Dissecting Disney – Does A SOLO Flop Even Matter?
Well, here we have it folks – the first official Star Wars “FLOP”, well at least according to extremist websites, YouTubers, Facebook groups and a few knee-jerk writers online. The truth is the latest Star Wars has brought in $264 million dollars worldwide, and is the 5th largest movie of the year outperforming Ready Player One’s entire box office take in only two weeks, a movie largely considered a hit for Spielberg and Warner Bros.
And while the debate could, and likely will, rage online whether or not that constitutes a flop (it technically does not) but the real question is… does it even matter?
Some websites are reporting that the cost of switching directors from Lord & Miller to Ron Howard doubled the cost of the film, and that perhaps a Lord & Miller movie would’ve brought in more money. At the very least even if it had the same results, the net result would be more money in Disney’s pocket as the cost of the movie would have been lower.
Does anyone ELSE see what’s wrong with that statement?
Disney doesn’t care about how much money a single Star Wars movie brings in at the box office. Yes, of course they care about the brand, and the want the brand to be successful, but Disney worrying about their pocketbook isn’t something that is going to make the regret a director choice.
What Disney DOES care about, and the reason that Star Wars fans should be celebrating Ron Howard’s film regardless of the numbers, is STORY. They care about the story more than they care about the box office receipts. They care about the story more than they care about the tomatometer, the box office mojo stories or even the Cinemascore.
Now, of course it would be optimistic and naive to think that Disney cares about the story because they just happen to be big fans of the franchise, and while that’s true, Disney didn’t buy the Star Wars name to sell movies. They did it sell MERCHANDISE, to sell the CONCEPT of Star Wars to a new generation, to sell the Star Wars EXPERIENCE.
There isn’t a 10 year old child out there who saw Solo in the past two weeks whining about the results at the box office, but there are PLENTY of kids playing with Star Wars toys. They might be Solo toys, they might not, but the result is the same for Disney.
So then, why even bother with changing directors one might ask? Because the possibility of damaging the brand is much worse than the possibility of poor performance. Disney will sacrifice their wallets if it means they get a product out there that they can believe in, and while that might sound like it would lead to less risky films, The Last Jedi has proven that not to be the case.
Star Wars is in a golden era, and it’s just going to take the public a few more years and a few more movies to wake up and realize it. There is great content being released constantly from comic books, to novels, to cartoons and films; the Star Wars universe is expanding to new heights. The next year will see plenty of new things for Star Wars, theme parks, plenty of books and the conclusion of a new trilogy – and it’s just the beginning.
One last thing – if you’re a Star Wars fan and you’re worried about the future of the franchise, remember the one thing that has never disappeared from the universe.
Ryan is an experienced writer and Disney enthusiast. Living in Florida, Walt Disney World has become a second home, where he enjoys spending time with his wife, daughters and friends. His favorite rides include Haunted Mansion, Star Tours, Kilimanjaro Safaris and Sci Fi Drive in Diner (the cars don’t move much but it’s a delicious 30 minutes!)
Collectible wise Ryan collects pins, vinylmation, pop funko, artwork, limited edition dolls (they’re princess action figures!) and really anything else limited or cool he can get his hands on. Tangled is is favorite new era Disney movie, and Aladdin is his favorite classic.