Disney isn’t trying to spin the news that Solo underperformed at the box office. Solo’s take for its first three days of release was just under $85 million. For a film that cost around $250 million to make, that figure is disastrous. Even worse, Disney can’t look towards the overseas box office to recoup losses. The film underperformed in foreign markets dramatically. How embarrassing was Solo’s performance? The film did worse than the disastrous release Warner Bros. suffered Justice League.
Dave Hollis, Disney’s distribution chief, went on the record to address the poor performance. He pointed out that Solo faced stiff competition from still red-hot films Avengers: Infinity War and Deadpool 2. Audiences already spent a lot of money on movie tickets. Some waited for crowds to die down a bit before heading to the movies.
Hollis certainly makes a valid point here. Not every audience member has an unlimited budget. Paying $12 for a movie ticket every week isn’t feasible. For families, paying $48 every week for movie tickets is out of the question.
Hollis’ comments do not come off as spin since Solo did not receive poor critical reviews. Audiences seemed pleased with the film. While not a classic, Solo was a good film. Consider this a testament to director Ron Howard’s talents. The two previous directors were fired from the project. Howard had to cobble together a finished project based on material he didn’t shoot. That’s an incredibly difficult job. Justice League reflects an example of how disjointed such a film could turn out to be. Solo ended up being a good film. Poor reviews didn’t keep audiences away.
A strange question emerges here. Did the Star Wars brand keep audiences away? Film journalists seriously ask this question. In years past, long breaks existed between one Star Wars film and the next. The arrival of Solo comes quickly on the heels of three films: two sequels and a spinoff. Did a fourth film arrive too quickly for audiences? Comic book movies don’t suffer from the same problem. However, superhero movies embrace a variety of subgenres. Unique heroes that live in equally unique worlds contribute to distinct films. Star Wars movies seem too much the same. Maybe Disney need to cut back on its Star Wars output.
More Legends Characters from Star Wars About to be Canonized
Star Wars fans may soon find themselves having something else to be excited about in the near future.
The LucasFilm Story Group offered something of a tease from one of its members that other characters who are part of “Star Wars Legends” may soon be re-canonized. As of now, director Ron Howard has made it clear that Tag and Bink, who are two of the many minor characters now in Legends, will be showing up in the release of Solo: A Star Wars Story.
With this in mind, fans are left to wonder how many other characters from the Legends continuity will be making their way back into canon. Leland Chee, a part of the LucasFilm Story Group, took to Twitter and explicitly stated that several different characters will be coming into the official canon in the upcoming months, suggesting that anything is on the table.
For a brief history lesson, it’s was back in 2014 that the Star Wars Expanded Universe as a whole was retconned and then renamed as “Legends.” This announcement came after Disney purchased LucasFilm back in 2012, all so the sequel trilogy could be made but with fresher ideas and concepts. In short, everything in the original six films and Star Wars: The Clone Wars was left as canon, everything else was written as part of Legends.
Needless to say, fans were not terribly appreciative of the move. The Expanded Universe was filled with decades worth of novels, video games and comic books, well beyond what was just seen in the movies, with thousands of years of history and some incredibly well-liked characters. All of that being wiped off the slate enraged a large portion of the fan base.
However, since the change to Legends, the LucasFilm Story Group, who is responsible for knowing what is canon, has repeatedly plucked from the Legends continuity for some new ideas for new Star Wars projects. Their biggest one was adding Grand Admiral Thrawn back into the canon via a major villain role in season three of Star Wars Rebels. Thrawn’s initial first appearance was in the 1991 novel Heir to the Empire.
There will apparently be more reshoots done on Solo: A Star Wars Story, beginning in late January and possibly lasting into February.
This information was provided by Reddit user Hufflepuffins, who previously reported that first round of reshoots after the film changed directors.
The second of the Star Wars Anthology films after 2016’s Rogue One, this story will feature the backstory of a young Han Solo (played here by Alden Ehrenreich), set about a decade before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope. It will include his constant companion Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo), old friend Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover) and his criminal mentor, Beckett (Woody Harrelson).
The film has been plagued with problems, even more than Rogue One. Originally it was going to be directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the pair who brought us The Lego Movie back in 2014. However, the pair clashed with LucasFilm and Disney throughout the project; they preferred a more improvisational form of filmmaking than the studio was used to, and also wanted it to be more of a straight-up comedy, while the executives apparently wanted something more like a normal Star Wars film with a sprinkling of the duo’s trademark humor.
With Ron Howard now in command, the movie is reportedly being remade virtually from scratch. But will that make for a bad final project? Again, Rogue One had problems but wound up a beloved entry into the franchise; on the other hand, we have examples like last year’s Justice League, whose creative failures can also be attributed to changing directors whose personal visions clashed.
But by itself, the fact that the film is coming down to the wire (its release date is
May 25) should not be a major concern for fans; after all, J.J. Abrams was still working on Star Wars: The Force Awakens about a month before it was finally released. This is fairly common for big, expensive tentpoles.
Whether or not Howard can pull off something similar with Solo—the concept of which alone has rubbed some purists the wrong way—remains to be seen, however.
It is possible that the first trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story will be shown on Friday, January 12 during Good Morning America.
The rumor was posted on the Twitter account Star War Legacy on January 7.
The second in the Star Wars Anthology stories, the film is set to tell the backstory of famed smuggler Han Solo (here depicted by Alden Ehrenreich) and his Wookie partner Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo). Also appearing are Han’s old friend from the previous movies, Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover), and his criminal mentor Beckett (Woody Harrelson).
The film is set for release on May 25, which makes it strange that it has yet to release a trailer; big franchises like Star Wars often showing teasers up to a year in advance nowadays. For comparison, Rogue One’s first trailer also dropped during Good Morning America, but in April ahead of a release in December.
Some suspect that this delay is the result of problems during the film’s production. Originally the movie was being directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the duo behind The Lego Movie; however, they suddenly left the project when it was very close to being complete (meaning, by industry standards, shortly before they would have had the right to demand their own cut of the movie).
There were apparently several reasons for Lord and Miller’s clash with LucasFilm and Disney. For one, the pair prefer a more improvisational style, while the studios wanted them to stay closer to the script; also, while they were hired to bring a touch of humor to the movie, the pair apparently thought that Disney wanted something closer to a straight-up comedy set in the Star Wars continuity.
The pair has been replaced by Ron Howard, who has apparently done massive reshoots, and some worry about what this will mean for the final product. To be fair, Rogue One had similar (but less extensive) problems; but on the other hand, having an incoherent movie on their hands could explain why the studio has not released their trailer yet. For now, we will have to wait and see.