Solo: A Star Wars Story was considered a great film for anyone who saw it, but it still managed to underperform in the box office for several reasons. Director Ron Howard has recently opened up about how he felt about the movie’s lack of success, and he says that it could be because of the trolls online.
Talking to CinemaBlend, Howard explains that the movie wasn’t able to tickle the fancy of the more casual Star Wars fans. He says:
I feel very good about the way it turned out. I love the way it played to audiences, which I witnessed and was a part of. So all of that I’m able to feel good about. Sure, I wish it would’ve done [better] and lived up to the box office and so forth, so that’s disappointing. Why? Maybe it’s the release. Maybe it’s the idea that it’s sort of too nostalgic, going back and revisiting an origin story for a beloved character may not be what the fans were looking for. It kind of seemed to me, looking at it, the opening — which was big, not as big as the others, it was probably my biggest opening, personally, it was still disappointing to them — I think those are the hardcore fans. It sort of tells you how many people are tagalongs who need to wait to see what people think and whether it’s essential, if it’s a zeitgeist movie or not, and whether it’s just ‘I love Star Wars and I want to see what’s next.’
When it comes to the underperformance of Solo, a lot of people blame Disney for not marketing the movie well enough—especially since they put all the focus on the release of Avengers: Endgame. Add to that, Deadpool 2 was also blowing up in the box office at the time, so by the time Solo came, it was undermarketed and had some tough competition.
Not to mention all the fans who decided to boycott the movie after their reaction to Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
So whatever millions [Solo] made worldwide, those were the core fans, but it didn’t hit that zeitgeist point, for whatever reason. Timing, young Han Solo, pushback from the previous movie, which I kept hearing was maybe something. And some trolling, definitely some trolling. Some actual aggressive… It was pretty interesting. Not so much, a little bit the Twitter feed, yes, but it was especially noticeable prior to the release of the movie. Several of the algorithms, whether it was Metacritic or Rotten Tomatoes, there was an inordinate push down on the ‘want to see’ and on the fan voting. And when you look at it, it’s like 3, 4, 5 — or whatever the rating is, I forget what the rating is on Rotten Tomatoes, whether it’s a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 — but pretty high, and then a series of 0s or .5s or 1s.
Solo had just hit its one year anniversary, and there was a huge #MakeSolo2Happen movement on Twitter. We don’t know if we got the main Lucasfilm heads’ attention, but Howard, along with some other people involved in making the movie, have showed their support.
The next Star Wars movie is The Rise of Skywalker, and it comes out Dec. 20.