The newest installment in the never-ending deluge of Star Wars films is poised to have the fifth highest-grossing Memorial Day weekend ever. And that, counterintuitively, is bad news. The $114 million opening weekend puts Solo: A Star Wars Story behind a handful of other high-profile sequels like Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End and Fast and Furious 6, but it's an underwhelming amount for a Star Wars movie. Per Variety:
Solo earned about $35.6 million through Friday, including $14.1 million from Thursday grosses, the highest Thursday for a Memorial Day opener. But a $114 million opening would have “Solo” trailing the three-day debut of the last anthology film, “Rogue One,” by $41 million — to say nothing of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi’s” $220 million opening.
These numbers spell potential disaster for Solo's total box office gross, according to some analysis from Forbes. And, historically, Star Wars has been much more popular domestically than internationally, so there's not much chance that this newest installment will be able to make up lost ground overseas.
There are a lot of factors that could be contributing to the slow start. For one thing, it's coming only five months after The Last Jedi and just one month after Disney's other much-hyped cash cow, Avengers: Infinity War. So Star Wars fatigue could finally be settling in, but more generally it be hard for Disney to maintain audience enthusiasm for so many potential blockbusters in such a short span of time. On top of that, no one was really clamoring for a Han Solo origin story in the first place.
In any event, it's likely Disney's response would be the same if Solo were exceeding expectation: keep making Star Wars movies until long after we're all dead.