On Star Wars Day, all signs are pointing to the next big film in the franchise to have a gigantic debut.
Solo: A Star Wars Story is expected to generate between $165 million and $175 million over its opening Memorial Day Weekend debut, Variety is reporting, citing early tracking numbers from Hollywood. The numbers are based on estimates of awareness among moviegoers and interest in the franchise and film, among other metrics. If the movie can hit that mark, it would set a new Memorial Day Weekend record and top the current record-holder (and another Disney property), Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.
Solo is an origin story that breaks away from the main Star Wars storyline and instead follows a young Han Solo (originally played by Harrison Ford) as he develops into the character he eventually becomes known for in the main storyline. The film stars Alden Ehrenrich as Solo and Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian, first portrayed on-screen by Billy Dee Williams in The Empire Strikes Back. Chewbacca, another beloved original trilogy character, will also feature prominently in the film.
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If Solo can hit the mark now set by Hollywood for its opening, the film would top the only other standalone story in the franchise, Rogue One. That film, which premiered in 2016, made $155 million in its opening weekend. However, Rogue One opened in mid-December that year and not during the long Memorial Day weekend when people are often off work and looking for films to go see over the holiday.
Disney, Lucasfilm’s parent company, might get a glimpse into how easily the film can hit its high mark on Friday. To celebrate Star Wars Day (May the Fourth, a take on “may the force be with you” from the film), Fandango and others are now selling advanced tickets to the movie when it premieres on May 25. Given the popularity of the franchise and the expected popularity of the film, those interested in seeing it on launch day may want to move quickly on those advanced tickets.
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