Star Wars fatigue hits Solo at US box office


Cinema still of Solo: A Star Wars Story starring (from left) Thandie Newton, Woody Harrelson and Alden Ehrenreich. The film clung to the top spot in North American theatres this weekend but again fell below expectations.
Cinema still of Solo: A Star Wars Story starring (from left) Thandie Newton, Woody Harrelson and Alden Ehrenreich. The film clung to the top spot in North American theatres this weekend but again fell below expectations.PHOTO: THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Solo: A Star Wars Story clung to the top spot in North American theatres this weekend but again fell below expectations, taking in US$29.3 million (S$39.2 million), just over a third of its opening-weekend receipts, said box office tracker Exhibitor Relations.

The three-day estimate left the film well behind two recent predecessors in the popular sci-fi franchise. The 2016 film Rogue One made US$64 million in its second weekend while last year's The Last Jedi did even better, at US$71 million, according to Variety.

Some film analysts blame Star Wars fatigue. Even by the standards of today's sequel/prequel-heavy Hollywood, the franchise has been prolific.

Still, the Disney/Lucasfilm collaboration, starring Alden Ehrenreich as a younger version of the swashbuckling space pilot, has amassed a cumulative global total of US$264 million, something even Chewbacca probably would not sneeze at.

A strong second in North American theaters was Deadpool 2 from 20th Century Fox, at US$23.3 million. That movie, the 11th installment in the X-Men series based on Marvel Comics characters, stars Ryan Reynolds as the surly title character.

In third spot was a new release, Adrift from STX Films, at US$11.5 million. The movie stars Shailene Woodley and Sam Claflin in the true-life story of a young couple whose sailboat is slammed by a hurricane in mid-ocean, leaving Claflin badly injured, the boat in ruins and Woodley having to find the way back without navigation or communication tools.

In its sixth week out, Disney's Avengers: Infinity War performed well, pulling in US$10.4 million for fourth place.

 
 

The film, starring Robert Downey Jr., Benedict Cumberbatch and Scarlett Johansson, has now taken in US$643 million domestically and a resounding US$1.96 billion worldwide, making it the fourth biggest global release of all time.

In fifth in North America was Paramount's rom-com Book Club, at US$6.8 million.

It stars Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen as aging friends whose decision to read the steamy Fifty Shades trilogy ends up stimulating more than just their intellects.

Rounding out the top 10 were: Upgrade (US$4.5 million); Life of the Party (US$3.5 million); Breaking In (US$2.8 million); Action Point (US$2.3 million) and Overboard (US$2 million).