Despite positive reviews and being a Star Wars film, 2018's Solo: A Star Wars Story didn't fare well at the box office. THe movie earned approximately $392 million, which may have actually resulted in a loss for Disney. Director Ron Howard thinks there are three reasons why Solo didn't meet expectations at the box office.
In an appearance on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Howard explained the film's Memorial Day release probably didn't help the movie. Previous new Star Wars films released during the Christmas season, which provided a boost at the box office.
Howard's second reason is the nostalgia factor. “Maybe it’s the idea that it’s too nostalgic,” Howard stated. “That going back and revisiting an origin story for a beloved character may not be what the fans were looking for. It seemed to me looking at the opening, big but not as big as the others, I think that was [only] the hardcore fans. [The drop-off] tells you how many people are tagalongs who need to wait to see what people think or if it’s essential, if it’s a zeitgeist movie or not. It didn’t hit the zeitgeist, for whatever reason.”
Finally, Howard explained the third reason behind the film's failure was "aggressive trolling". “Not so much the Twitter feed,” Howard added, “but it was notable prior to the release of the movie in 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. Some friends from Silicon Valley explained to me how it works. Under that circumstance, I did not take it personally at all but I felt badly.”
Directed and co-written by J.J. Abrams, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker stars Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, Billie Lourd, Keri Russell, Matt Smith, Anthony Daniels, Mark Hamill, Billy Dee Williams and Carrie Fisher, with Naomi Ackie and Richard E. Grant. The film arrives Dec. 20.