The blockbusters just keep coming. Following the Marvel double of ‘Infinity War’ and ‘Deadpool’ gracing our screens in recent weeks, it’s Lucasfilm’s turn to provide the masses with film fodder, as ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ looks to break a Memorial Day opening weekend record and maintain the ‘Star Wars’ brand as Box Office dynamite. Meanwhile, ‘Deadpool 2’ looks to gain ground on its predecessor, and ‘Infinity War’ edges closer to $1.9bn globally – but will this holiday weekend grant their wishes?
So, what’s opening this weekend?
Much has been made of the production of ‘Solo’ – the rumours alone could provide quite a compelling behind-the-scenes documentary (get on it, Disney). If the story wasn’t the strange late promotional push for the film (we got its first trailer during February’s SuperBowl), it was about the on-set troubles, resulting in a directorial change and around 80% of the film reshot. The media, fans, and the general public had every right to ask questions; the reshoots alone almost doubled the budget, giving the film a rumoured cost of $250m – the most expensive ‘Star Wars’ film of all time. Ron Howard’s efforts led the film, based on beloved smuggler Han Solo, to an okay 69% on Rotten Tomatoes, placing it between ‘Revenge of the Sith’ and ‘Attack of the Clones’ as the 8th best (or 4th worst) received in the franchise.
The release date wasn’t seen to be a great idea, either.
Moving the release from its now-expected December slot (which this year, by the way, is full of competition like ‘Aquaman’ and ‘Mary Poppins Returns’) to May meant that its battling ‘Deadpool 2’s second weekend, as well as ‘Infinity War’, currently the 4th biggest film ever. This, remember, comes just 5 months after the release of ‘The Last Jedi’, one of the most polarising blockbusters in history; a film that left as many ‘Star Wars’ fans jumping for joy as it left others enraged. Coupled with the fact that Disney’s recent Memorial Day weekend history (‘Tomorrowland’, ‘Pirates of the Caribbean 5’, ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’) have all flopped to varying degrees, it’s very likely that this’ll be the lowest Star Wars opening of the Disney era. ‘Solo’ probably won’t even reach the $1bn mark – a milestone every ‘Star Wars’ film (adjusted for inflation) has achieved – especially with China’s growing dislike of the films.
The 4-day weekend does provide a platform for the film to attract a summer crowd and boost those opening numbers, but there’s a sense of dread with this film that I haven’t felt for a movie in a franchise since ‘Justice League’ opened to a lowly $93.8m in November. The 4-day weekend record of $139.8m set by ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End’, way back in 2007, is out of the question, with ‘Solo’ looking to miss the $100m mark in its first 3 days. A bit of maths would tell you that historically, this weekend’s extra day gives around a 20-22% bump from the 3-day total. So, if our estimates are correct, and we’re looking at ‘Solo’ opening close to ‘Days of Future Past’, a 3-day total of $85m for the first 3 days, and thus around $103.7m for its 4-day weekend. Make no mistake about it. This is bad news.
What else is showing?
After failing to break its own R-rated opening weekend record in the States last weekend, ‘Deadpool 2’ now has to contend with ‘Solo’ potentially attracting chunks of its audience, as well as the dreaded front-loaded sequel effect, where the second weekend drop increases from the previous film, due to the stronger fanbase clambering to see the film in its first week. Although holiday will help it regain some ground on ‘Deadpool’, I can see ‘Deadpool 2’ dropping close to 60% this weekend, for a total close to $53m. Another major film to potentially suffer at the hands of ‘Star Wars’ is ‘Infinity War’, which will be enjoying its 5th weekend of release in 3rd place. A 50% drop is on the cards but that won’t matter too much as $1.9bn will be reached in the next few days. After that, ‘Infinity War’ will be closing in on hitting $2bn and may even snatch 3rd place on the all-time list away from ‘The Force Awakens’.
The counter-programming angle has worked well for Paramount this year thus far, with ‘Book Club’ catering to a crowd not historically all-too-fond of spaceships, foul-mouthed anti-heroes, and giant purple monsters with gold gauntlets. From this, we expect a strong hold in its 2nd weekend, similar to ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2’s -37% drop, for a total of around $9m. With that, it’ll reach $30m domestic, with releases in mainland Europe next week to come. Comedy ‘Life of the Party’ should fair slightly better this weekend than last with $3.8m, a 50% fall from last week’s poor showing.
Next is ‘Show Dogs’, which opened very similarly last weekend to another recent anthropomorphic flop ‘Nine Lives’. If that panned flick was anything to go by, ‘Show Dogs’ will be bringing in a paltry $2.8m in its second weekend. This will be closely followed by ‘Breaking In’, which looks to have another 60%-ish fall ($2.7m), and ‘A Quiet Place’, which still has a firm grip on the top ten with a $2.6m gross. With a $300m global take (enough for 9th place worldwide), the film’s also the 5th biggest horror in American history.
Finally, ‘Overboard’ will start to seriously haemorrhage screens to make way for the blockbusters, but will gross a respectable $2.4m, and ‘RBG’ should arise from the ashes to claim 10th spot with around $1m.
What do you think? Will ‘Solo’ get the record? Do you fancy ‘Infinity War’ to beat ‘The Force Awakens’? Let us know on Twitter and Instagram – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.
|Rank||Last Week’s Rank||Film||US Gross so far||Budget||Jumpcut’s prediction||Weekend drop||Week no.||BoxOfficeMojo’s prediction||Deadline’s Prediction||Variety’s Prediction|
|1||–||Solo: A Star Wars Story||–||$250m||$85m
|–||1||$108m ($134.2m 4-day)||$135m-$170m (4-day)||$130m-$150m (4-day)|
|5||4||Life of the Party||$33.4m||$30m||$3.8m||-50%||3||$4.2m||–||–|
|8||8||A Quiet Place||$177.4m||$17m||$2.6m||-34%||8||$2.3m||–||–|