The Disney and Lucasfilm tentpole will open simultaneously in the world’s two largest film markets, North America and China.
Han Solo has charted his course for China.
Disney and Lucasfilm’s hotly anticipated Solo: A Star Wars Story has locked down its release date in the world’s second-largest box-office territory. The stand-alone Star Wars film will descend upon the Middle Kingdom on May 25, the same day it unfurls across North America, several sources in Beijing with knowledge of the local distribution plans told THR on Thursday.
A spokesperson for Disney in Shanghai said the studio had not yet received official confirmation of Solo‘s release date.
Solo explores the adventures of a young Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) as he first meets Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover). Emilia Clarke and Woody Harrelson also star. Ron Howard, who stepped in following the firing of Phil Lord and Chris Miller last June, directed the film.
Star Wars fans will get their first opportunity to check out the new installment at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival. The tentpole is getting a special out-of-competition screening at the glamorous French event on May 15.
In China, the Star Wars franchise has mysteriously underperformed relative to the size of the market. The Force Awakens earned a healthy $124 million in 2016, but Rogue One (2017) slipped to $69 million — despite the casting of two Chinese stars — and The Last Jedi eroded further with just $42 million in the Middle Kingdom.
Can Han Solo help the franchise mount a characteristic comeback? Box-office analysts will be waiting to see.