Why Not December? Analyzing the May Debut of “Solo: A Star Wars Story”

Around the Galaxy: Star Wars News & Notes - June 24, 2018

Solo

Full disclosure: I never once thought that a May debut was a horrible thing for Solo: A Star Wars Story.

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With my fan hat squarely in place, I was merely thrilled for the second dose of the Saga within a six-month period. And, “Hey, Marvel does it all the time.”

Did I worry about the long gap between films? Sure, but that’s a thought for another day.

Now, as I read story after story about Solo‘s financial woes–including a sobering tale by Scott Mendelson positing a different theory–I ran across a CinemaBlend piece by Dirk Libbey which wonders if sticking to May was solely due to accounting.

He wrote:

So what’s the difference to Disney between May and December of 2018? The difference is business. The Walt Disney Company’s fiscal year runs from October 1 – September 30. This means that moving Solo: A Star Wars Story from May to December moves the film out of the fiscal year 2018 and into the fiscal year of 2019. 2018 has been a good fiscal year for Disney. Between Avengers: Infinity War and Black Panther they have two movies that have cleared a billion dollars, and Infinity War did better than $2 billion.

Libbey wondered aloud if 2019’s fare is less of a financial lock. And…

By releasing Solo: A Star Wars Story when it did, Disney mitigated the damage that the movie could do to the bottom line. When Disney comes out with its annual reports in October it will show healthy numbers from the studio side thanks to three massive films. Solo will be a footnote. This will be a benefit to the stock price of the company, which, let’s not pretend, is the real ultimate goal for a publicly traded company.

Libbey contends that sticking to Memorial Day may have been Disney’s most expedient move. Ouch.

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Maybe? Who knows? What do you think?

I know one thing. Box office be damned, I loved Solo: A Star Wars Story. And I can’t wait for the home release.

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John Bishop

A graduate of Boston and Northeastern universities, John Bishop became the beat reporter for BostonBruins.com prior to the B’s 2006-07 hockey season. While with the Bruins, “Bish” traveled North America and Europe to cover the Black & Gold’s every move via laptop, blog, and smart phone. The co-author of two books, Bygone Boston and Full 60 to History: The Inside Story of the 2011 Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins, John covered the XXI Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver in 2010 and the B’s 2011 championship run and banner raising before taking a faculty/communications position at a prep school outside Boston in 2013. He lives with his wife Andrea and sons Jack, Scott, and Luke in central Massachusetts.

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