Disney Admits Solo Underperformed at the Box Office
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.