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'Solo: A Star Wars Story' Ready to Top Memorial Day Weekend Box Office

by Brad Brevet
 

 
May 24, 2018

SATURDAY AM UPDATE: After an estimated $35.6 million, Disney and Lucasfilms's Solo: A Star Wars Story is looking at a three-day weekend around $93-95 million and a four-day holiday performance anywhere from $108-115 million. This is well below the anticipated weekend range, which is sure to inspire conversation surrounding the amount of competition in the marketplace not to mention the film's proximity to the previous Star Wars release as well as the summer release compared to the December dates for Disney's previous three Star Wars features.

Meanwhile, Deadpool 2 is dipping a bit more than expected, pulling in an estimated $12.1 million on Friday and looking at a $43.4 million three-day signaling a 65% drop from opening weekend. The film is expected to bring in nearly $55 million for the four-day weekend.

Disney and Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War brought in an estimated $4.25 million on Friday and is looking at a $16+ million three-day and a $21 million four-day performance for a domestic cume topping $625 million.

You can check out all of the Friday estimates right here and we'll be back tomorrow morning with a complete look at the weekend.

FRIDAY AM UPDATE: Disney and Lucasfilm's Solo: A Star Wars Story brought in $14.1 million from Thursday evening previews, topping the previous Memorial Day record of $13.2 million set by Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, which also holds the Memorial Day four-day weekend record of $139.8 million ($153m including those Thursday previews, which occurred in ~3,100 theaters). This is a solid start for the feature which is hoping to deliver a new Memorial Day weekend record.

Internationally, Solo holds a two-day tally of $11.4 million from 43 open markets so far. The film extends its International release today in Mexico, China, Spain, India, Poland, South Africa, Turkey and Vietnam.

We'll take a closer look at things tomorrow morning once Friday estimates come in. For now you can check out our weekend preview below.

WEEKEND PREVIEW: Eleven years ago Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End set the four-day Memorial Day weekend record, debuting with nearly $140 million. Since then, only four films have topped $100 million while opening over the holiday weekend and this weekend Disney and Lucasfilm's Solo: A Star Wars Story looks to not only become the fifth, but could possibly deliver a new record. One factor that could work against Solo reaching record heights is a pair of highly competitive features in Deadpool 2 and Avengers: Infinity War, both of which will be competing for the same demographic of holiday moviegoers.

Since the return of the Star Wars franchise to movie theaters in December 2015, the three films released so far have brought in over $2 billion domestically and over $4.45 billion worldwide. Each has cracked $1 billion globally and all three rank within the top 25 all-time worldwide with Star Wars: The Force Awakens ranking as the third highest grossing global release of all-time. Force Awakens is the only film of the three to top $2 billion worldwide with Star Wars: The Last Jedi delivering $1.33 billion globally and Rogue One, the first spin-off from the Skywalker Saga, bringing in $1.05 billion worldwide.

Like Rogue One, this weekend's release of Solo: A Star Wars Story is also a spin-off, but when Rogue One opened with $155 million in December 2016 it wasn't facing nearly the competition Solo faces this weekend. Rogue One also hit theaters a full year after Force Awakens, while Solo arrives just five months after the release of Last Jedi, which, along with production troubles that saw original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller replaced by Ron Howard, clearly had an effect on its marketing with the first trailer for the film not arriving until February of this year, a little over four months before the film was to be released. Compare that to the first trailer for Rogue One, which landed eight months prior to the film's release.

As for what to look for this weekend, the film will debut in 4,381 theaters this weekend, the widest May release ever, and industry tracking is suggesting a $130-150 million four-day opening and, given all the factors at play, a debut on the lower end of that range is currently looking like a better bet.

Analyzing IMDb page views versus film such as Rogue One and Furious 7, Solo has fallen behind over the last couple days when looking at the two weeks leading up to release. However, it is outpacing Fast & Furious 6, which opened with $117 million over Memorial Day weekend while up against the first weekend for The Hangover Part III and the second weekend for Star Trek into Darkness, which draws some comparison to this weekend's crop of high profile titles. That said, the level of competition Solo faces is incredibly strong and based on that fact we're currently anticipating a three-day near $105-112 million and a four-day competing for the Memorial Day record right around $130-136 million.

Internationally, Solo will open day-and-date with approximately 88% of the marketplace include openings yesterday in markets including France, Italy, Indonesia and Philippines followed by openings today in the UK, Russia, Korea, Germany, Brazil, Australia, Hong and a Friday release in China, Mexico, Spain, India and others. The only major market not opening this weekend is Japan where the film will hit theaters on June 29.

Looking at a second place finish is last weekend's champ, Deadpool 2, which we're expecting to dip around 57% for a $53.5 million three-day and a four-day that could reach $68 million, pushing the film's cume over $230 million after 11 days in release.

Disney and Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War recently topped $600 million domestically and will look to top $625 million come the end of the long weekend. We're currently expecting a three-day performance around $17.5 million and a $22 million four-day.

Paramount's Book Club should hold over well as it continues to serve as counter-programming, and actually outgrossed Infinity War on Wednesday. We're expecting the film to drop around 26% this weekend for a $10 million three-day and a four-day performance pushing toward $12 million for a domestic cume topping $35 million after 11 days in release.

Rounding out the top five, Melissa McCarthy's Life of the Party and Global Road's Show Dogs should be in a tight race. Right now we're giving the edge to Show Dogs, which we expect to come in just shy of $6 million for the holiday weekend, barely topping Life of the Party.

In limited release, A24 will debut How to Talk to Girls at Parties in two theaters; IFC will release Mary Shelley also in two locations; and IFC will debut Feral in four theaters.

This weekend's three and four-day weekend forecasts are directly below. This post will be updated on Friday morning with Thursday night preview results followed by Friday estimates on Saturday morning, and a weekend recap on Sunday morning.

THREE-DAY WEEKEND

  • Solo: A Star Wars Story (4,381 theaters) - $108.0 M
  • Deadpool 2 (4,349 theaters) - $53.5 M
  • Avengers: Infinity War (3,768 theaters) - $17.5 M
  • Book Club (2,810 theaters) - $10.0 M
  • Show Dogs (3,212 theaters) - $4.4 M
  • Life of the Party (2,937 theaters) - $4.2 M
  • Breaking In (1,984 theaters) - $3.2 M
  • A Quiet Place (1,524 theaters) - $2.3 M
  • Overboard (1,193 theaters) - $2.1 M
  • RBG (414 theaters) - $1.1 M

FOUR-DAY WEEKEND

  • Solo: A Star Wars Story (4,381 theaters) - $134.2 M
  • Deadpool 2 (4,349 theaters) - $67.5 M
  • Avengers: Infinity War (3,768 theaters) - $22.2 M
  • Book Club (2,810 theaters) - $12.4 M
  • Show Dogs (3,212 theaters) - $5.7 M
  • Life of the Party (2,937 theaters) - $5.4 M
  • Breaking In (1,984 theaters) - $4.1 M
  • A Quiet Place (1,524 theaters) - $3.0 M
  • Overboard (1,193 theaters) - $2.8 M
  • RBG (414 theaters) - $1.2 M

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