As many may know, the standalone Han Solo film launches tonight. Well, it seems like there are already indicators that this film will be another big disappoint for Disney, like TLJ turned out to be.
Box Office Projections
Near the beginning of May, there were several sources projecting that the film would open to a 4 day total of $160M-$170M. This would put it just slightly behind Rogue One, another SW spinoff. However, the closer we have gotten to release, those projections have been amended. Disney is officially expecting $130M-$150M over the 4 days, while others suggest it may be as low as $125M for Memorial Weekend. If this is the case, that would be a very poor showing for the film.
Also of interest is that this is the first SW film that Disney will be releasing in China at the same time as most other regions. Usually they release a few weeks later. My guess is they are attempting to pad out the WW numbers. However, this has not worked, as we already have midnight numbers for China and it seems the movie is already a flop there with just ~$120K, with it only projected to make ~$10M for the entire weekend.
While the critics scores have only been middling, with 6.5 as the average review, the more important aspect is those wanting to see the film. As of this writing ~15.8K people have voted whether they wish to see the film or not. Of those thousands, only 36% say they want to watch it, leaving 64% who do not. It is very obvious that many in the fanbase have been turned off from the franchise due to TLJ and what they feel is a bastardization of the franchise.
Another interesting development is that many people have been posting pictures of the seating charts for the theaters in their area, showing many to not be sold out. Not very good for a movies opening night. Here is a link to one of my local theaters 7:00 PM showing. We are less than 2 hours away from that time, yet there are ~45 seats that have yet to be sold. 7:30 and 10:00 is even worse, with ~55 seats still available.
I think TLJ has done the damage many fans think it has, tarnishing people's interest in the future of the franchise under Disney. Or maybe more accurately, under Kathleen Kennedy. It doesn't help that the directors and writers have been putting in their own political agendas into the films, but much worse, out there on social media, even if they aren't quite blatantly put in the film. Lando being a pansexual is the most recent example of this, with the writer saying he is glad that he is injecting identity politics into a franchise that was meant for everyone.
And any fans that have a problem with it are belittled and accused of being the scum of the Earth. Yet, strangely enough, Kennedy and Lucasfilm expect us to still go see the films. My prediction is that Solo doesn't even hit $1B WW, possibly falling short of even $900M. A very poor result given how much money Disney has pumped into the film.
Thoughts? Will Solo go on to be a surprise hit? Or has TLJ and identity politics caused to much damage to the franchise?