Don’t Blame ‘The Last Jedi’, Blame the Industry

Image Courtesy of Lucasfilm Entertainment
Solo Movie Poster
Image Courtesy of Lucasfilm Entertainment
By The Nerdling

Just a few years ago, Solo: A Star Wars Story opening with $101 Million over a holiday weekend would have been considered a solid start for a blockbuster. In the following weeks, the latest Star Wars outing would have time to generate more of a box office gain before another big-budget movie would hit theaters and eat into the profits.

But it is 2018 and any major property must break $100 Million by Saturday morning or be considered a flop. Solo now only has another week to turn a “real profit” or be lost in oblivion to the opening of Oceans 8, who only has one week to earn massive blockbuster status before the release of The Incredibles 2, who also only has one week before the arrival of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

Some want to blame the low opening for Solo on The Last Jedi. The eighth film in the main Star Wars saga hit theaters a scant five months ago and has been the subject of extreme debate among fans as to the direction of the franchise. TLJ does not deserve all of the blame. Deadpool 2 and Avengers: Infinity War deserve a good chunk of the culpability.

Deadpool Clapping

In less than five weeks, three huge movies were released. Can anyone blame the masses for finding something else to do over the long weekend other than sit in the theater for another big-budget film?

Leaving the theater after our showing of Solo last night, I told my husband I’m done with blockbusters for a while and all I want to see are small, art-house films for the next couple of months. The hubs kindly reminded me of all the big-name movies coming out over the next few months and how I have to see most of them since it is my job to write reviews.

The exhaustion quickly set in. I had no desire to see a single one of these films despite my excitement for them at the beginning of the year. I enjoyed the Han Solo origins well enough despite its paint-by-the-numbers plot, but my threshold for big CGI battles and quirky one-liners has been surpassed. And it seems I am not the only one.

Ticket sales have been steadily declining since 2002. Box office numbers have gone up, but that is due to the rising ticket prices. In 2002 the average ticket price was $5.81. Now, the average movie ticket costs $8.97. 2017 saw a 25 year low in ticket sales. 2018 will make up for the lows of last year, but this is in large part to the success of Black Panther which saw a much higher than average ticket sales for a comic book film. The only comic book movie to surpass Black Panther in ticket sales is the first Avengers movie released in 2012.

Chadwick Bowsman Dancing

Hollywood’s answer seems to be release more blockbusters despite warnings from experts to cut back on the big-name franchises. 28 big-budget movies are set to be released in 2019 including the next Star Wars, three Marvel Movies, the Wonder Woman sequel, three live action remakes of Disney animated classics, and two more X-Men entries. Everyone said James Cameron was wrong when he talked about wanting Avengers fatigue to set in. He should have been talking about the industry in general.

The Nerdling was born in the majestic land known as Texas and currently resides there after several years of journeying through Middle Earth in a failed attempt to steal the one Ring from that annoying hobbit, serving the Galactic Empire for a time, and then a short stint as a crew member on the Serenity. Since moving back to her homeland, Nerdling flirted with a hero reputation. Saving children from the dangers of adoring domineering, sparkly vampires (champions with souls are the only vampires worth loving) and teaching normals the value of nerdom, all while rooting for her beloved Dallas Stars. Then came the Sokovia Accords and her short spell of saving others came to an end. With Darth Vader’s reputation rightfully returning to badass status, Nerdling is making her way back to the Empire. They do have cookies, you know. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.