Weekend Box Office (May 25 - 28, 2018)
THIS WEEKEND The Star Wars brand will be tested as the newest adventure Solo arrives for the long Memorial Day holiday session representing the fourth film for the popular franchise in only 2.5 years. As one of Hollywood's most bankable set of movies, this time fans will be asked if they want to visit a galaxy far, far away yet again - the second time in six months.
Hardcore fans will come out for sure and that alone will deliver plenty of cash, but some of the more mainstream action movie fans who are not Jedi devotees may not get sucked into the hype and end up taking a pass, or seeing it later. Savvy audiences are aware that the original directors of Solo were let go and replaced by Ron Howard and that type of replacement never turns fans on. Plus this is an origin story which is missing so many of the popular Star Wars characters and cast members fans have grown to love.
Reviews have been generally positive, but not as good as for the recent trio of movies from this franchise so that will reduce excitement a bit too. And overall buzz and pre-sales have not been as strong as for past films. On the plus side, this installment is more kid friendly so the younger set should be there in solid numbers especially since the most recent action offerings have been full of death and destruction.
Solo numbers should not come close to the $200M+ three-day marks for The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. Instead, the turnout will be more from the Rogue One crowd - they spent $155.1M on opening weekend in December 2016. Helping Solo is the holiday weekend which will allow Sunday numbers to be not far behind Saturday grosses. Landing in a new May high of 4,381 locations, Solo might open to about $121M over three days and $147M across four days which would still be enough to set a new record Memorial Day holiday weekend bow.
Moviegoers with a more raunchy appetite will still have Deadpool 2 to enjoy. The Fox super hero sequel faces action competition, but a second place finish of around $75M over four days may result. That would lift the sum up to $243M.
Earlier this week, Avengers: Infinity War became the second film of 2018 to smash $600M domestic after Black Panther, and the third in six months after The Last Jedi as well. Only five had done it in all of box office history before them. All are part of the Disney empire. Solo will go after many of the same people but the long break will give many a chance to catch up on the summer juggernaut they missed, or to relive the cliffhanger episode. The four-day gross may drop to about $22M pushing the cume to $628M as the global haul shoots for the $1.9 billion mark.
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Watch the trailer for Mission: Impossible - Fallout.
LAST YEAR Johhny Depp returned to the top spot with Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales which topped the long holiday weekend with $78.5M over four days. The sequel's existence was more for international markets and the final grosses finished at $172.6M domestic (the lowest for the five-film series) but a hefty $795M global with overseas accounting for a high 78% of that tally. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 stayed put in second with $27.2M while Baywatch opened in third with $23.1M for Paramount on its way to $58.1M. Alien: Covenant and Everything, Everything rounded out the top five with $13.4M and $7.7M, respectively.
This column is updated three times each week: Thursday (upcoming weekend's summary), Sunday (post-weekend analysis with estimates), and Monday night (actuals). Opinions expressed in this column are those solely of the author.
Last Updated: May 24, 2018 at 3:00PM ET
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