While Solo: A Star Wars Story remains on pace to become the franchise's lowest-grossing film of all-time, a media analyst is suggesting that the film's failure at the box office should be attributed to poor marketing, rather than franchise fatigue.
According to Deadline, Doug Creutz -- a veteran media analyst at Cowen, a financial services company -- issued a detailed report to investors reaffirming his "market perform" rating of Disney shares following the release of Solo: A Star Wars Story.
In the report, Creutz said that the biggest problem Solo faced was a poor marketing campaign. Solo's struggle at the box office “has occasioned some concern that audiences may be suffering from Star Wars fatigue," Creutz said. "We think this is probably not the case, and that Solo’s biggest problem was an uncharacteristically (for Disney) poor marketing campaign.” Creutz also projected a final domestic gross of approximately $200 million for Solo, which would be the lowest-grossing entry in the Star Wars franchise.
Creutz also said that other noted issues faced by Solo, including turmoil during production and the tight release window with Star Wars: The Last Jedi, were less important factors than the failed marketing campaign. “If the franchise was able to survive Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, we have a hard time believing Last Jedi could have done that much damage,” Creutz said.
Creutz argued that Solo did a poor job selling the relatively unknown Alden Ehrenreich as a young Han Solo, while noting that Rogue One's marketing campaign did a much better job of selling Felicity Jones as the hero of the first Star Wars spin-off, noting that the first 35 seconds of the Rogue One trailer establish Jyn Erso as the movie's hero.
The teaser for Solo, on the other hand, "only had about 10 seconds of screen time where Ehrenreich’s face was clearly in the picture -- not, in our opinion, nearly enough.” Creutz also noted that the first teaser for Rogue One was released 247 days before the film, contrary to the 108 days for Solo's first teaser.
Creutz concluded his report with a prediction for Star Wars: Episode IX, estimating the film, “will do quite well at the box office, probably exceeding Last Jedi.”
Directed by Ron Howard from a script by Lawrence and Jon Kasdan, Solo: A Star Wars Story stars Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo, Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian, Emilia Clarke as Qi’ra and Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca. They’re joined by Thandie Newton as Val, Phoebe Waller-Bridge L3-37, Paul Bettany as Dryden Vos and Woody Harrelson as Tobias Beckett. The film is now in theaters.