Published: Tue, May 29, 2018
Entertaiment | By Kelly Sanders

'Solo,' Newest 'Star Wars' Installment, Off to a Slow Start

'Solo,' Newest 'Star Wars' Installment, Off to a Slow Start

Despite receiving mostly positive reviews from the critics - 71% approval on Rotten Tomatoes and a 63/100 from Metacritic- and the usual marketing overload from your pals at the Mouse House, the best Solo could capture from a wide 4,381-screen count was an estimated $83 million. This makes it the lowest-opening Star Wars film to date since Disney bought out Lucasfilm and injected more life into the franchise.

"Solo" notched the biggest Memorial Day weekend opening in several years, but it also came on the heels of a pair of a summer-sized blockbusters - "Deadpool 2" and Disney's own "Avengers Infinity War" - making for an unusually crowded May.

"Now what should have been either a victory lap after three-straight $1 billion-plus hits or an acceptable mulligan is going to only add to the "Egad, Star Wars is doomed" drumbeat", Mendelson said.

A Star Wars Story now playing in theaters, I recently sat down with Alden Ehrenreich for a video interview. Its domestic total now reads $34.2 million after earning $12.5 million for the four-day weekend. Fans might argue that stingers would feel out of place in Star Wars-for decades, these movies have been over when the credits started to roll and the iconic theme music kicked in.

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Fans were skeptical of Ehrenreich and uncertain about the dismissal of Lord and Miller (the popular filmmaking duo behind "21 Jump Street" and "The Lego Movie").

In China, Disney's earlier installment The Last Jedi, was also beaten out by a local romantic comedy, Huayi Brothers Media Corp's The Ex-File 3: Return of the Exes.

It is a huge total for any franchise film, but expectations for Star Wars releases are a world apart. No other Star Wars film has had to compete with two juggernaut Marvel films at the same time. Gareth Jennings still retained his director's credit, and by all accounts, the first Star Wars standalone spin-off was a success both critically and commercially.

Forbes magazine's Scott Mendelson said while "Solo" may have taken some of the luster off Disney's "Star Wars" reboot, he believes talk of the franchise's death is premature. The numbers out Monday from the industry tracking group comScore are for Friday through Monday at theaters in the United States and Canada.

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