In exactly three weeks from today, fans will get to see early Thursday screenings of Solo: A Star Wars Story, and, if the latest box office projections are correct, it will set a new Memorial Day holiday record. The latest projections put Solo: A Star Wars Story at over $170 million, which is more than enough to break the current four-day Memorial Day weekend record of $139.8 million, set 11 years ago by Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. That opening weekend would also be good for the third highest of 2018, behind Black Panther ($202 million) and last weekend's Avengers: Infinity War ($257.6 million).
These numbers are not the official Disney studio projections, but rather industry-wide projections, with sources stating that the movie is tracking, "pretty strong." The movie has an "unaided awareness" score of 28, which indicates how strong the buzz on a particular movie is among users who are unprompted during polling, which is a "priceless stat" that studios consider when buying ad space. The 28 score is higher than the 23 score for both Rogue One: A Star Wars Story ($155 million opening weekend) and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ($146.5 million opening weekend).
The "definite interest" for Solo: A Star Wars Story is 55, which is higher than the 53 score for Spider-Man: Homecoming ($117 million opening weekend), with tracking indicating that males over the age of 25 are the "dominant" demographic for Solo: A Star Wars Story. There is no indication yet if any more footage will be released in the three weeks until Solo's release, which could result in an increase of buzz causing the projections to change. Box office projections are by no means an exact science, so don't be surprised if projections fluctuate in the three weeks leading to the release.
Even if it does come in lower than these projections, Solo: A Star Wars Story seems to have weathered a considerable amount of controversy. Four months into principal photography, directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were unceremoniously fired, and replaced shortly thereafter by Ron Howard, who now has sole directorial credit on the film. While principal photography was only supposed to last another month, Ron Howard shot for many more months, finally wrapping in mid-October. Many were surprised that Disney opted to keep its May 25 release date, instead of pushing the film to December to give the new director more time in post-production, but it seems the gamble will pay off.
While Solo: A Star Wars Story will have no direct competition in wide release on May 25, which marks the exact 41st anniversary of the first Star Wars film, A New Hope, it will open a week before the highly-anticipated Deadpool 2 and Avengers: Infinity War will likely still be going strong at that point in its release as well. These latest projections come from Deadline, although it remains to be seen what Disney's own projections will be for Solo: A Star Wars Story.