So it looks like we have our first major box office bomb of 2018 and to the shock of many, it was a Star Wars movie.
After being beset by behind-the-scenes issues that culminated with Ron Howard re-shooting an estimated 70% of the project, driving the budget up to $300m in the process, Solo: A Star Wars Story opened to half as much money at the box office as the studio was predicting and now faces a real struggle to break even, never mind turn a profit.
Of course, this is all part and parcel of blockbuster season where every year a raft of big-budget studio blockbusters descend upon theaters with alarming regularity around the globe, targeting virtually the exact same audience. There are always casualties along the way as the market cannibalizes itself - it just wasn't expected to happen to the seemingly-unstoppable Star Wars franchise.
With the competition heating up as we approach the height of summer at the multiplex, there are plenty of upcoming movies that could just as easily suffer the same fate as Solo. There are very few safe bets these days outside of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and not everything gets to be a hit, but some blockbusters are flirting much closer to disaster than others.
I don't social network, so like or follow me in person but please maintain a safe distance or the authorities will be notified. Film and TV graduate turned chef, once labelled a misogynist on this very site in a twenty paragraph-long rant for daring to speak ill of the Twilight franchise. Go figure.