Disney and Lucasfilm must have good feeling about this. Solo: A Star Wars Story launched Thursday night to $14.1 million at the North American box office, beating the Memorial Day weekend record previously held by Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.
That Disney sequel grossed $13.2 million in previews the same weekend in 2007 on its way to a four-day holiday opening of $139.8 million.
The Han Solo spinoff is on a course to make north of $140 million domestically. While this would give Solo the all-time Memorial Day weekend record, it would also be the lowest domestic opening of any Star Wars film since the franchise's acquisition by Disney, including Rogue One which earned $29 million from Thursday previews in December 2016.
Going into its opening weekend, Solo faces mixed reviews as well as strong competition from Deadpool 2 and Avengers: Infinity War. Due to its troubled production, it's also the most expensive Star Wars film to date with a reported production budget of $250 million. The film will have to make big box-office gains over the following weeks to recoup costs.
In theaters now, director Ron Howard’s 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.