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After ‘Solo’ opens to underwhelming numbers at the box office, film industry watchers debate whether ‘Star Wars fatigue’ has set in

Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo in Disney's SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.
Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo in Disney's SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.
Jonathan Olley / Lucasfilm

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When T.S. Eliot wrote “this is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper,” he could have been predicting the disappointing debut of “Solo: A Star Wars Story.”

The film, which was released over Memorial Day weekend, fell short of its anticipated revenue and praise. It pulled in just $103 million domestically despite being slated to earn around $155 million, the figure the first Star Wars Story, “Rogue One” earned its first weekend. The movie was also poorly received overseas, earning only $68.2 million compared to the $1.056 billion gained by “Rogue One.”

The underwhelming box office opening could be a result of being released only five months after “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” causing an oversaturation of Star Wars films.  So is this flop a product of “Star Wars fatigue, ” a swing and a miss by Disney, or just a bad movie?

We discuss the film’s underperformance with KPCC film critics Tim Cogshell and Amy Nicholson alongside David Sims and Scott Mendelson.


David Sims, staff writer covering culture at The Atlantic, where he wrote “With ‘Solo,’ Has ‘Star Wars’ Fatigue Set In?”; he is also the co-host of Blank Check Podcast, which reviews directors’ complete filmographies; he tweets @davidlsims

Scott Mendelson, contributor to Forbes, where he covers the film industry and wrote the piece “‘Star Wars Fatigue’ Not To Blame For ‘Solo’ Box Office Disaster”; he tweets @ScottMendelson

Amy Nicholson, film critic for KPCC, film writer for The Guardian and host The Canon podcast as well as a new podcast called Unspooled, where Amy and comedian Paul Scheer check off the AFI Top 100 movies of all time; she tweets @TheAmyNicholson

Tim Cogshell, film critic for KPCC, Alt-Film Guide and; he tweets @CinemaInMind