Weekend Wrap-Up

by Tim Briody

May 27, 2018

Hanging by a thread... just like the chances of a sequel.

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I don’t think anyone thought that the opening weekend for Solo: A Star Wars Story would come in, um, so low.

Look, in a year where Black Panther earned $700 million to become the #3 movie of all time, where Infinity War is well on its way to a $650 million total and where six of the ten biggest movies of all time have released in the last three years. we’re inured to the big numbers. We expect it. It doesn’t feel special anymore. It just happens. It’s suddenly much more interesting when it doesn’t. While appears to have been what happens with Solo: A Star Wars Story.

The signs were all there for something to potentially go wrong. Solo is arriving less than six months after The Last Jedi, it’s taking the series out of December, where The Force Awakens, Rogue One and The Last Jedi all thrived; yes, yes, Solo is reclaiming Memorial Day weekend, the original release weekend for the initial trilogy, but we’re in a different box office era now. It’s been less than six months since The Last Jedi, so there was the potential for Star Wars fatigue. Then, in the inside baseball part of it, after almost six months of filming, directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were fired for “creative differences,” and Ron Howard was brought in to effectively start from scratch. Then the reviews came in; it’s at a borderline acceptable 71% at Rotten Tomatoes, but that’s a big fall from the previous three films (93%, 85%, 91%).

But still, it’s Star Wars. It’s Han Solo. Everyone loves these films, it can’t miss. Right?

Well, um, no. Solo: A Star Wars Story comes in with an estimated three-day weekend of $83.3 million, with Disney giving it $101 million over four days. That’s…just not a great opening weekend any way you look at it. There’s also still a good possibility Disney is employing some creative math with the estimate, and that the four-day comes in under $100 million. If that happens, it’s a huge disaster and one of the biggest box office stories of the year for all the wrong reasons.


As Kim Hollis reported yesterday, Solo began with a Memorial Day weekend record of $14.1 million from Thursday night showings, which when rolled into the Friday box office gave us…$35.6 million. Just a $21.5 million Friday for Solo is an astoundingly poor number. Things clearly didn’t get better on the weekend as the reported estimate dropped over Saturday, from an initial $130 million forecast to a $115 four day weekend to now just barely $100 million. It’s still very, very hard to call a movie that earned $100 million in four days a bomb, but this is as close as you can get to that. Especially with the $250 million price tag thanks to the reshoots.

While the next two weekends are a fairly clear path before The Incredibles 2 in mid-June so there’s a possibility for Solo to find some legs, it’s impossible for it to overcome this start. In fact, as absurd as it was to think this even a few days ago, the possibility exists that Solo’s total domestic box office is less than The Force Awakens’ opening weekend. We’ll let it all shake out over the next week and do some finger pointing next weekend, but there is not a single person at Disney or Lucasfilm that can be happy about this box office performance.

Deadpool 2 took a big hit in its second weekend, dropping 66% to $42.7 million and an estimated $53.5 million over four days. It’s looking at about $218 million after two weekends. That’s a pretty steep decline with a holiday weekend. While it’s still going to make a run at $300 million (though $275 is probably more likely), I’d really pump the breaks on a third film for the moment. A little Deadpool goes quite a long way.

Disney gets some good news in third as Avengers: Infinity War adds another $16.4 million (and estimated $20 million in four days) and now has $621.6 million after five weekends. It’s headed to $650 million by the time it’s done and that’s going to be, like, two and a half Solos.

Book Club has a surprisingly good hold as the counter programming works again, adding $9.4 million for the weekend (estimated $12 million in four days) and gives it $34 million in two weekends.

It’s a holiday weekend so we’re entering the lightning round for the rest of the list. Melissa McCarthy’s Life of the Party drops 33% in its third weekend to $5.1 million, giving it $39.1 million to date. It’s still headed to be her lowest earner in a leading role, as she even carried The Boss to $63 million, while Life of the Party will top out at $50 million. Breaking In drops 41% to $4 million in its third weekend, and has $35.6 million to date, not bad for something that only cost $6 million. Show Dogs drops 49% to $3 million and has $10.6 million in two weekends, which is still more than it deserves. Overboard is down 35% to $3 million (despite losing over 600 theaters) and has $41.4 million in four weekends. In its eighth weekend, A Quiet Place adds another $2.2 million and is at $180 million, and the documentary RBG once again finds itself in tenth place with the weekend estimates, adding $1.1 million and giving it $5.6 million in four weekends.

The top 12 films earned $171.9 million on the three day weekend, a boost from last year’s $136.4 million when Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales led the holiday with $62.9 million. Next weekend, everything preemptively got out of the way of Solo (a mistake in hindsight, it seems), as the best we can come up with are Action Point starring Johnny Knoxville, and Adrift starring Shailene Woodley.

Top Ten for Weekend of May 25-27, 2018
Gross ($)
Weekly Change
Gross ($)
1 Solo: A Star Wars Story Walt Disney 83.3 New 83.3
2 Deadpool 2 20th Century Fox 42.7 -66% 207.4
3 Avengers: Infinity War Walt Disney 16.4 -44% 621.6
4 Book Club Paramount 9.4 -30% 31.6
5 Life of the Party Warner Bros. 5.1 -33% 39.1
6 Breaking In Universal 4.0 -41% 35.6
7 Show Dogs Global Road 3.0 -49% 10.6
8 Overboard Lionsgate 3.0 -35% 41.4
9 A Quiet Place Paramount 2.2 -43% 179.9
10 RBG Magnolia Pictures 1.1 -11% 5.6
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations



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