Solo: A Star Wars Story had a dismal opening weekend over the Memorial Day holiday, grossing $83.3 million domestically over the weekend, and made just a little more than $100 million for the full 4 days. The film didn’t fare better overseas, making $65 million in every major market except Japan (where Solo won’t open until June 29). It sounds weird to call a movie that makes over $100 million in its opening weekend a failure, but this is Star Wars we’re talking about: With the exception of 2002’s Attack of the Clones, every Star Wars movie has been the highest grossing movie of the year it was released.
So why did the Solo movie flop? There were 5 major reasons:
- Production issues – there’s more to this than should be explained here. But long story short, Disney is clueless about the kind of Star Wars movie they want. And it’s not surprising that directors are willing to walk away from such a historic franchise and opportunity. More details here.
- Unimportant story and character – Han Solo is dead. Worse, he had a very undramatic and meaningless death. So what’s the point of a prequel (or an exploration of his origins)? Apparently, no one cares.
- Star Wars Fatigue? – with the right kind of movies, characters, and story arc, this is a non-factor (example: the Marvel Cinematic Universe). However, viewers and especially Star Wars fans are dead tired of watching garbage movies with a Star Wars label.
- Ambiguous marketing – this was a no brainer: everyone I talked to had almost no understanding of what the Han Solo movie was about. So why would anyone go see a movie they knew nothing about? Apparently, they wouldn’t.
- Disney doesn’t understand Star Wars or the Star Wars fan culture – from the last couple of movies – especially including Rogue One, Disney’s blatant disregard to the Star Wars brand and its fan culture has caused fans to abandon the franchise. Because of Disney’s shameless merchandization and bastardization of the franchise, old fans who would’ve supported such a ambitious film, are no longer there (and may never return).
Other issues with the movie:
- Alden Ehrenreich is an awesome actor, but not the right person to play Han Solo. Ehrenreich has the charisma of a potato.
- The marginalized role of Lando.
- Disney retreading old content and not bringing anything new to the Star Wars Cinematic Universe.
Kue has a Masters in Business Administrations (MBA) from California State University, Fresno. He works as the Director of Education and Outreach for the California Department of Business Oversight in addition to being a contributing writer for news, business, and international blogs. He has also written, directed, and produced an award-winning film as well as authored several books on business, philosophy, and Asian folk lore.