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Star Wars Chatter

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This topic contains 277 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by Bucho Bucho 1 week, 4 days ago.

Viewing 8 posts - 271 through 278 (of 278 total)
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  • #65405
    Version3
    Version3
    Keymaster

    I don’t think this is the case… sorry, I really don’t. I think it’s much more simplistic than this (people avoiding the darker SW vs other successes). Put simply, people under 25 aren’t connected to Star Wars. For them, it’s their parent’s obsession, and a toy series. Marvel has grown a cinematic universe in THEIR time. Pop culture, and demographics are still the most simple explanation for why any movie is or is not a success at the box office; you need only look at show attends these things AFTER the first dozen showings to see it.

    Do parents of kids take their families less often to these darker SW films? Sure, it’s not just possible but it’s even likely that it’s the case. But families don’t make up the bulk of the ticket sales to a movie like Solo… they were all seeing The Incredibles 2 instead.

    Ask your average, non-nerd, non-white movie goer how important a new Star Wars film is to them… you’ll get an answer, and they will probably even claim they’ve “seen them all” or that they’d “probably see” the next one. Ask them the same question about Black Panther, Infinity War or any upcoming title and you’ll get a different level of commitment, more specific answers and probably more enthusiasm. I’d argue that DC could cash in on the same thing if they didn’t keep fucking up their movies (and TV shows).

    Star Wars movies aren’t made for general audiences, they are made for us and for what studios think kids want to see from the SW universe. That worked fine when WE were the kids… there was no adult audience to pander to for those films (not a rabid fanbase anyway).

    Marvel and Lucusfilm may both be Disney properties, but one of them is owned by and distributed by, and the other one is heavily operated by and produced by; The secret, is that the folks at Marvel know how to make movies for the people that go to the movies. The rest of the folks at Disney, know how to make movies that do well enough to spill over into merchandising. At the real heart of it all, sure the Solo movie didn’t open as big… but I’ll bet you $ to old underwear that the SW Lego toys that came from that movie outsell every bit of Marvel universe toys (not just Lego) combined… or get damn close.

    They could make the new SW films much less dark… make it all about fun ribbing and stupid furry things with floppy tails or huge lips or whatever; repeating the prequels will not fix the problem. Making movies for current audiences will… and I think they tried it with TLJ, but only as it adds on to a Star Wars movie. I really like them still… doesn’t mean that the average movie-goer feels the same about it.

    #65407
    Bucho
    Bucho
    Participant

    Firstly Captain, apology accepted.

    Secondly, you should post more around here, I miss your musk. You should also do some Bryan’s In-Car Spectacular podcasts once in a while, for that is a musk I also miss with all my heart and at least 2/3rds of my spleen.

    1138thly, let’s dig into why “people under 25 aren’t connected to Star Wars“, because to me that’s almost more of a parallel thought to what I posted than an opposing one. I fully agree with it (I’ve spent the last 3 years surrounded by many, many, many people under 25 and have studied their ways), but I rudely kind of skipped over it on the way to my malarkey about the significantly darker vibe of Star Wars films than Marvel films because it’s more of an intermediate idea than an answer. I was like, “Why did Solo underperform?” Why, that was because people under 25 not connected to Star Wars. “So why are people under 25 not connected to Star Wars?” Because daaaaaarkness bro. Or something like that.

    Consider that The Force Awakens is #3 all time and has made even more than ONE MILLION DOLLARS. Even adjusted for inflation it’s in the Top 11. Such is the way of the Monumental Pop Culture Event. People under 25 flocked to that movie. Flocked I say. And I don’t use that word lightly. There you had a gold-plated opportunity for Star Wars to connect to people under 25, an opportunity the likes of which the Galaxy has never known. Well, not since 2005 anyway, which is at least 900 parsecs ago, so we may strike it from the record.

    Then, Rogue One steps up to the plate and makes ONE MILLION DOLLARS and ends up sitting at #26 all time (#60 adjusted). It accomplishes this with almost an entire cast of characters the general audience has never heard of, riding the swell of love for Star Wars generated by The Force Awakens.

    Next, The Last Jedi goes all the way up to #11 (aka #43). It’s just below the first and third Avengers films and well above the second.

    So for the first two new Episodes, and the first spin-off, The World was on board. Even the under 25s. They may not love Star Wars like they love Marvel, but they turned out in their plenties. You don’t do as well as those first 3 did on Boba Fett cosplayers alone. You don’t get to #11 and #60 and #43 without being made for general audiences. In adjusted BO The Last Jedi sits above every Pirates film, above every Lord of the Rings film, above every Harry Potter film and above every Transformers film. Even, hard as it is to fathom, the 1986 cartoon classic. Of the 20+ films in those 4 massively successful made-for-general-audiences franchises only 2 manage to beat Rogue One in adjusted BO.

    General audiences were the Star Wars audience for the first 3 Disney Wars movies. The World, including under 25s, was connected to Star Wars for the first 3 Disney Wars movies. Then they turned their back on the 4th.

    Why?

    Infinity War was the first “bummer” of a Marvel film. Like Lucasfilm’s “bummer”, The Last Jedi, it made bank galore.

    Solo was the feelgood offering from Lucasfilm which followed Lucasfilm’s “bummer”. It made jack all bank. Ant Man and The Wasp is the feelgood offering following MCU’s “bummer”. It is making jack all bank.

    Coincidence? I’ll let you be the judge. Unless you disagree with me, in which case I will be forced to remove you from the bench, possibly via some kind of coup, or possibly a hijacking.

    - Women sense my power and they seek the life essence.

    #65414
    Version3
    Version3
    Keymaster

    The main reason I don’t post any in-car videos anymore is that you hurt my feelings, and now it’s a big emotional ordeal to get all of that crap out. It’s that or it’s because I rarely drive. Oh yeah, that’s the actual reason; since I work from home, most of my drives consist of taking or picking up kids or .127 nautical miles to get some food or some nonsense. I keep wanting to do it too, but then I don’t.

     

    I do agree that the two points are not contradictory, I’m just saying I don’t think the darkness of one franchise has as much to do with it as you are giving it credit for. That’s why I just attributed it to the more general points of being different approaches to the same audiences as there are likely MANY reasons why; the relative darkness of the stories may be among them.

    I have a little first-hand experience with this, in that model exactly. Jessica, is not a Star Wars fan. She went to see TFA because over the years she had gotten to where she generally supported Star Wars culture because she has boys. SW crap for their rooms, shirts, decor even. So, here is this monumental event; people my age had wanted a new Star Wars movies their whole lives. We got prequels, but that’s not what we were really longing for, so in a way, VII is still a more than 30 year old dream (or you can call it an unrealized dream if you want to say for some that the prequels sort-of did it). For others, it’s the realization of a dream that’s been alive since III left the theater. So here is anticipation making a huge impact on the world of cinema. Think about all that changed, Lucas got out (the neck was blamed for the relative lameness of the prequels, new and better toys that capture the imagination of even the difficult to impress millennial (talking about sabers and stuff here), man buns… the point is a lot of shit happened. Anyway, anticipation for this movie guaranteed box-office success no matter what. It helped a lot that it FELT like a Star Wars film, and most people seem to really like it (in particular general audiences).

    On the heels of this, the very next Star Warsy thing was Rogue One. The people going to this movie were having their expectations set on two things: The previous movie was really good, and things like the appearance of the Death Star made them feel like this would be the Star Wars they already know and love (and by “they” I’m talking about 10 year olds, moms, wives and brother in-law types that aren’t necessarily sci-fi fans) so they’d probably love it, right? But other than a fun droid, that movie is a sci-fi movie that takes place in the the Star Wars universe. It looks like a SW film, even feels like it at times, but it also feels expositiony at then beginning, and lack of expositiony every where else. I think this movie just proved to general audiences that not all SW universe movies are for them.

    Here’s what I’m getting at. Let’s say you loved grandma’s cooking when you were young. And as you grew up, your parents and your older siblings spent all of their time talking about how much more amazing home cooked meals were with g-maw running the kitchen. Then, when you are like 35, you finally get a chance to go home to Indiana for Christmas and g-maw makes a traditional meal. It’s awesome, and you love it. Now here’s where the parallel comes in; she made familiar, traditional meal. It’s pretty hard to fuck up a decent turkey or a ham, so for all intents and purposes, her kitchen performance aligned to your expectations, well enough that this became a reinforcing truth; g-maw is an old-school chef that can barely be matched. The universe delivered.

    Then, a few months later, you get a chance to drop by for a weekend in late July or whatever, and g-maw is making dinner. Only this time, she’s making stewed cabbage and artichoke faces or whatever. Your experience and your expectations tell you that you will like this meal. But, this is the first time you are actually tasting her cooking, because the previous meal was based entirely on ingredients and dishes that are wholly familiar, guaranteeing a degree of success. This time, you are tasting the fact that her old sense of smell means she can’t taste things as well as you, and she likes sadness warmed in a pot. You eat as much as you can, but you leave no longer being convinced that she’s just an amazing cook…  the end result being that you see that the memory of her abilities are based on different conditions and different basis for comparison, and what it was built up to be in your mind; but the present experience tells you that it’s not necessarily true WITHOUT taking away from your believe that she can totally kill it at Thanksgiving or Christmas or George Harrison’s birthday or whatever the fuck.

    That’s a long analogy for what my wife went through. She remembers SW being huge, and everyone loving it. She saw the originals as an adult, and while it didn’t convert her, she didn’t hate them and that’s saying something because she doesn’t like Sci-Fi at all. Then comes this hugely important cultural event; a few film. She saw it, she really enjoyed it. She really only watched it one more time, but she had a positive experience with it because it had all of the things she thought it should, and it felt pretty much like what she expected. So, then came the opportunity to see another Star Wars film (Rogue One). For her, this was bland stewed cabbage and a lettuce only salad on the side. She liked the ranch dressing on the salad (K-2SO in this case), and that’s about it. It was a sci-fi movie with Star Warsy looking stuff as far as she was concerned. She has not seen another SW movie since. She skips them.

    Now I’d argue that people returned to the theater for VIII because it’s a apparent to some that VIII is the next transitional holiday meal, and they know now to separate that experience from the odd weekend of cabbage and sad old age. Others had the bar lowered just enough to not bother.

    I think that VII captured people that it wouldn’t/couldn’t if it was the second movie in a new trilogy. I think that Rogue One invalidated expectations by not being familiar enough (characters, planets, ending) and setting the tone for what a non-trilogy movie is likely to be.

    VIII benefited and suffered from this logic (not a cultural event, but still a continuation of what worked for general audiences. Solo suffers from the compound issues of both streams of thought (non-trilogy movies aren’t for me because I’m not a Star Wars fan and that last movie wasn’t as fun/fun-loving as VII so maybe I don’t like these as much as I thought).

     

    When you contrast this to Marvel movies you just aren’t comparing Apples and Oranges is more likes Apples and Cantaloupe; Marvel movies are showing you familiar characters, familiar settings, characters you can identify with both because you ‘know’ them, and you know the world they come from; Marvel movies are superhero glaze on the real world that you DON’T need to understand as much of to enjoy. A galaxy far-far away starts messing with this the moment you show bizarre planet names on the screen, and fill audience member’s heads full of stupid sounding names that they can’t remember for anything. Does darkness come in to play for some audience members? Absolutely… cursing would too. A lot did, but I think these are all things that either play to, or accidentally exclude general audiences.  It’s worth mentioning that the Marvel movie(s) that has to deal with the same set of issues has the same problem to a degree (and also they just aren’t that good); Thor and Thor: Dark World. One of the things that Guardians figured out how to set aside was the constant need to familiarize and acclimate audiences with the wold they are in. Exposition and familiarity took a third-row back seat to plot and comedy in that movie, and when you do that you get to focus on a lot that makes the rest of the equation take the responsibility of making a good movie (directing, writing, casting and such). Movies like Dark World are constantly trying to tell you how and why and forget to do any movie-ing. Anyway, that’s a big tangent, but it feels like the only example Marvel has of doing the same thing with audiences, is the movie(s) that are also widely considered the worst (the Hulk movies don’t count, because they don’t).

     

    I have no idea if I made my point, I refuse to re-read any of this.

    #65416
    Bucho
    Bucho
    Participant

    I have no idea if you made your point either, but you did make a point, and I mostly get it – whoever it belongs to.

    The one point of contention is in that last paragraph where you start by saying the Marvel films show familiar characters, because the comparison isn’t between MCU #54-57 and SW #1-4, it’s between MCU #1-4 and SW #1-4, and:

    1. Back when the MCU was doing what SW is doing now general audiences didn’t know jack about Iron Man or Steve Rogers or Thor. A huge plot point in Marvel’s own story is that they had to kick off their new thing using unfamiliar characters because, aside from Hulk, they’d sold all their familiar characters. I mean, I used to read comics as a kid and even I knew jack about them, so imagine how unfamiliar they were to the gen-pop non-nerd crowd.
    2. There exists no more familiar characters in all of cinema history than Luke, Han, Leia, Chewie, R2, Threepio and Vader. All seven are literal cinema icons. Even peeps who’ve never seen a Star Wars movie recognize them. In terms of characters, Star Wars had orders of magnitude more familiarity in its arsenal than Marvel did when they launched the MCU.

    As far as the rest of that last paragraph, I get the point about the difference between the alternate Earth of the MCU and the Galaxy Far, Far Away of Star Wars, but it only stretches as far as Guardians of the Galaxy – a gang of completely unfamiliar characters in a bunch of settings which were more weird and alien than anything we’ve seen in Star Wars, who the general audience fell in love with.

    Those somewhat minor quibbles aside, I reckon your argument is a fair and well-made one. The one thing you left out of your commentary though was the film that’s at the core of the discussion – Solo – and its extremely poor performance in relation to the other three new Star Wars films. We’ve both said that, since there’s no way to replicate the cultural conditions into which The Force Awakens was delivered, a downward trend in BO was expected from the get-go, but Solo wasn’t part of that downward trend.

    Solo, unlike fellow spin-off Rogue One, took an approach similar to what Guardians of the Galaxy took, but with the added advantage of a bunch of familiarity in its quiver. And yet it fell off a cliff. A cliff with a Sarlacc pit at the bottom.

    - Women sense my power and they seek the life essence.

    #65417
    rob
    rob
    Participant

    1. Poor marketing/bad word of mouth (production issues)

    2. Avengers: Infinity War and Deadpool 2

    3. Backlash against Last Jedi

    I think those are the reasons that Solo did poorly. There were movies already out that regular people going to the movies would rather see again. Lots of people didn’t even know that Solo was coming out. I don’t think that the backlash against Last Jedi was enough to make a huge impact on the whole (I think the huge nerds like me still make up a small percentage), but of course, the antis were happy to think that it was them that did Solo in (which the logic infuriates me – “I love Star Wars so much that I hope it fails!”)

    I really liked your take, Bryan, on the general folks out there that really seem to make or break movies of this magnitude. Strangely enough, I think Solo is enough of a crowd pleaser that many missed out on something that I think they’d probably actually like. Hopefully they check it out on digital and it grows some legs, because I think it deserves it.

    #65418
    Bucho
    Bucho
    Participant

    1. I thought the marketing was pretty solid – it really got me hyped for a movie I didn’t expect to be hyped for. Like, “Some other dude playing Han Solo? Faaarrrrrk thaaaaaat! Wait … what’s this? … a trailer? … some clips? … this actually looks like a ton of fun …“. BUUUUUUT I have heard others criticize the marketing, so I ain’t saying you’re crazy.

    The general public doesn’t know jack about, nor gave a dang about, the production issues though. That’s the kind of thing only us Nerds pick up on. I also agree with your later sentiment that Solo is a proper crowd pleaser, so post-release world of mouth – the stuff the general public does hear and give a dang about – was positive. To give a couple of gen-pop examples to go along with Bryan’s example of Jessica, my wife and her sister, neither of whom grew up on either Marvel or Star Wars, had no idea about the production issues, and post-release both of them far preferred the feelgood adventure of Solo to the bummer of Infinity War. Which segues us so, so elegantly to …

    2. Infinity War and Deadpool 2 beat Solo, sure, but the thing that’s at the core of this whole issue is the “why” that’s attached to that. What did those movies succeed at that Solo failed at? Or, to expand it to a possible multi-film phenomenon/trend, what did Marvel succeed at that Lucasfilm failed at? To me this one’s the key part of the three points listed here.

    3. I agree with your later sentiment here. I don’t think the backlash made a serious dent. $1,332,539,889 worth of folks saw The Last Jedi, and I’d wager less than 5% of that was made up of the kinds of snivelling haters who would boycott Solo.  Even if we get generous to the wailing manbabies and say it’s 10%, that would still leave Solo making over a billy.

    This is probably way more thought than it’s worth spending on a single data point from such a tiny sample size, but, y’know … it’s Star Wars. What else are we supposed to overthink?

    - Women sense my power and they seek the life essence.

    #65419
    Version3
    Version3
    Keymaster

    The one point of contention is in that last paragraph where you start by saying the Marvel films show familiar characters, because the comparison isn’t between MCU #54-57 and SW #1-4, it’s between MCU #1-4 and SW #1-4,

    hhhhuuuuuh?

    1. Back when the MCU was doing what SW is doing now general audiences didn’t know jack about Iron Man or Steve Rogers or Thor. A huge plot point in Marvel’s own story is that they had to kick off their new thing using unfamiliar characters because, aside from Hulk, they’d sold all their familiar characters. I mean, I used to read comics as a kid and even I knew jack about them, so imagine how unfamiliar they were to the gen-pop non-nerd crowd.

    Unfamiliar characters in a largely relatable world/universe is not as much a cognitive load as characters, concepts, organizations, planets, species… they are pretty different and general audiences aren’t always expecting to have to recognize and store that much detail. And they don’t, I literally see this every day in my job.

    1. There exists no more familiar characters in all of cinema history than Luke, Han, Leia, Chewie, R2, Threepio and Vader. All seven are literal cinema icons. Even peeps who’ve never seen a Star Wars movie recognize them. In terms of characters, Star Wars had orders of magnitude more familiarity in its arsenal than Marvel did when they launched the MCU.

    I have no idea why you are bringing them up… I’m not following the gap you jumped. We were talking about why Solo may not be as successful and why VII may be suffering too. Sure, those characters are iconic among the iconic… but that’s not what audiences are dealing with. They are dealing with new characters in VII with support from those iconic characters and in Solo you are dealing with the characters BEFORE they are the characters… more to learn. And that can be fine; but it’s a higher risk for general audiences, and we are back to all of the other shit about gangs and planets and things that people just don’t want to learn. This wouldn’t be a difference if it were Harrison Ford in a Solo movie. People are easily confused, distracted and turned off by that which is not familiar. You can beat the origin story drum all you want, but that’s not the Solo they know, so it just doesn’t strike them as familiar. They are thirsty for backstory like a fan would be, and it’s unrealistic to assume that along would drive them to theaters.

    As far as the rest of that last paragraph, I get the point about the difference between the alternate Earth of the MCU and the Galaxy Far, Far Away of Star Wars, but it only stretches as far as Guardians of the Galaxy – a gang of completely unfamiliar characters in a bunch of settings which were more weird and alien than anything we’ve seen in Star Wars, who the general audience fell in love with.

    I think that’s a place that I skipped over a point. I’d definitely hold that one as the exception… but it hardly wears you out with all of it’s uniqueness. When it comes to supportive information and expositional dialog, GotG is like a regular guy telling you about how your cell talks to a cell tower and these new Star Wars universes are like the president of robotics club trying to tell you the same thing; you may understand them both, but most people will tune the second guy out because they just can’t stand to listen to the WAY he does it. I really think that these new Star Wars movies can’t figure out how to keep their audience in mind when they work through this stuff. It’s like they only get “real” for a minute to write little quips for Poe and go right back to nerd-speak.

    Those somewhat minor quibbles aside, I reckon your argument is a fair and well-made one.

    damn right it is, and I’ll expect a new tattoo on your forearm indicating so.

    The one thing you left out of your commentary though was the film that’s at the core of the discussion – Solo – and its extremely poor performance in relation to the other three new Star Wars films. We’ve both said that, since there’s no way to replicate the cultural conditions into which The Force Awakens was delivered, a downward trend in BO was expected from the get-go, but Solo wasn’t part of that downward trend. Solo, unlike fellow spin-off Rogue One, took an approach similar to what Guardians of the Galaxy took, but with the added advantage of a bunch of familiarity in its quiver. And yet it fell off a cliff. A cliff with a Sarlacc pit at the bottom.

    Yep, but I think it was the problems demonstrated among the other movies that caused it. I don’t think Solo suffered at it’s own flaws… I think Rogue One and to an extent these issue I’m talking about in VII have a lot to do with it. That’s what I think I was trying to get at in long form.

    #65420
    Bucho
    Bucho
    Participant

    The one point of contention is in that last paragraph where you start by saying the Marvel films show familiar characters, because the comparison isn’t between MCU #54-57 and SW #1-4, it’s between MCU #1-4 and SW #1-4,

    hhhhuuuuuh?

    Yeah, the discussion’s getting unwieldy and we’re crossing the streams or something. I’m just saying if the question is why did Lucasfilm’s 4th Disney Wars movie tank, and we’re going to stack it next to the most similar case study available for comparison, we’d be looking at the 4th MCU movie.

    Unless we want to complicate things further by comparing the first Lucasfilm offering which follows a movie about failing to the first Marvel offering which follows a movie about failing, in which case we’re stacking Solo up against Ant Man & The Wasp.

    1. Back when the MCU was doing what SW is doing now general audiences didn’t know jack about Iron Man or Steve Rogers or Thor. A huge plot point in Marvel’s own story is that they had to kick off their new thing using unfamiliar characters because, aside from Hulk, they’d sold all their familiar characters. I mean, I used to read comics as a kid and even I knew jack about them, so imagine how unfamiliar they were to the gen-pop non-nerd crowd.

    Unfamiliar characters in a largely relatable world/universe is not as much a cognitive load as characters, concepts, organizations, planets, species… they are pretty different and general audiences aren’t always expecting to have to recognize and store that much detail. And they don’t, I literally see this every day in my job.

    This is a fair call, and yet Rogue One, with zero familiar hero characters and zero familiar worlds, made over a billion. Was the afterglow of VII really bright enough to account for that? I guess it must have been.

    1. There exists no more familiar characters in all of cinema history than Luke, Han, Leia, Chewie, R2, Threepio and Vader. All seven are literal cinema icons. Even peeps who’ve never seen a Star Wars movie recognize them. In terms of characters, Star Wars had orders of magnitude more familiarity in its arsenal than Marvel did when they launched the MCU.

    I have no idea why you are bringing them up… I’m not following the gap you jumped. We were talking about why Solo may not be as successful and why VII may be suffering too …

    This goes back to crossed wires again, and the comparison between the first 4 Disney Wars vs the first 4 MCU.

    As far as the rest of that last paragraph, I get the point about the difference between the alternate Earth of the MCU and the Galaxy Far, Far Away of Star Wars, but it only stretches as far as Guardians of the Galaxy – a gang of completely unfamiliar characters in a bunch of settings which were more weird and alien than anything we’ve seen in Star Wars, who the general audience fell in love with.

    I think that’s a place that I skipped over a point. I’d definitely hold that one as the exception… but it hardly wears you out with all of it’s uniqueness. When it comes to supportive information and expositional dialog, GotG is like a regular guy telling you about how your cell talks to a cell tower and these new Star Wars universes are like the president of robotics club trying to tell you the same thing; you may understand them both, but most people will tune the second guy out because they just can’t stand to listen to the WAY he does it. I really think that these new Star Wars movies can’t figure out how to keep their audience in mind when they work through this stuff. It’s like they only get “real” for a minute to write little quips for Poe and go right back to nerd-speak.

    There’s definitely something to this point in terms of the clarity of the filmmaking. Guardians of the Galaxy introduces a far more challenging state of galactic affairs than any of the new Disney Wars films but tells its story with impressive economy, making sure the audience is at home in its brand new trippy universe while never labouring the point to where it feels like its talking down to its audience.

    Ironically, it’s Solo which comes closest to matching that clarity.

    The one thing you left out of your commentary though was the film that’s at the core of the discussion – Solo – and its extremely poor performance in relation to the other three new Star Wars films. We’ve both said that, since there’s no way to replicate the cultural conditions into which The Force Awakens was delivered, a downward trend in BO was expected from the get-go, but Solo wasn’t part of that downward trend. Solo, unlike fellow spin-off Rogue One, took an approach similar to what Guardians of the Galaxy took, but with the added advantage of a bunch of familiarity in its quiver. And yet it fell off a cliff. A cliff with a Sarlacc pit at the bottom.

    Yep, but I think it was the problems demonstrated among the other movies that caused it. I don’t think Solo suffered at it’s own flaws… I think Rogue One and to an extent these issue I’m talking about in VII have a lot to do with it. That’s what I think I was trying to get at in long form.

    I think it has to be this to a large extent, but it’s still surprising that only 6 months after VIII made $1.3Bn, the feelgood galavant of Solo can’t even scrape together $400K. Even Thor 2 – set across multiple weird worlds – made almost $650K, and nobody liked that turd. What it did have in its favour was that it was bathed in the feelgood afterglow of Avengers Assemble.

    Meanwhile, Ant Man and The Wasp, a well-made feelgood adventure packed with all the Earthly comforting familiarity the Galaxy Far, Far Away lacks, has only just limped past $400K. What else does it have in common with Solo? It follows a film about failure which ends with the good guys decimated.

    Again I put the question before the jury … coincidence?

    - Women sense my power and they seek the life essence.

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