Some box office analysts said it was unfair to expect every "Star Wars" movie to be a juggernaut, especially now that pent-up demand has worn off: Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012, and when it restarted the franchise with "The Force Awakens" in 2015, it was the first new live-action installment in a decade.
The masked, jetpack-powered bounty hunter's film will be the third spin-off since Disney acquired Star Wars, following 2016's Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Solo: A Star Wars Story, which was released this week. The Marvel blockbuster is looking at a $16.9 million three-day estimate, along with a four-day number of $22.1 million.
"Deadpool 2" should easily score the second slot, heading for a $42 million three-day sophomore frame and a four-day total of around $54 million.
The news comes right when Han Solo debuts in theaters with advanced Thursday night previews. The Pirates film earned $139.8 million during its debut weekend in 2007.
And if you've missed any of our recent Solo: A Star Wars Story coverage, peruse the links below.
As it stands, a $100 million four-day opening would be less than the launch for "The Hangover Part II", which made $103 million in 2011. Through a series of daring escapades deep within a dark and risky criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his mighty future copilot Chewbacca and encounters the notorious gambler Lando Calrissian, in a journey that will set the course of one of the Star Wars saga's most unlikely heroes. Internationally, Deadpool 2 brought in another $57 million across 27 markets, making its global total $279.7 million and putting its worldwide gross at $498.9 million after the Memorial Day holiday.
Superheroes will also claim the No. 3 spot, as Disney and Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War adds about $16.5 million to its domestic haul in its fifth week.
All of this is not necessarily a sign that "Star Wars" is in a long-term decline, but it's an even worse situation for "Solo" considering that the film cost over $250 million before marketing due to extensive reshoots following Ron Howard's much-publicized replacement director hire.
One the one hand, that's not a huge dent to Solo's opening days in theaters.
Solo's poor performance doesn't get a pass just because of external pressures.
This may not mark a longterm change in the attitude Star Wars takes towards its audience; certainly, there was more than enough up in the air during the making of the movie that it could simply be a misstep as opposed to an intentional, permanent shift away from the more open attitude of earlier movies.
The group of marauders also included Star Wars stalwart Warwick Davis, in a role in which he finally got to show his face.