Disney’s hopes that Solo: A Star Wars Story would pick up speed on positive word of mouth and rebound after its disappointing opening weekend were scuttled by a 66 percent tumble in its second weekend. It still held on to first place but took a nosedive, scoring only $29 million. It’s earned around $148 million after 10 days, which is less than Rogue One earned in its first three days of release.
Is it Star Wars fatigue? Or is there something else at play here? The movie may not be earth-shattering, but it’s still fun, and I remain perplexed as to why the Star Wars faithful would not want to come out for a Han Solo film, even if it does lack Harrison Ford.
Should Disney worry about future Star Wars films, or just the stand-alone films? Or is this limited to only Solo? Because things aren’t faring any better overseas, where Solo performed weakly in China and is otherwise experiencing a lackluster box-office performance elsewhere. Disney has to be a little worried about their franchise, considering that its beginning to show wear and tear after only five films under the Disney banner, with at least seven more films in the works. But then again, maybe we’ll look back on Solo as the Thor: The Dark World of the Star Wars universe, the movie where Disney realized that an “OK” film won’t hack it and redouble their efforts to put out a better product (again, not that Solo was bad. It just wasn’t necessary).
Meanwhile, Deadpool 2 continues its strong performance, adding $23 million in its third weekend. It’s now crossed the $250 million mark and should be on its way to a $300+ million run, more than doubling that in its overseas performance.
There were three new releases this weekend, as well. Adrift, coming in at number three, fared the best among them, scoring an OK $11 million. I like the box office strategy here, however. Four years ago, Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort opened A Fault in Our Stars to a monster opening weekend during the first week of June. Two years ago, Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin opened Me Without You in the same weekend, which slept its way to $50 million at the box office. Here, STX Films mixed and matched Shailene Woodley and Sam Claflin with another romantically tragic tearjerker on the same June weekend, and while $11 million isn’t exactly an amount to brag about, there’s some potential for Adrift as the only weeper in the marketplace until Christopher Robin to sleep its way to $45-$50 million. If so, maybe we’ll see Emilia Clarke and Ansel Elgort combine for another tearjerker two years from now.
Avengers: Infinity War hung in there at number four, continuing to do its thing. It added $10.6 million to bring its total to $643 million, still $50 million behind the year’s biggest film, Black Panther and not likely to surpass it as it slows down heading into June. Book Club, however, has mastered summer counterprogramming, dropping only 32 percent in its third weekend and earning nearly $7 million. It’s pushing $50 million already, which is great for a film that only cost $10 million to produce.
Leigh Whannel’s Upgrade, a micro-budget film and one of the year’s best surprises, performed well, earning $4.5 million on only 1500 screens, making it the second highest grossing film ever for BHTilt, behind The Darkness. Check it out, it’s well worth the ticket price.
Holdovers, likewise, occupied the seventh, eighth, and tenth spots this weekend. Melissa McCarthy’s Life of the Party earned $3.6 million and has very quietly tallied $46 million, so far. With $2.7 million, Gabrielle Union’s Breaking In has now crossed $40 million on only a $6 million budget, while Overboard took the ten spot with $2 million. It’s now earned a solid $45 million on a $12 million budget.
In at number nine, however, was the hugely disappointing Johnny Knoxville flick, Action Point, and there’s no other way to describe this other than a bust. It earned only $2.2 million on a $19 million budget, just five years after Knoxville’s last stunt comedy Bad Grandpa opened with $32 million. On the other hand, Bad Grandpa was hilarious. Action Point is very bad, earning only a 17 percent on Rotten Tomatoes (and that’s generous), and a dismal C+ from Cinemascore. Unfortunately, while the concept — based on a true story — was great, the laughs were absent and the stunts were uninspired. This may be the end of the line for 47-year-old Johnny Knoxville’s career as a stunt action — he got hurt on this film more than any other, after all, and it doesn’t appear that it was worth it.
Next week, things should pick back up again considerably with the release of Ocean’s 8, while Heriditary — which is getting magnificent reviews — has an opportunity to be a huge sleeper horror hit this summer. Hotel Artemis, despite a very cool cast, looks to be the odd man out next weekend.