Director Ron Howard says trolls — and not Stormtroopers, Tusken Raiders or Rancors — were partially responsible for the underwhelming box office performance of “Solo: A Star Wars Story”.
“Solo” generated $392.9 million worldwide during its theatrical run. That number is nothing to scoff at, but it doesn’t measure up to its nearly $500 million production costs. Mark Hamill once suggested “Star Wars” fatigue may be setting in, but Howard has a different take.
Howard believes the core fan base was interested in the product but it failed to spark the mainstream’s attention. “Whatever millions [‘Solo’] made worldwide, those were the core fans, but it didn’t hit that zeitgeist point, for whatever reason,” he told the “Happy Sad Confused” podcast. “Timing, young Han Solo, pushback from the previous movie, which I kept hearing was maybe something.”
And of course, “some trolling, definitely some trolling. Some actual aggressive… It was pretty interesting,” he shared. “It was especially noticeable prior to the release of the movie. Several of the algorithms, whether it was Metacritic or Rotten Tomatoes, there was an inordinate push down on the ‘want to see’ and on the fan voting.”
“When you look at it, it’s like 3, 4, 5 — or whatever the rating is, I forget what the rating is on Rotten Tomatoes, whether it’s a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 — but pretty high, and then a series of 0s or .5s or 1s,” he added.
Nonetheless, Howard is happy with the product. “I feel very good about the way it turned out. I love the way it played to audiences, which I witnessed and was a part of,” Howard insisted. “All of that I’m able to feel good about. Sure, I wish it would’ve done [better] and lived up to the box office and so forth, so that’s disappointing. Why? Maybe it’s the release.”
“Maybe it’s the idea that its sort of too nostalgic. Going back and revisiting an origin story for a beloved character may not be what the fans were looking for,” he mulled. “It kind of seemed to me, looking at it, the opening — which was big, not as big as the others, it was probably my biggest opening, personally, it was still disappointing to them — I think those are the hardcore fans.”
“Solo: A Star Wars Story” premiered to respectable reviews. Much of the praise was directed to the cast, which included Alden Ehrenreich, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover and Woody Harrelson.