With no direct competition in wide release at the box office, most expected Disney and LucasFilm's Solo: A Star Wars Story to destroy the competition, and while it did come away with an easy win, it was not as big a victory as most expected. The four-day Memorial Day holiday weekend estimates reveal that Solo took in $84.7 million over the three-day weekend, up slightly from yesterday's three-day estimates of $83.3 million, with a four-day estimate of $103 million. This is far below the Memorial Day weekend record of $139.8 million set by Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End that Solo was expected to break, especially after such a strong start.
Solo: A Star Wars Story did end up breaking a box office record early on, with the $14.1 million it earned from Thursday sneak peeks, breaking the record of $13.2 million set by At World's End. Many thought this Thursday success would propel it to break the $139.8 million record set by At World's End, but it came in far under the daily numbers of At World's End throughout the weekend. Solo's total Friday haul, which includes the $14.1 million Thursday tally, was an estimated $35.6 million, while At World's End took in $42.6 million on its first full day, plus Thursday screenings. Solo also earned an estimated $24.6 million on Saturday, down from At World's End's $37.7 million, $24.4 million on Sunday ($34.1 million for At World's End) and $18.2 million on Monday ($25 million for At World's End).
The three-day $84.7 million tally is by far the lowest opening in the Disney era of the Star Wars franchise, and the lowest in the franchise since Attack of the Clones debuted to just over $80 million in mid-May 2002. No budget figures have been confirmed, but it has been reported that Solo: A Star Wars Story will go down in history as the most expensive Star Wars movie of all time, costing a reported $250 million to produce. While it will still likely turn a profit for Disney and LucasFilm, the lukewarm reception from fans could affect how Disney moves forward with these spin-offs in the future.
Despite firing original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller after four months of production, with Ron Howard re-shooting reportedly more than 70% of the movie, Disney kept the original May 25, 2018 release date intact, which marks the 41st anniversary of the very first Star Wars movie, A New Hope, and the 35th anniversary of Return of the Jedi. When Disney first took over the Star Wars franchise, fans were quite angry that the studio announced a December release date for The Force Awakens, since all of the other Star Wars movies before it had been released in May, but given the fans' response to Solo, in a packed summer already that includes hits Avengers: Infinity War and Deadpool 2, Disney may opt to return to its December release date for good after Solo's performance.
Rounding out the top 10 this weekend are Deadpool 2 ($55 million), Avengers: Infinity War ($21.2 million), Book Club ($12.5 million), Life of the Party ($6.9 million), Breaking In ($5.7 million), Show Dogs ($4.5 million), Overboard )$4 million), A Quiet Place ($3 million) and RBG ($1.5 million). Looking ahead to next weekend, STX debuts the true story drama Adrift in roughly 2,900 theaters while Paramount releases their action-comedy Action Point in roughly 2,400 theaters and Blumhouse Tilt releases their thriller Upgrade in approximately 1,400 theaters. Take a look at the four-day box office estimates below, courtesy of Box Office Mojo and check back on Tuesday for next week's predictions.