Weekend Report (Saturday Update): ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ Pacing for $105-115M 4-Day Launch; ‘Deadpool 2’ Eyes $54-58M; ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Could Add $21M+

Saturday Update: Disney reports this morning that Solo: A Star Wars Story bowed to an estimated $35.631 million on Friday, including Thursday night’s $14.1 million start. That stands as the fourth best Friday in Memorial Weekend history, coming in behind X-Men: The Last Stand‘s $45.1 million, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End‘s $42.9 million (which would have been $56.2 million if including its Thursday night earnings) and Fast & Furious 6‘s $38.7 million.

Solo is now on pace for a three-day weekend around $90 million and a four-day frame of $110 million, give or take. Unfortunately, this early start falls significantly short of industry wide expectations, including our own which had projected an opening day in the $40 million+ range and a four-day take close to $125 million on the conservative end even when factoring in the film’s disadvantages. Late yesterday, Disney itself lowered its own projections to $105-115 million for the four-day weekend versus their initial expectation of $130-150 million earlier this week.

Naturally, this will spur numerous questions about what happened and where Disney and Lucasfilm go next with the franchise. While this is a clear under-performance relative to tracking, it’s hardly a failure in realistic terms — but it is certainly a cautionary tale for the brand’s future. Spinoffs about previously established characters whose long-term fates are generally known to audiences can’t be expected to perform at the level of the franchise’s marquee episodic films, and not every film that encounters mid-production upheaval will miraculously fire on all box office cylinders like Rogue One did — especially at the tail end of one of the most packed male-driven May slates in history. That’s as much a lesson in expectations for the studio as it is for those in and around the industry.

Fair is fair, though: general reactions have been more positive than expected among the fans that did turn out for the film on opening day, so it remains to be seen exactly what Solo‘s legacy will become among the Star Wars faithful as this film is designed to play with a variety of audiences early in the summer. After all, this is a franchise that has rarely seen general opinions remain the same — for better or worse — after a particular chapter has aged and moved past the peak of buzz and headline-grabbing stories.

For the fellow box office math nerds: Solo had a similar Thursday-to-Friday multiple (2.53x) as Rogue One (2.45x) did in December 2016, but we remain cautious in extrapolating how this weekend’s earnings could play out due to the four-day weekend that often sees moviegoing habits fall outside the norm as families travel at various points during the long weekend. That being said, Solo will need to begin displaying staying power early on Saturday if it hopes to perform more in line with Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (which similarly opened below expectations on Thursday/Friday only to post stronger-than-expected holds throughout the weekend). Otherwise, Solo may simply behave in a more frontloaded manner like fellow franchise titles X-Men: Days of Future Past and Fast & Furious 6.

Meanwhile, Deadpool 2 slid a bit more than expected (-77%) from last Friday to $12.1 million yesterday, giving it a healthy $176.8 million eight-day domestic cume. Fox projects $54.5 million for the four-day frame, but we’re on the more optimistic end with a $57.5 million projection as of this morning.

Rounding out the top three, Avengers: Infinity War scored another $4.255 million yesterday and now stands at $609.5 million. The Marvel epic will likely surpass The Last Jedi ($620.2 million) and the first Avengers ($623.4 million) for sixth place on the all-time domestic list by the end of the holiday weekend.

Early four-day estimates are below. Check back throughout the weekend for continued updates.

Early Weekend Estimates (Domestic)
FRI, MAY. 25 – MON, MAY. 28

WIDE (1000+)

# TITLE WEEKEND LOCATIONS AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 Solo: A Star Wars Story $110,000,000 4,381 $25,108 $110,000,000 1 Disney
2 Deadpool 2 $57,500,000 -54% 4,349 0 $13,221 $222,207,352 2 Fox
3 Avengers: Infinity War $21,500,000 -27% 3,768 -234 $5,706 $626,694,638 5 Disney
4 Book Club $12,600,000 -7% 2,810 29 $4,484 $34,808,010 2 Paramount Pictures
5 Life Of The Party $6,100,000 -20% 2,937 -719 $2,077 $40,087,348 3 Warner Bros. / New Line
6 Breaking In $5,200,000 -24% 1,985 -552 $2,620 $36,788,655 3 Universal Pictures
7 Show Dogs $4,000,000 -34% 3,212 0 $1,245 $11,594,725 2 Global Road Entertainment
8 Overboard $3,800,000 -18% 1,196 -624 $3,177 $42,294,413 4 Lionsgate / Pantelion
9 A Quiet Place $3,100,000 -21% 1,524 -803 $2,034 $180,798,379 8 Paramount

LIMITED (100 — 999)

# TITLE WEEKEND LOCATIONS AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 RBG $1,300,000 4% 415 36 $3,133 $5,816,638 4 Magnolia Pictures
2 Rampage $1,000,000 -37% 688 -778 $1,453 $94,096,689 7 Warner Bros
3 I Feel Pretty $640,000 -49% 551 -954 $1,162 $47,807,133 6 STX Entertainment
4 Super Troopers 2 $600,000 -51% 221 -257 $2,715 $29,900,075 6 20th Century Fox
5 Black Panther $570,000 -34% 440 -495 $1,295 $698,706,242 15 Disney
6 Pope Francis – A Man of His Word $375,000 -26% 385 39 $974 $1,180,465 2 Focus Features
7 A Wrinkle in Time $330,000 105% 202 -28 $1,634 $97,775,196 12 Walt Disney Pictures
8 Tully $250,000 -55% 191 -479 $1,309 $8,966,560 4 Focus Features
9 Blockers $250,000 -46% 197 -242 $1,269 $59,444,225 8 Universal
10 Isle of Dogs $225,000 -35% 162 -126 $1,389 $31,127,975 10 Fox Searchlight

PLATFORM (1 — 99)

# TITLE WEEKEND LOCATIONS AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 2001: A Space Odyssey (2018 re-issue) $110,000 -46% 4 0 $27,500 $431,785 2 Warner Bros.
2 Traffik $50,000 3% 75 -6 $667 $9,150,747 6 Lionsgate / Summit / Codeblack Films
3 Chappaquiddick $48,000 -45% 74 -76 $649 $17,263,624 8 Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures
4 Tyler Perry’s Acrimony $42,000 -38% 40 -76 $1,050 $43,459,430 9 Lionsgate

===

Friday Update: Disney reports this morning that Solo: A Star Wars Story launched with $14.1 million from Thursday night’s opening shows, representing an encouraging start to the long holiday weekend ahead.

Comparisons aren’t particularly useful at this stage due to a number of factors potentially having deflated presale activity (relative to recent Star Wars films), but just as notably so because Memorial Day weekend and this series especially are significantly driven by family audiences after initial fan-driven opening shows — meaning weekend attendance might be slightly backloaded as summer vacation officially begins for many families.

Nonetheless, for those keeping score at home, Solo‘s Thursday night start marks the biggest ever for a standard Friday opener during Memorial Day weekend, topping Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End ($13.24 million), X-Men: Days of the Future Past ($8.1 million) and Fast & Furious 6 ($6.5 million), while coming in behind traditional weekend openers Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ($17 million) and fellow franchise spin-off Rogue One ($29.0 million).

As Disney itself notes, standard industry practices in 2007 and 2008 — when the current top two Memorial openers of all-time, Pirates: At World’s End and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull respectively opened — did not include Thursday grosses in the weekend gross. In fact, Crystal Skull had a traditional full opening day on Thursday, with unconfirmed reports citing the film made $4.5 million from late Wednesday night/midnight shows.

Solo Abroad

Internationally, the studio reports Solo has earned a two-day cume of $11.4 million from 43 markets through Thursday with a slew of openings set for Friday. The only major market not opening this weekend is Japan, which will see the film’s debut on June 29.

Follow us throughout the weekend for continued updates.

Shawn Robbins

14 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Ben May 25, 2018

    If it has the same ratio of Thursday night to weekend gross as the past two films we will only see an opening around 68-75 million. Ik terms of box office comparisons I feel this is gonna be the Justice League of Star Wars

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Matt May 25, 2018

      I doubt it. One thing about being a less anticipated film means that audiences aren’t rushing out to go see it. If it opens lower on Thursday, chances are that the multiplier itself will be higher.

      Reply
      • Avatar
        BL May 25, 2018

        Tru, I don’t think it’ll open in the 70 million range but I’m expecting a sub 100 million debut which will bethe first of the new Star Wars films to do that as was JL for the DCEU

        Reply
        • Avatar
          Matt May 25, 2018

          Even if it opens at the level of JL, it will matter much less. Worst case scenario, Disney stops making Han Solo films (or more likely, makes more but will release all further Star Wars films during Christmas when there’s less competition), and they break even or take a modest loss. But they’re not dependent on Solo like WB was dependent on JL to further their superhero universe. In other words, Disney can afford for Solo to “flop”, especially when Black Panther, Infinity War, and Incredibles 2 made/will make all the money.

          Reply
  2. Avatar
    Kevin May 25, 2018

    I’m surprised Solo was given to Ron Howard to direct, given his last six or seven films bombed at the box-office. In fact, he hasn’t had a real hit since 2006.

    Reply
  3. Avatar
    Sharon May 25, 2018

    14 million is the lowest for any Star Wars movie for an opening Thursday.
    So why is the title for this store making it sound like a good thing

    Reply
  4. Avatar
    unHappening May 26, 2018

    this was my favorite new star wars movie… glover and the rest of the cast are terrific… even the lead guy is good… he doesn’t feel like a young harrison ford but he’s very good and it’s sort of his own solo that kinda feels like ford’s solo… works better in the movie than in the trailers… it’s non stop action summer fun… and connects to the other trilogies in a fun way… unlike the others that maybe had higher goals this is just flat out fun…

    Reply
  5. Avatar
    dx May 26, 2018

    What happened to the $133M estimate?

    Reply
  6. Avatar
    Djdj May 26, 2018

    All these articles saying Solo isn’t that much of a flop ignore that the production budget prior to marketing was around $300 million if not more. This is a big flop

    Reply
  7. Avatar
    Nick Frolos May 26, 2018

    Opening SOLO this close the the previous Star Wars movie was a mistake and everyone knows it. Still it will be far from a flop.

    Reply
  8. Avatar
    Gustavo May 26, 2018

    Many of the totals are wrong.

    Reply
  9. Avatar
    Nate May 26, 2018

    A movie no one asked for coming off of a lukewarm reception of its main franchise movie. I don’t think Solo will hold very well either. Its time to make something original with star wars. Go back to Knights of the Old Republic era or further in the future so you don’t have to deal with any baggage.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Jacen May 26, 2018

      It’s possible that they could split the difference. The way Solo ends, there’s a feeling of it leading to sequels. But instead of focusing on Han, they could instead focus on Qi’ra (and perhaps Lando, which they are considering) and her dealings with DM and others in the criminal underworld. Her story and fate are potentially interesting and could result in a Han cameo but not a Han-heavy story.

      Reply
  10. Avatar
    Perspective May 26, 2018

    Geez Louise people. Deadpool 2 opens below expectations and the internet declares “Marvel-fatigue has finally set in”….Solo opens below expectations and the internet declares it a flop. Get a grip. Not making as much money as expected is not an indicator of loss on investment. If I buy a car for $3000 and expect to flip it for $10,000. but only manage to sell it for$6000…I may be disappointed, but I didn’t lose money. I’m fairly certain that at the end of the day, once all the worldwide tills are turned in, Solo will turn a profit. Declaring it a flop on it’s second day of release is just ignorant. Using it’s opening weekend box-office take as your proof that it’s not a good movie is just stupid.

    Reply

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