Solo: A Star Wars Story disappoints at North American box office

This image released by Lucasfilm shows Alden Ehrenreich and Joonas Suotamo in a scene from

It was a ho-hum holiday weekend at the North America box office as the latest offering from Disney's Star Wars franchise, Solo: A Star Wars Story, crashed and burned in its debut.

"Solo: A Star Wars Story" is on track to earn an estimated 101 million dollars for its four-day Memorial Day Weekend weekend opening which includes the Monday holiday in the United States. The figures look even more bleak as it got the wildly sought-after four day Memorial Day weekend release.

Solo also sputtered overseas, where initial ticket sales stood at about US$65 million. Solo explores the life of Han Solo in the years prior to Stars Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope and stars Alden Ehrenreich as the younger version of Harrison Ford.

The $168 million worldwide debut is an especially poor showing when you consider that "Solo" - which required extensive reshoots after director Ron Howard took over for Phil Lord and Chris Miller - had a reported production cost of about $300 million, according to Box Office Mojo. To put that in perspective, Rogue One generated $155 million form a three day weekend, Solo's three-day take on $84 million is nearly half that of the previous Star Wars standalone.

Infinity War was third with US$16.5 million, for a five-week total of US$622 million.

Meanwhile, Deadpool 2 will earn a projected $53.5 million (GBP40.2 million) in its second weekend, bringing its domestic total to $218.2 million (GBP186.5 million). But is it possible that Solo also hinted at what could happen in the next Star Wars spin-off movie?

However, Howard had a huge task ahead when he took on the movie as it had already been given a release date of May 25, 2018.

Star Wars was released in 1977 and has become one of the biggest film franchises in the history of cinema.

"Anytime the numbers come in lower than projections, there is a feeling of disappointment and the 'Star Wars" brand for better or worse is always subject to lofty box office expectations", Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at comScore, told CNN.

That may sound like a lot, but it's a particularly disappointing outcome for a film set in the Star Wars universe.

Solo: A Star Wars Story is now playing in theaters!

Grace Jiang, a 30-year-old office worker in Shanghai, said she took a chance on Solo based on the franchise's reputation, but nearly dozed off halfway through the film.

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