Solo Box Office

“Solo” Debuts So Low


May 25-27, 2018

(estimates from


Solo: A Star Wars Story  $83.3 million
Deadpool 2 $42.7 million
Avengers: Infinity War $16.4 million
Book Club $9.4 million
Life of the Party  $5.1 million

Despite good buzz leading into the weekend (or at least theorizing and hoping that its flop status was unwarranted), Solo was predicted to top $120 million for the four-day holiday weekend. But whatever it was: a combination of Star Wars fatigue, leftover disappointment from the small-but-vocal minority of The Last Jedi haters, or just a needed break from an onslaught of blockbusters, Solo: A Star Wars Story had a very soft opening. With an estimated $83.3 million for the weekend, that's lower than any live-action Star Wars movie released in the last 13 years, and only barely above what Attack of the Clones opened with way back in 2002. Things weren't any better overseas, where the film opened in major markets like China and the UK with less than $11 million in each country. Before anyone hits the panic button: it won't have any real competition next weekend, when it faces three films all opening in 2,000 theaters or less. But still, it's unlikely to hold well. Movies like this aren't built to last. It's entirely possible this gets mentioned in the same breath as Justice League, which limped to a $229 million finish last winter, which got eclipsed very quickly by Marvel movies just months later. The good news? For Ron Howard, this is his biggest debut ever.

And it's not like any other films were the beneficiary of audiences avoiding Solo. Deadpool 2 dropped a massive 66 percent to fall to No. 2. It's about $30 million behind where the previous installment was at this point in its run. It's doing good business overseas, but it's definitely going to finish much lower this time around. Avengers: Infinity War is eventually going to top the record-breaking first film, but the fact that it hasn't done so yet, even with that earth-shattering opening weekend is a little worrisome. $650 million is looking more and more out of reach.

Book Club and Life of the Party both held much better. The former dropped only 30 percent, with an estimated $31 million made so far. The latter didn't fall off nearly as hard as it did in its second weekend. It's almost made $40 million.

Outside the top 5:

  • This Weekend's Indie Champ: Despite dropping nearly 68 percent, the 50th anniversary edition of 2001: A Space Odyssey still had the best average by far, with $16,500 on each screen.
  • The sleeper story of the summer so far is RBG, the documentary on Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. It's made north of $1 million for each of the last three weekends, really exceptional for indie film on fewer than 500 screens.
  • A Quiet Place is still making noise. In its eighth weekend in the top 10, it's made nearly $180 million to date.

Next weekend: 

Not much that will make a dent in the box office. Shailene Woodley and Sam Clafin are stranded at sea in Adrift, Logan Marshall-Green gets some ass-kicking skills in the futuristic thriller Upgrade, and Johnny Knoxville is up to his old tricks in Action Point. Solo: A Star Wars Story is definitely repeating at No. 1, with Deadpool 2 at No. 2 most likely. I'll say Action Point has the best odds at No.3 with $15 million.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.

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