The disappointing financial return of Solo: A Star Wars Story forces Disney to press the panic button
With Solo: A Star Wars Story delighting audiences around the world one could be forgiven for thinking everything was great in the Lucasfilm department at Disney. However, despite boasting a fantastically positive reaction to Ron Howard’s vision of the Star Wars universe, the gate receipts have been overwhelmingly disappointing.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was released in the latter stages of 2016 and despite accumulating nowhere near the glut of revenue amassed by Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Gareth Edwards’ superb war themed movie was a financial success and an overwhelming hit with the fans. Fast forward to the release of Solo, and the despite being on general release for just four weeks, Ron Howard’s standalone movie is struggling to accumulate half of what Rogue One did over the same time period. In fact, the figures make for disturbing reading. Solo has taken just $194,865,401 domestically and $147,102,828 globally for a current worldwide return of $341,968,229. In comparison, Rogue One had taken $479,124,415 in the States alone within the same time frame.
In response to this disappointing box office return, Lucasfilm is rumoured to have halted every single Star Wars standalone movie project in favour of focussing attention on the production of Star Wars: Episode IX and the future trilogies being produced by Rian Johnson and Game of Thrones duo David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.
The team at Collider have reported:
Sources with knowledge of the situation tell Collider that Lucasfilm has decided to put plans for more A Star Wars Story spinoff movies on hold, instead opting to focus their attention on Star Wars: Episode IX and what the next trilogy of Star Wars films will be after that film. Sources tell us that the previously rumored Obi-Wan movie was in active development, but those who were working on the film are no longer involved. It was recently reported that Logan filmmaker James Mangold was in early talks to write and direct the Boba Fett film, but that was before Solo’s release.
Whether viewed as a kneejerk reaction or a calculated risk, Lucasfilm have moved quickly to address the issues facing the Star Wars franchise and restore balance to the force. The overwhelming backlash of The Last Jedi, combined with a summer release for Solo: A Star Wars Story, just five months after Episode VIII and just weeks after Avengers: Infinity War and Deadpool 2 has combined to make the perfect storm for the galaxy far, far away.
The cancellation of the proposed Obi-Wan Kenobi standalone movie is a bitter pill to swallow. The fans have been calling for a legitimate Kenobi tale for years and are set to have their excitement curtailed once again which will unsettle many a devoted fan.
Of course, this news is still just rumour and yet to be officially confirmed by either Lucasfilm or Disney, so a sliver of hope remains for the Kenobi movie to be restored to the production schedule. Hopefully, Disney will make an announcement in the near future and clarify their position.
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Phil Roberts is the Owner, Daily Content Manager, and Editor-In-Chief of The Future of the Force. He is passionate about Star Wars, Batman, DC, Marvel, Star Trek, Indiana Jones, Ghostbusters, King Kong, and the Ray Harryhausen movies. Follow him on Twitter where he uses the force and babbles frequently!