There must be a lot of bad feelings at Disney this morning, after Solo: A Star Wars Story—a film plagued by production problems, projection problems, and toxic fans who “protested” a perceived takeover of Star Wars by strident man-hating feminists by (checks notes) boycotting a film with a straight white male protagonist—dropped a precipitous 65 percent in its second week, from $103 million to $29 million. After the softest opening for a Star Wars film since the dark days of the prequels, this steep second-week drop off wasn’t surprising. It still landed at No. 1, mind you, but this is Hollywood, where anything less than crushing the competition is considered an abject failure. Perhaps it’s best at this point to mute “Star Wars” on Twitter for a while and move on.
Success and failure in Hollywood is often a matter of scale, however, painting a brighter picture for a B-movie that arrived in theaters this week with significantly less baggage than Solo: Leigh Whannell’s Upgrade, the inaugural film in Blumhouse’s new BH Tilt imprint. Yes, it debuted at No. 6, but with a budget less than 1/25th of Solo’s, even modest millions—in this case, $4.46 million—make the case for putting out genre movies in theatrical wide release instead of your usual VOD and/or specialty theater run. Speaking of which, fortunes were similarly bright for American Animals, which opened on four screens at $35,157 each, by far the week’s best per-screen average. (Second place in that regard goes to the re-release of 2001: A Space Odyssey, which made $13,800 over the weekend on each of its three screens.)
As for the rest of the week’s new releases—such as they are—the No. 3 spot on this week’s box-office charts went to Adrift, the Shailene Woodley and Sam Claflin survival romance as dull and aimless as its title. Things don’t look much better for Johnny Knoxville, who overshot the public thirst for early ‘00s nostalgia by a couple years with No. 9 opener Action Point, presumably landing in a swimming pool full of elephant manure or something similarly hilarious on his way down.
The rest of the week’s top 5 was composed of superheroic standbys like Deadpool 2, which came in at No. 2 in its third week; Avengers: Infinity War, No. 4 in its sixth week; and Book Club, a superhero tale of sorts which came in at No. 5, expanding onto an additional 359 screens to accommodate the insatiable lust for female friendship and dumb sex puns among our nation’s elders. Perhaps Lucasfilm should incorporate more of those into its next theatrical outing?