One of the biggest movie upsets of 2018 was Ron Howard's Solo: A Star Wars Story. The film underperformed at the box office and was met with mixed reviews from fans and critics alike. However, with the holiday box office season heating up, some can’t help but question how Solo would have done if it was released this week instead of May.
Jonathan Kasdan, the co-writer of the film, took to Twitter yesterday to ask that very question.
Hard not to wonder how Solo might've faired if it had come out tonight.— Jon Kasdan (@JonKasdan) December 22, 2018
“Hard not to wonder how Solo might've faired if it had come out tonight,” he wrote.
Kasdan co-wrote the film with his father, Lawrence Kasdan, who also co-wrote Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Solo made $392,924,807 at the worldwide box office this year, which is pretty abysmal when you compare it to the other new Star Wars films. The Force Awakens made $2,068,223,624, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story made $1,056,057,273, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi made $1,332,539,889.
If you don’t adjust for inflation, Solo is the second-worst performing film in the entire franchise. Surprisingly, the only movie it outperformed at the box office is The Empire Strikes Back, which is strange since Empire is generally considered to be the best. However, when you adjust for inflation and include Empire’s two re-releases in theaters, Solo is stuck in last place.
Some people have chosen to blame the The Last Jedi for hindering Solo, but considering TLJ was the highest grossing film of last year, it’s safe to say that theory is just the TLJ haters reaching.
This brings us back to the original question: was it the May release that killed Solo? While it’s safe to assume a holiday release may have helped the movie, the first six Star Wars movies all came out in May and managed to fair much better. Even Star Wars: Attack of the Clones made $649,398,328 when it was released.
The interesting thing is, Solo isn’t even the lowest rated in the franchise. It earned a 70% on Rotten Tomatoes, which is better than The Phantom Menace’s 54% and Attack of the Clones’ 66%. (Although, in retrospect, many of us would argue that Menace deserved slightly more credit than Clones.)
Solo isn’t the only family film that Jonathan Kasdan is taking part in. He’s also writing the fifth installment of the Indiana Jones franchise. Raiders of the Lost Ark was, of course, written by his father. Hopefully, the highly-anticipated film will not only perform better than Solo, but wash the bad taste left in our mouths from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
Do you think Solo would have done better if it had come out this month instead of May? Tell us in the comments.
Solo: A Star Wars Story will be hitting Netflix on January 9, 2019.