‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ could lose $50M for Disney: analyst

“Solo: A Star Wars Story,” which reveals the origin of the iconic character Han Solo, is projected to be the first “Star Wars” film to lose money at the box office on Disney’s watch, according to a report on Monday.

The film, which suffered several setbacks during production, has drawn a lukewarm critical reaction and disappointing returns at the box office since its May 24 release. Through two weekends, “Solo’s” haul of $148.9 million at the U.S. box office and $264.2 million globally fell far short of expectations.

In total, “Solo” could lose more than $50 million for Disney when comparing its box office haul against a $250 million production budget and millions more in marketing costs, the Hollywood Reporter said, citing a research note from B. Riley FBR senior analyst Barton Crockett. Industry insiders told the publication that final losses could exceed $80 million.

“This marks a tough return to movie reality for a Disney that had in recent years enjoyed a can’t-miss mystique,” Crockett wrote.

The movie’s struggles mark a rare setback for Disney, which has seen massive success since unveiling a new generation of “Star Wars” films in recent years. “The Force Awakens,” the first film in the new “Star Wars” trilogy, grossed more than $2 billion at the global box office, while the sequel “The Last Jedi” and the standalone film “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” each grossed more than $1 billion.

“Solo” currently holds a 71% rating on movie review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, which ranks films out of 100. The movie was directed by Ron Howard after original directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord were fired during production.

Disney’s studio entertainment has been one of its strongest segments in recent quarters. Revenue rose 21% to $2.45 billion in its most recent fiscal quarter due in large part to the success of Marvel’s “Black Panther.”

This quarter, weak box office numbers for “Solo” will be offset by the success of “Avengers: Infinity War,” which has grossed more than $1.96 billion to date.