Han Solo can claim the Millennium Falcon made the Kessel Run in twelve parsecs, however his movie is gonna need more time to make $100 million at the domestic box office. Solo: A Star Wars Story made $83.3 million during its opening weekend. When it comes to other live-action Star Wars movies, Solo is the first in the franchise to not have a $100 million opening since Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones ($80 million) in 2002.
However the biggest difference between the two films is their budgets. While Attack of the Clones made $302.1 million overall domestically, it cost $115 million to make. While the production budget on Solo has not been revealed, let’s look at two of the films that preceded it. Star Wars: The Force Awakens cost $245 million to make, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story cost $200 million.
While Star Wars: The Last Jedi’s production budget is also unavailable, it’s safe to say both it and Han’s origin story are within that range. There are multiple reasons as to why the movie performed as it did. Some people cite Ron Howard’s replacing of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller made the movie feel disjointed. Others say they are not impressed with Alden Eherenreich’s portrayal of the famed smuggler.
It was recently revealed Ehrenreich signed a three-film deal with Lucasfilm, so for those who are not fans of him, it looks like he is here to stay. But let’s tether that news to another question. Is oversaturation becoming a problem in a galaxy far, far away? Back in 2012, Disney bought Lucasfilm for $4 billion. Since the release of The Force Awakens in 2015, the studio has made $2 billion domestically and $4.2 billion worldwide based on Box Office Mojo’s estimates.
So why is Disney making a harder push to get more and more Star Wars movies released over a shorter period of time? Why release a new movie every year, or every five to six months, and not every two or three? While the obvious answer is because they make a ton of money, there is another reason. Disney may have made its money back, but now it has to turn a profit as fast as it can with toy sales dropping. In an interview with Fortune, Gerrick Johnson, an analyst for BMO Capital Markets cited “movie fatigue” as a reason toy sales dropped last year.
Over 20 movies had toy tie-ins in 2017 including, of course, The Last Jedi. Prior to its release, Disney’s consumer products division sales dropped 13% to $4.83 billion for the fiscal year that ended on September 30. 38% of the toy industry’s entire revenue last year was credited to comic book and other classic characters. In 2013 Disney closed LucasArts, cancelling all of the upcoming games the studio had planned.
So despite making billions and owning nearly everything, it looks like Disney is hoping to profit off of Star Wars as fast and as much as they can. Even if that means burning out fans. The thing that hurts toy and ticket sales for Disney is outside of Rey, Kylo Ren, Finn, and Poe Dameron, they haven’t used the movies to create new memorable characters, or expand on characters outside of the Skywalker saga. Making the universe seem like a small sandbox. Especially with James Mangold recently being hired to write and direct a Boba Fett movie.
There are so many other characters and planets within the Star Wars universe. We don’t need to know the origins of every single one from the original trilogy. If you’re going to pump out as many Star Wars movies as possible, at least give us something and someone new and exciting.