If there was a lesson to be learned from ‘Solo’ bombing at the Box Office this weekend (and trust me, there are lessons), it’s that no franchise or property, however popular, is fully immune to disappointing returns. The late promotion, effects of a polarising ‘The Last Jedi’, mediocre reviews, poor release date, and a story that audiences never really asked for in the first place took its toll on the ‘Star Wars’ franchise – giving solo a 3-day opening of just $84.4m. The poor opening is further cemented by an International gross of just $68.2m; to put this into perspective, even March’s ‘Pacific Rim: Uprising’ opened abroad to $122.4m.
But what do these numbers mean? How can we already tell that ‘Solo’ is a Box Office bomb? Let’s have a look at its budget. We already know it’s the most expensive ‘Star Wars’ film of all time, but with Deadline recently reporting its production cost (before advertising charges, mind you) at well over $300m, ‘Solo’ is officially one of the most expensive films ever, and will thus need around $700m+ to break-even. From this, we can determine that a global opening of just over $150m does not cut it. We’re looking at ‘Solo’ finishing below $500m worldwide, losing well over $200m, making it one of the biggest Box Office flops of all time. It’s incredible. Just 2 and a half years ago, Disney released the biggest domestic film ever, and have now dropped a film in the same franchise that won’t even be the biggest film of the month.
We don’t want to revel in Disney’s failure here, but, there lingers a belief that Disney keeping its December release for ‘Solo’ would’ve at least ensured better Box Office legs, as well as causing potential competition to move their own release dates away. Instead, we have legitimised fears of ‘Star Wars’ fatigue, and serious questions over the future spinoffs (yes, including you Boba Fett) planned for the franchise. This, of course, comes after the $100m-budget ‘A Wrinkle In Time’ brought in just $129m worldwide recently, enough for losses well over $100m. A small consolation? Disney and Lucasfilm now have 1.5 years until ‘Episode 9’ to steer their wayward ship, and ensure profits continue for a potentially troubled franchise.
‘Solo’ wasn’t the only story of the Memorial Day weekend however, as ‘Deadpool 2’ dropped by 65% to pull in just $43.5m. We warned about the front-loaded sequel curse in our predictions on Friday, but this was a full $10m under our expectations. Still, its 4-day weekend total of $53.8m pushes its domestic grossing up to $218.5m, and globally it sits just a shade under the $500m mark. From a budget of $110m, Marvel are proving that R-rated franchises can also be money-makers if done well.
Next, we have ‘Infinity War’ which really benefited from ‘Solo’s weak performance, dropping by just 41% from last weekend. Now just $86m away from becoming the 4th film to ever reach $2bn, it passed ‘The Avengers’ domestically this weekend to claim 6th spot in the U.S. all-time charts. Although it won’t reach ‘Black Panther’ (which is still struggling to hit the $700m mark), Disney & Marvel studios will likely end the year with 2 of their 2018 releases in the domestic top 5 of all time.
One of the best performances of the weekend, Paramount’s ‘Book Club’, brought in a solid $10.1m in its 2nd week of release. It’s domestic total of $35.3m already gives it an opening weekend multiplier of 2.6x, putting it on track to be the one of the leggiest films of the year. ‘I Can Only Imagine’, the Christian biopic from mid-March, currently leads the pack with a 4.9x multiplier, but by the same point in its Box Office run as ‘Book Club’, it had a 2.2x multiplier. Paramount will be hoping that their rom-com continues this trend, and with the summer finally here, it’s looking likely to do so.
‘Life of the Party’ and ‘Breaking In’ both exceeded expectations by bringing in $5.4m and $4.3m each – their best drops yet. The Memorial Day weekend boosted this, as the big tentpole release this weekend had no impact on their audiences. Although the $30m budget may prove to be too costly for the Melissa McCarthy comedy (which is currently at $48.5m globally), the Will Packer-produced ‘Breaking In’, starring Gabrielle Union, is potentially looking at breaking-even soon, as it’s made $40m from just a $6m investment.
‘Show Dogs’ is performing eerily similarly to 2016s ‘Nine Lives’ (both had 2nd weekend % drops in their mid-40s), showing that the kids are pretty consistent with the whole talking-animals-in-a-poorly-reviewed-family-comedy thing (well, that isn’t ‘Alvin & The Chipmunks’). With only $12m in the bank domestically, this can officially be classed a Box Office bomb. That can’t be said for the comedy ‘Overboard’, which only dropped 32% for a $43m domestic haul, even after losing over 600 cinemas. Similarly, ‘A Quiet Place’ lost 800 and is officially coming to the end of its domestic run, pulling in $2.4m. Its worldwide gross of $312.5m has surely exceeded expectations, and from just a $17m budget, it sits alongside ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Solo’ as 2018s biggest Box Office shock. Finally, ‘RBG’ (still in limited release) grossed $1.3m for the 10th and final spot.
There we have it. ‘Solo’ bombs, ‘Infinity War’ continues its ascent, and ‘Book Club’ begins to really impress. What will happen next week, when 3 new releases enter the picture? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.
|Rank||Last Week Rank||Film||Total U.S. Gross||Weekend Gross
|Difference (4-day weekend)||Week number|
|1||–||Solo: A Star Wars Story||$103m||$84.4m
|3||2||Avengers: Infinity War||$627.6m||$17.3m
|5||4||Life of the Party||$40.9m||$5.4m
|9||8||A Quiet Place||$180.8m||$2.4m