Since Disney’s $4 billion purchase of George Lucas’ Star Wars franchise in 2012, Solo: A Star Wars Story has become the fourth feature to be released under Lucasfilm. The prequel which is an origin story about Star Wars hero, Han Solo, hit theaters Memorial Day weekend. The movie has opened to an underwhelming $83 million in the U.S., which is over $10 million less than 2017’s Justice League domestic opening.
While there had been widespread discussion of a lack of necessity for a Han Solo origin story amongst Star Wars franchise fans, the movie was still projected to be a major summer hit. With an A- ‘CinemaScore’ and a release date at the beginning of a holiday weekend, the prequel was expected to set records. However, Solo: A Star Wars Story has had the lowest nationwide opening in the entire franchise. It is currently nowhere even close to Disney’s other major releases of the year. In fact, Justice League, one of 2017’s biggest box office disappointments, was able to earn more money in its opening weekend with $93.8 million.
Both Justice League and Solo: A Star Wars Story had director changes and well-known producers at work on telling the famous stories. Also, both movies had superhero movies release prior to their own release, potentially taking away some appeal. Thor: Ragnarok hit theaters just two weeks before Justice League, and Deadpool 2 was released just a week ahead of Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Although Solo: A Star Wars Story acquired more positive reviews from critics, Justice League still came out on top. While there were high expectations for the D.C. superhero movie, many are still surprised that a movie about such a beloved character in arguably the biggest franchise in movie history, was still unable to perform better in its opening weekend.