Saturday Update: Disney reports this morning that Solo: A Star Wars Story bowed to an estimated $35.631 million on Friday, including Thursday night’s $14.1 million start. That stands as the fourth best Friday in Memorial Weekend history, coming in behind X-Men: The Last Stand‘s $45.1 million, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End‘s $42.9 million (which would have been $56.2 million if including its Thursday night earnings) and Fast & Furious 6‘s $38.7 million.
Solo is now on pace for a three-day weekend around $90 million and a four-day frame of $110 million, give or take. Unfortunately, this early start falls significantly short of industry wide expectations, including our own which had projected an opening day in the $40 million+ range and a four-day take close to $125 million on the conservative end even when factoring in the film’s disadvantages. Late yesterday, Disney itself lowered its own projections to $105-115 million for the four-day weekend versus their initial expectation of $130-150 million earlier this week.
Naturally, this will spur numerous questions about what happened and where Disney and Lucasfilm go next with the franchise. While this is a clear under-performance relative to tracking, it’s hardly a failure in realistic terms — but it is certainly a cautionary tale for the brand’s future. Spinoffs about previously established characters whose long-term fates are generally known to audiences can’t be expected to perform at the level of the franchise’s marquee episodic films, and not every film that encounters mid-production upheaval will miraculously fire on all box office cylinders like Rogue One did — especially at the tail end of one of the most packed male-driven May slates in history. That’s as much a lesson in expectations for the studio as it is for those in and around the industry.
Fair is fair, though: general reactions have been more positive than expected among the fans that did turn out for the film on opening day, so it remains to be seen exactly what Solo‘s legacy will become among the Star Wars faithful as this film is designed to play with a variety of audiences early in the summer. After all, this is a franchise that has rarely seen general opinions remain the same — for better or worse — after a particular chapter has aged and moved past the peak of buzz and headline-grabbing stories.
For the fellow box office math nerds: Solo had a similar Thursday-to-Friday multiple (2.53x) as Rogue One (2.45x) did in December 2016, but we remain cautious in extrapolating how this weekend’s earnings could play out due to the four-day weekend that often sees moviegoing habits fall outside the norm as families travel at various points during the long weekend. That being said, Solo will need to begin displaying staying power early on Saturday if it hopes to perform more in line with Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (which similarly opened below expectations on Thursday/Friday only to post stronger-than-expected holds throughout the weekend). Otherwise, Solo may simply behave in a more frontloaded manner like fellow franchise titles X-Men: Days of Future Past and Fast & Furious 6.
Meanwhile, Deadpool 2 slid a bit more than expected (-77%) from last Friday to $12.1 million yesterday, giving it a healthy $176.8 million eight-day domestic cume. Fox projects $54.5 million for the four-day frame, but we’re on the more optimistic end with a $57.5 million projection as of this morning.
Rounding out the top three, Avengers: Infinity War scored another $4.255 million yesterday and now stands at $609.5 million. The Marvel epic will likely surpass The Last Jedi ($620.2 million) and the first Avengers ($623.4 million) for sixth place on the all-time domestic list by the end of the holiday weekend.
Early four-day estimates are below. Check back throughout the weekend for continued updates.
Early Weekend Estimates (Domestic)
FRI, MAY. 25 – MON, MAY. 28
|1||Solo: A Star Wars Story||$110,000,000||—||4,381||—||$25,108||$110,000,000||1||Disney|
|3||Avengers: Infinity War||$21,500,000||-27%||3,768||-234||$5,706||$626,694,638||5||Disney|
|4||Book Club||$12,600,000||-7%||2,810||29||$4,484||$34,808,010||2||Paramount Pictures|
|5||Life Of The Party||$6,100,000||-20%||2,937||-719||$2,077||$40,087,348||3||Warner Bros. / New Line|
|6||Breaking In||$5,200,000||-24%||1,985||-552||$2,620||$36,788,655||3||Universal Pictures|
|7||Show Dogs||$4,000,000||-34%||3,212||0||$1,245||$11,594,725||2||Global Road Entertainment|
|8||Overboard||$3,800,000||-18%||1,196||-624||$3,177||$42,294,413||4||Lionsgate / Pantelion|
|9||A Quiet Place||$3,100,000||-21%||1,524||-803||$2,034||$180,798,379||8||Paramount|
|3||I Feel Pretty||$640,000||-49%||551||-954||$1,162||$47,807,133||6||STX Entertainment|
|4||Super Troopers 2||$600,000||-51%||221||-257||$2,715||$29,900,075||6||20th Century Fox|
|6||Pope Francis – A Man of His Word||$375,000||-26%||385||39||$974||$1,180,465||2||Focus Features|
|7||A Wrinkle in Time||$330,000||105%||202||-28||$1,634||$97,775,196||12||Walt Disney Pictures|
|10||Isle of Dogs||$225,000||-35%||162||-126||$1,389||$31,127,975||10||Fox Searchlight|
|1||2001: A Space Odyssey (2018 re-issue)||$110,000||-46%||4||0||$27,500||$431,785||2||Warner Bros.|
|2||Traffik||$50,000||3%||75||-6||$667||$9,150,747||6||Lionsgate / Summit / Codeblack Films|
|3||Chappaquiddick||$48,000||-45%||74||-76||$649||$17,263,624||8||Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures|
|4||Tyler Perry’s Acrimony||$42,000||-38%||40||-76||$1,050||$43,459,430||9||Lionsgate|
Friday Update: Disney reports this morning that Solo: A Star Wars Story launched with $14.1 million from Thursday night’s opening shows, representing an encouraging start to the long holiday weekend ahead.
Comparisons aren’t particularly useful at this stage due to a number of factors potentially having deflated presale activity (relative to recent Star Wars films), but just as notably so because Memorial Day weekend and this series especially are significantly driven by family audiences after initial fan-driven opening shows — meaning weekend attendance might be slightly backloaded as summer vacation officially begins for many families.
Nonetheless, for those keeping score at home, Solo‘s Thursday night start marks the biggest ever for a standard Friday opener during Memorial Day weekend, topping Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End ($13.24 million), X-Men: Days of the Future Past ($8.1 million) and Fast & Furious 6 ($6.5 million), while coming in behind traditional weekend openers Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ($17 million) and fellow franchise spin-off Rogue One ($29.0 million).
As Disney itself notes, standard industry practices in 2007 and 2008 — when the current top two Memorial openers of all-time, Pirates: At World’s End and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull respectively opened — did not include Thursday grosses in the weekend gross. In fact, Crystal Skull had a traditional full opening day on Thursday, with unconfirmed reports citing the film made $4.5 million from late Wednesday night/midnight shows.
Internationally, the studio reports Solo has earned a two-day cume of $11.4 million from 43 markets through Thursday with a slew of openings set for Friday. The only major market not opening this weekend is Japan, which will see the film’s debut on June 29.
Follow us throughout the weekend for continued updates.