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Box Office Mojo


I think a month ago people would have said there’s zero chance Solo grosses less than $700 million. Somethings happened to Star Wars, I don’t think anything about its future looks predictable. A billion is still a very large target to hit.


I still think that would have been the case without the refresh they got with Ragranok and Black Panther.


I find that seems to be a problem for me as well. First, I don’t really get the approach to the material. They don’t seem to be movies made with the very vocal desires of Star Wars fans in mind - those who are dedicated fanatics and those who are simply fond of the films - nor do they seem to be movies designed for a new, and normally younger, audience coming to the films for the first time. As least the prequels could definitely be seen as courting an entirely new generation of fans as it alienated the adult fans of the originals (which actually started with Return of the Jedi, didn’t it?).

On top of that, though, Star Wars had been a fantasy. It had never been explicitly “about” anything other than the war with the Empire in the original films and, of course, it was all about those intergalactic trade negotiations in the prequels - Star Trade Wars!

Star Wars was vaguely about things, sure. The same way that The Lord of the Rings could be considered to be vaguely about World War 2 or the disappearance of Edwardian and agrarian (or even feudal) values in the wake of industrialization, general emancipation and two world wars.

However, Star Wars was about people (and droids and aliens) a long time ago in a galaxy far away. There was never any overtly recognizable connection between the fantasy of that world and the reality from which the fans went to Star Wars to get a break. The more sophisticated the narrative approaches - less allegory and archetype and more propaganda and stereotype - then the less separated and fantastic (in every sense) that world becomes.


Possibly, but it’s kind of baseless speculation. There’s legit only one Marvel movie that has under performed compared to its predecessor on a global level and that’s Age of Ultron. But even that one out performed the original Avengers internationally. Granted, Black Panther 2 and Avengers 4 will probably be the next in line to under perform in that regard, but that’s mostly just because they’ve been such massive hits that down is almost the only place they can end up.

I don’t doubt that movies like Ragnarok and BP boosted Infinity War to some level, but to boost them from doing less than Ultron to nearly 2 billion is a bit excessive. That’s saying that you thought those movies boosted IW by about $800 million. Which is close to Ragnarok’s global gross and it would be an impact that increased the box office by nearly 60%. That seems completely unlikely to me. But again, completely useless speculation at this point.


Did you see The Force Awakens? So far designed to appeal to Star Wars fans they made the same film again. Let’s have an orphan on a desert planet, and plans hidden in a droid and a Death Star to destroy after we’ve disarmed the shield in the same way we did in two previous films.

I do really understand why it pissed so many people off but the 50% that loved The Last Jedi came with a breath of relief they didn’t follow the same template to the tee. I think if Abrams had been given it we’d have had Finn in carbonite at the end after a debt with ‘Shabba the Hut’. Maybe that’s what the audience wanted? Financials say yes.


The Force Awakens was a terrific start. I wasn’t a big fan of it, but it was absolutely designed to appeal to Star Wars fans and deliver the kind of film that works well today.

I liked Rogue One a little better, but I think I actually liked the Phantom Menace more than both of them.

Honestly, I think it’s even simpler. Rey should’ve been a Skywalker and Luke should’ve still been a Jedi and had a better reason for going into hiding.


Which is fine but you aren’t really on the fence over nostalgia or new. Those choices are all remaking the same thing again with actors that aren’t as decrepid.


It just feels like everything the Force Awakens set up was discarded with no pay-off.

Infinity War actually paid off everything the Marvel films before it set up in ways that few people expected. That is remaining true to the movies that came before while also doing things that the fans don’t expect.


Which is absolutely true but Abrams set it all up to have the same payoff as the previous trilogy.

Infinity War was never paying off on anything we’d seen before. The Abrams version of TLJ has “Rey, I’m your cousin” as the revelation as she hangs on arm cut off at ‘Despin City’.


Civil War was an Avengers movie no matter how it’s spun. It looked like Marvel had a loyal audience of $800 million with a ± of $200 million. Black Panther blew that up, and of course Thanos destroyed it. The bulk of Thanos watchers hadn’t gone to almost all the previous Marvel movies. That’s amazing.


Or it got shitloads of repeat views, in comparison to previous MCU films. Which I could see being plausible.


I think Abrahms captured what Star Wars always has been. Exciting, colourful, magical adventure with lasers and space ships.

I think Rian Johnson dgaf.

The spinoffs only gave a fuck before or after reshoots, we’ll never know which.

I think audiences want the people who create things to give enough of a fuck to care about what makes those things good and be able to give them that.

If you look at all the movies that have done well and are loved, the creators behind them give enough of a shit to love it enough to do it right and put their ego aside completely to do what’s right for what the audience needs to see on screen.

Star Wars needs a whole lot less preening and a whole lot more humility. They had all their chickens counted when the signatures were down - WB and DC act the same.

The MCU knows every new film is a failure unless it’s done right, as do those behind Deadpool. If you go into these movies thinking they can’t possibly bomb then you are well and truly fucked because the strength of what’s on screen, the heart behind whatever that movie is, or lack of, will show. And it used to be only fans cared. But now everyone is a fan.


True, but you have to admit that the approach they took was a strangely misguided one. The Force Awakens was up front about its dedication to fan expectations and, honestly, no one in the world asked for innovative stories from Star Wars. They didn’t want something new from Star Wars, they just wanted a new Star Wars movie - and it delivered.

They didn’t need to bring back Luke, Leia and Han if they were going to make something new. They didn’t need to make one of the major characters Leia and Han’s son. However, they did bring them back and make them major characters… but they didn’t think to actually provide an ending to their story together.

Even if you were a fan of just the Force Awakens, it feels like The Last Jedi would’ve been about as satisfying as The Matrix Reloaded was for Matrix fans. It had all the elements, but didn’t quite feel like it started where the first movie ended even though, in terms of the movies, that is exactly where it started.


Absolutely, I’d be surprised if even the most burnt out SW fan over TLJ managed to resist looking up a plot summary of it once it’s out.

Which I’d see as evidence of Marvel changing and adapting their MO and benefiting from it.

This. LFL is pretty damn arrogant when it comes to SW. This is the company who put out a load of product 2002-2005 for Clone Wars and three years on bulldozed it for George’s TCW series - but hey, that second time? That was the real version of the Clone Wars bro. (One thing I like greatly about the great reboot is I can enjoy that series without feeling its ruining a load of great comics)

Fans bugger off? They can be replaced. Fans aren’t happy? Meh, they won’t stop buying no matter how much they complain. In this respect Solo is a shot across the bows, but I’m sceptical they’ll heed it.

It’s a shame things have become so messy on the film level because in other areas? Disney have done pretty well, fusing animation, books and comics and yes, the odd movie - Rogue One.



Kathleen Kennedy is a very experienced producer and production company executive. She spent decades working for Steven Spielberg (she started out as his assistant) and she has all that experience to draw on.

But, studio executives don’t originate most projects, they are pitched ideas and then hire people to make them happen. In Kennedy’s case, her experience was primarily in supporting Spielberg, and he’s definitely not someone you tell what to do. You help make his ideas a reality.

So now she’s running Lucasfilm, she’s hiring people who have strong visions of what a ‘Star Wars’ film should be. They’re all real fans; Abrams, Johnson, Edwards and Lord & Miller but ‘Star Wars’ is a broad church and there are a lot of denominations. Each time they change a filmmaker they switch from one branch of the faith to another.

With Lucas, it was all him, even when he brought in other people, it was still his universe. There’s no-one like that at the company anymore.

Bringing Abrams back means we’re going to get something that’s more like ‘Force Awakens’ than anything else. He’ll give us more of what ‘Star Wars’ means to him and he’ll do that because no-one will tell him not to.

And because his film made $2bn.


This is all I’m willing to give at this point. I saw Solo as a social outing. I wouldn’t have gone the way I usually go to movies I really want to see: by myself.


Conspiracy theory:

Disney encouraged Kennedy to break the franchise so they can focus more on their real cash cows Marvel and the properties they originated. It costs a lot of money and is always a big risk to make a movie like this. Supporting two franchises is super risky. It’s like betting the same amount of money on two horses to both win the race. Or at least like trying to hit the trifecta every time. They don’t want to compete with independent Star Wars movies, but they don’t really want to lay out the cash to make them at this megabudget scale either.

Reducing the franchise is their ultimate goal.


Utter bullshit, no way in hell donyou get the keys without being a fan, no way did he make a film for the fun of it . I admire Johnson 1000% more for Last Jedi mainly because he didn’t do what he thought an “audience needs to see on screen”. Solo did that and whilst serviceable it was so middle of the road I grew cats eyes.

Star Wars sequels are an impossibility, they will never ever satisfy all of us. Not a lot of you liked Last Jedi, and that’s fine, I did like it.

All of us will watch the next one at the cinema, and don’t kid yourself otherwise. Even if it’s just to continually moan about it.




Yeah, he did exactly what an audience doesn’t need to see on screen.

RE: “Love will save us” cue explosion that threatens everyone