Star Wars fatigue may have finally set in
We'll never know what truly kept people away from Solo opening weekend, and it's not like the film was a total bomb -- though it was likely a combination of all of these factors -- but arguably the biggest culprit is franchise fatigue. The Last Jedi came out just six months ago, leaving a narrow window of promotional time for Solo. We didn't see a second of official footage from the film until the Super Bowl in February, just shy of four months before the film hit theaters. That lack of exposure, the proximity to The Last Jedi, and the fact that it was released when Star Wars internet discourse was at a major boiling point, likely all contributed to everyone needing something of a breather from the Star Wars machine.
But the series isn't totally doomed. Even though The Hollywood Reporter says we're getting a Boba Fett movie, and despite the whispers about an Obi-Wan standalone, there's nothing on the official Star Wars docket apart from J.J. Abrams' Episode IX, due out next December. That's plenty of time for Disney and Lucasfilm to regroup and reconsider what audiences actually want out of this brand. It's a tricky course to navigate, but despite Solo's underperforming opening weekend, this is still a wildly successful era of the franchise, with three back-to-back smash hits and one less-successful-but-still-a-hit standalone. That's a mighty good track record for Kathleen Kennedy, a Hollywood veteran who's shown a deft hand at saving could-be disasters.