Even when the STAR WARS films weren’t always on top of their game creatively, they still were able to pull in a sizable amount at the box office and not be labeled a financial disappointment. Disney, after releasing three STAR WARS films in the comfy December/Christmas holiday slot, decided to buck the trend by going for Memorial Day weekend with the release of the prequel, SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY. The film detailed the adventures of a young Han Solo, a role made famous by Harrison Ford, and it seemed like a sure thing, albeit, a bit unnecessary. Reviews for the film were mostly favorably but maybe due to STAR WARS fatigue (and coming after the polarizing THE LAST JEDI), the film fell short of the previous films at the box office. In fact, it’s the first STAR WARS film to be considered a box office bomb, grossing $393.2 million worldwide on a budget that ranged between $275-300 million. The film’s final gross gives it the distinction of being the lowest-grossing live-action film in the franchise and despite its financial woes, the film has built up enough goodwill for fans to want to see more adventures of the young Han Solo.
Director Ron Howard, who came on board SOLO after Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were fired over “creative differences”, made an appearance on the “Lights, Camera, Barstool” podcast and he was asked about the possibility of a sequel happening. While he said there are no current talks, he believes that a followup is very possible:
“No rumblings, though, and this is not a spoiler or anything, but I think there is interest in those characters. I think there’s interest in the gangster world somewhere down the line. But I can assure you there is nothing being developed right now for a movie or Disney Plus. But, one great thing is there has been a lot of affection shown for Solo, and so of course that keeps boding well for them to eventually turn it around.”
A possibility of a sequel happening is better than no possibility at all. On paper, SOLO didn’t make enough money to make the powers that be happy but there is some potential with a little time away from these characters that interest in a sequel could build up again. The film’s box office take is the main obstacle and even though $393.2 million doesn’t seem all that bad, based on the film’s budget many trade analysts believed the film needed to make at least $500 million just to break even. Alden Ehrenreich, who took on the daunting task of playing young Han Solo, once spoke on the film’s box office performance and thought the box office analysis was a bit unfair:
“[Solo] didn’t do as well as other Star Wars movies, but it still did well for a movie. And so it was kind of this medium thing. But that’s not newsworthy. Even at high-level journalism, there’s an intense pressure, sometimes, it feels like, to [either] catastrophize or celebrate. And I think that’s really fucking dangerous, especially when it pertains to the stuff that really matters, like the state of the world. An article headline that says “things are complicated, and there are good sides and bad sides” isn’t getting the emotional response. And I just think we really have to take a step back, and give a lot more thought to the way our emotions are being run by the stories we’re getting inundated with.”
What could bode well for a sequel is that, according to reports, Ehrenreich signed a three-picture deal with Lucasfilm when he was brought on to do SOLO so that would mean he has two more movies to crank out for them. There could be caveats in that contract regarding what would happen if the movie fails but it appears the door is still slightly ajar for another film.
Do YOU want to see a sequel to SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY?