, an A- in CinemaScore’s exit polling (it also currently has a positive Audience Score on RT). However, despite a cast that includes buzzy stars like Donald Glover and Thandie Newton, the film played older (64% over 25) and male (58 percent).


Big competition: It’s Hard To Escape the Aftershocks of Deadpool 2 and Infinity War

(Photo by © Twentieth Century Fox )

There is going to be plenty of speculation over the causes of Solo‘s softer-than-expected opening. Was Disney overly aggressive in rolling out Solo in May, rather than around the holidays in December like the last three Star Wars releases? (It would be up against its own Mary Poppins Returns if it had.) It’s been just five months since The Last Jedi came out and it remained in budget theaters until just weeks ago.

Did it not give the competition wide enough berth? Fox’s Deadpool 2, in its second week, and Disney’s own Marvel release, Avengers: Infinity War, both targeted the same audience demographic and connected. The good news was that, driven by the top three films, the holiday weekend was up a whopping 24% from last year. The bad news, at least for Solo, might have been the impact of the overlap.

Weekend runner-up Deadpool 2 will finish around $54 million for the four days domestically, and nearly topped Solo overseas with $57 million. It’s up to $287 million from abroad and $487 million worldwide for Fox. Avengers: Infinity War was third with a projected $21 million over the long weekend, and in the process passed 2012’s The Avengers on the all-time domestic box office list with $627 million. It’s now sixth. The $32 million it brought in overseas lifted its foreign total to $1.3 billion and its worldwide total to $1.9 billion, the fourth-best ever.

Paramount’s Book Club was fourth with $12 million in its second weekend. That figure didn’t threaten the intergalactic smugglers and men in tights at the top of the heap, but it was a strong hold from its debut weekend, and did bring the total for the comedy starring Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen to $35 million.

(Photo by ©Marvel/©Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

While Solo has underperformed so far, Disney’s swing-for-the-fences approach has been working for its franchises. They don’t directly compare, but it’s worth noting that February’s Black Panther came out just over three months after Thor: Ragnarok, and that one did OK ($1.3 billion worldwide). And Infinity War followed a few months later with Black Panther still in theaters.

It’s an overall go-for-it approach that has paid huge dividends since the Star Wars franchise was resuscitated in 2015 with The Force Awakens, and with Marvel, and Disney isn’t about to back off from its plans to expand the Star Wars galaxy now. There is the Rian Johnson film trilogy in the works, another trilogy from Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, as well as the Jon Favreau live-action TV series, and a Boba Fett film.


Fresh surprises: A Priest and a Judge Expand, and Audiences Respond

(Photo by © A24)

RBG and First Reformed, two movies at the opposite end of the subject-matter spectrum from Solo, each with glossy Tomatometer ratings (94% and 98% respectively), counter-punched the space fantasy over the weekend. RBG, a documentary about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, directed by Betsy West and Julie Cohen, expanded by 40 to 415 theaters and cracked the top 10 domestically once again with $1.6 million for distributor Magnolia. That raised its overall total to $6.1 million after four weeks. First Reformed, director Paul Schrader’s intense crisis of faith drama starring Ethan Hawke, which is one of the year’s best-reviewed movies, added 25 locations and took in $282,507 for a strong $9,742 per-screen average in its second week. That lifted its domestic total to $425,469 for A24.


On the Vine: Expect A Familiar-Looking Top Three

(Photo by © STX Entertainment )

The upcoming weekend likely will see the holiday weekend’s leaders vie for the top spot again. The new releases are the Johnny Knoxville comedy Action Point, the Shailene Woodley-Sam Claflin drama Adrift, and writer-director Lee Whanell’s thriller Upgrade. Keep an eye on the latter — RT audiences have given it a 97% Want To See score. Then, in two weeks time, two new films open to test the box office in two different ways. Will Ocean’s 8 be the all-female heist hit that some are hoping? And will A24’s critically acclaimed horror film, Hereditary, which some are dubbing the best scary movie since The Exorcist, be the breakout indie hit some are expecting?

The Full Top 10: May 25-28

  1. Solo: A Star Wars Story – $103 million ($103 million total)
  2. Deadpool 2 $55 million ($220 million total)
  3. Avengers: Infinity War $21.2 million ($626 million total)
  4. Book Club $12.5 million ($35 million total)
  5. Life of the Party – $6.9 million ($40.9 million total)
  6. Breaking In – $5.7 million ($37.3 million total)
  7. Show Dogs $4.6 million ($12.2 million total)
  8. Overboard $4.3 million ($42.8 million total)
  9. A Quiet Place $3 million ($180.8 million total)
  10. RBG – $1.6 million ($6.1 million total)

[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]

Tag Cloud

IFC Films foreign Hulu best police drama social media Set visit quibi discovery what to watch independent Nickelodeon The Academy 45 blockbuster Peacock talk show CMT El Rey Super Bowl TCA 2017 Comedy justice league crime thriller black Thanksgiving Disney YouTube Premium spy thriller Disney streaming service Ghostbusters toy story true crime Summer Acorn TV National Geographic twilight dark Endgame 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Walt Disney Pictures razzies name the review rt archives comics breaking bad Apple TV Plus Lionsgate 007 Discovery Channel Avengers 2016 DGA SundanceTV television Countdown FX Lifetime Christmas movies DC Universe emmy awards Film Festival cancelled TV shows crossover zombies spanish language San Diego Comic-Con Schedule Shudder screenings Apple kids facebook 99% Television Critics Association Chilling Adventures of Sabrina nfl See It Skip It Masterpiece trailers Trivia WGN women New York Comic Con spain Freeform politics Mystery The Walking Dead robots TNT zero dark thirty book adaptation franchise Fantasy Fox News TCA Winter 2020 Funimation FX on Hulu First Reviews composers sequels sag awards YA psycho Fall TV GIFs Hear Us Out Box Office Adult Swim PlayStation Extras HBO Max 2020 rotten movies we love mission: impossible screen actors guild Anna Paquin Film pirates of the caribbean dceu X-Men Quiz war First Look TIFF Premiere Dates Christmas MSNBC animated Comedy Central Winter TV deadpool LGBT Tumblr 2019 AMC Family renewed TV shows adaptation DC streaming service Trailer stoner Hallmark superhero supernatural archives godzilla Star Trek Superheroe cops scary movies space french Western natural history Musical 2018 2015 Song of Ice and Fire USA History Tubi kong GLAAD PaleyFest cars Oscars Broadway 2021 The Purge TCA criterion Stephen King biography adventure sitcom crime drama green book Bravo Arrowverse Britbox Calendar superman Netflix sports doctor who WarnerMedia medical drama Ovation Pet Sematary A24 71st Emmy Awards NYCC Teen Universal Music italian Fox Searchlight Red Carpet DirecTV japanese obituary popular HBO romantic comedy Grammys casting comedies slashers Amazon Prime Video Comic Book Vudu ghosts aliens Captain marvel docuseries Marathons BBC One Nat Geo mutant diversity President PBS Writers Guild of America YouTube christmas movies Netflix Christmas movies historical drama YouTube Red worst movies king kong VICE Reality SDCC Polls and Games Black History Month Drama prank spinoff spanish transformers FXX dramedy Black Mirror unscripted Animation nature Spring TV vampires dc Infographic DC Comics blaxploitation ABC Signature TBS singing competition hist Interview toronto crime VH1 mockumentary Toys nbcuniversal APB TV rom-coms latino Exclusive Video Cannes satire ABC Cosplay Sundance Now asian-american CW Seed universal monsters Best and Worst ESPN Amazon Studios Awards BBC America documentary comiccon game show jurassic park werewolf book anime Mary poppins parents finale Spike Pirates Mary Tyler Moore CBS All Access based on movie science fiction Musicals Marvel Studios Pop TV batman BAFTA RT History festivals news TV Land boxing Winners ABC Family high school comic books joker cancelled TV series concert Certified Fresh E! ViacomCBS fresh stop motion comic Chernobyl revenge Emmys VOD Baby Yoda Mary Poppins Returns video on demand a nightmare on elm street TV renewals south america ITV Sci-Fi Travel Channel Disney Plus award winner golden globes anthology boxoffice series movies Reality Competition Crackle witnail 24 frames LGBTQ theme song political drama miniseries Holiday Action Sneak Peek thriller USA Network Tomatazos 93rd Oscars streaming Television Academy reboot hidden camera 20th Century Fox Biopics Amazon Prime Esquire psychological thriller disaster Trophy Talk Lucasfilm canceled TV shows indie tv talk Comics on TV cinemax Rocky E3 binge Paramount Plus Food Network Sony Pictures video Country 4/20 scorecard ratings Heroines Turner BET Awards dogs Legendary Emmy Nominations Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Binge Guide Character Guide remakes critics Epix Apple TV+ Warner Bros. hispanic Crunchyroll Podcast child's play Academy Awards Superheroes movie Ellie Kemper heist movie Star Wars telelvision NBC The Witch Paramount Network Year in Review Disney+ Disney Plus TruTV Marvel 2017 Rocketman Rock fast and furious ID classics Shondaland football The Arrangement period drama Paramount Classic Film Watching Series elevated horror monster movies IFC Amazon strong female leads cartoon Nominations The Walt Disney Company Valentine's Day Horror jamie lee curtis hollywood stand-up comedy documentaries Elton John Syfy blockbusters GoT films kaiju Awards Tour zombie worst australia teaser halloween tv Marvel Television laika MTV cults TLC sequel Women's History Month golden globe awards die hard richard e. Grant Mudbound CBS Sundance TV Logo OWN Showtime docudrama cancelled Holidays Lifetime Photos venice Pop MCU halloween harry potter Alien SXSW Video Games Opinion rotten indiana jones FOX TV One spider-man BET versus free movies Cartoon Network james bond Brie Larson 21st Century Fox all-time serial killer new star wars movies 72 Emmy Awards children's TV American Society of Cinematographers chucky BBC Creative Arts Emmys canceled CNN Pride Month HBO Go saw A&E OneApp Spectrum Originals directors Tarantino Mindy Kaling Disney Channel game of thrones Hallmark Christmas movies travel Martial Arts Kids & Family cooking Dark Horse Comics Starz Sundance Election reviews TCA Awards dragons festival TCM cats Pixar technology The CW Rom-Com Turner Classic Movies cancelled television romance RT21 Columbia Pictures