Weekend Box Office | 'Solo' opens below expectations

Disney and Lucasfilms's "Solo: A Star Wars Story" topped North American weekend box office with an estimated 83.3 million USA dollars three-day debut, coming in well behind industry expectations.

"Solo: A Star Wars Story" is on track to earn an estimated 101 million dollars for its four-day Memorial Day Weekend weekend opening which includes the Monday holiday in the United States. In fact, "Solo" is now forecast for a four day holiday weekend of $105 million to $115 million domestically.

China, on track to overtake the U.S. in movie ticket sales by 2020, is an important market for Hollywood films, including some franchises like Universal Pictures' Fast and Furious, which has sometimes generated more revenue in the country than in North America. The film also brought in 65 million dollars internationally, pushing its cume to 148.3 million dollars worldwide for the 3-days this weekend, according to studio figures collected by comScore. Solo was predicted to earn $148 million in global markets. It's a much more competitive time at multiplexes than December, which has been the home for "Star Wars" movies since "The Force Awakens". In its second week, "Deadpool 2" grossed $42.7 million. From Solo's ending, it's also apparent that Lucasfilm had planned more installments in the story of the scruffy-looking scoundrel.

Coincidentally, as Ron Howard's movie details a series of Han's early exploits, the film's biggest heist, which eventually provides Han a career-defining moment, is actually put into play by a scheme lifted straight from two films in the original Star Wars trilogy - one that involves using everyone's favorite Wookiee, Chewbacca, as a prisoner. Down 44%, Infinity War has brought in $621.6 million domestically.

Here is every Star Wars film to date ranked from worst to best. Solo was projected to potentially dethrone that movie, but it came nowhere close to doing that.

Spoilers for Solo: A Star Wars Story coming up...

"Star Wars is still a gold standard brand for movie franchises", said Dergarabedian. That's plenty of breathing space.

On top of that, Disney would surely prefer a year-end launching pad going forward, rather than a summer bow.

"Until the Star Wars universe is firing on all cylinders like the Marvel universe, I think it would behoove them to ease their foot off the pedal in terms of spinoffs", says box-office analyst Jeff Bock, who is with Exhibitor Relations.

Even though Solo enjoyed a relatively positive critical reception, however, the film is facing a bit of a challenge when it comes to its box office earnings. The film stars Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen, Craig T. Nelson with Andy Garcia and Don Johnson. Book Club was written and directed by Bill Holderman.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at US and Canadian theaters, according to comScore.

  • Kyle Peterson