Star Wars’ December Box Office Successes Could Push Han Solo To December 2018


The Force Awakens and Rogue One’s December successes may have prompted Disney executives to order Han Solo pushed back to December 2018.

Rumor has it, Star Wars movie premieres may become a Christmas tradition.

Image Credit: Lucasfilm via alterations by Dork Side photo library

According to Making Star Wars, some movie theaters received December 13th, 2018 as the standalone Han Solo movie’s premiere date. This date is more than a six-month shift from Han Solo’s original release day, May 25th, 2018.

Jason Ward, Making Star Wars’ editor-in-chief, cautions it’s too soon to jump the gun on confirming December 13th as the official premiere date. He reminds us that mistakes have been made in the past with regard to marketing. This new date that theaters are receiving could be a mistake or simply a precautionary measure in case Disney decides to move Han Solo to December.

Really, though, it makes sense to move the next standalone Star Wars movie to December. Disney’s first standalone Star Wars film, Rogue One met huge success at the box office during the Christmas season. By January 1st of this year, Rogue One earned $425 million domestically. That at only a little over two weeks in U.S. theaters.

Disney has already shown they are willing to shuffle release dates. In 2016 they moved Episode VIII‘s premiere from May to December 2017. According to Screen Rant, that change may have been due to Disney’s successful gamble on December premieres for The Force Awakens and Rogue One.

Lucasfilm Star Wars Movie Timeline – Image Credit: Screenshot (photo library David Harris)

From a financial perspective, a December premiere has much appeal. The Christmas season is the perfect time for movies to make money. Grown-ups are off of work, children are off of school, and lots of families are bored. Plus, the toy market is higher during December, which means Star Wars is in the store and under the tree as well as in the theater. May has none of the above advantages.

From a fan perspective, I don’t care about a May premiere for Han. Maybe the fans who care the most about it saw the original or prequel films – all of which had May premieres – in theaters. But The Force Awakens was the first live-action Star Wars film I watched in theaters. Therefore, the nostalgic connection to May isn’t there for me.

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How do you feel about Star Wars movies permanently sitting in December? Are you on board for a December 13th, 2018 premiere for the Han Solo movie?